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   Is a sub gig worth the health of your family?

That main question that has been going through my head as of late, since school has started.  I’ve been very lucky to be able to attend schools I know that also happen to have very stringent health protocols.  But I won’t go somewhere new, where I don’t know the people or the lay of the land.  Even with the familiarity and risk reduction, the chance to be infected isn’t zero.

The other side of the coin is, of course, I’m a big fan of eating and keeping up on the bills that, through some dark magic, continue to arrive and require my fiscal involvement even when deep into a world pandemic.

Being Canadian, I had access to the CERB, which while available provided income to keep the home-fires going and remain safely at home with minimal exposure.  I haven’t been more proud of a Canadian Federal government for taking such bold steps to keep its population safe.

Yet, as the second wave comes, the fiscal reality of the government’s finances may dictate that there will be no relief available.  It is very possible that the schools, and thus my employment, may become unavailable for an undetermined length of time.

So then given the uncertainty of future work should I take more risks and work now because no work may be the only option open in the future – but if I catch the virus now I may be out for months recuperating with added negative of possibly killing my vulnerable family members.

This sort of risk drenched future is hell on risk averse individuals such as myself.

I’ll do my best and hope that it is enough for whatever scenario we happen to fall into.

 

*sigh*

 

 

 

 

I hope the Edmonton Public School Board takes notice

 

“SS: What health and safety measures are your school district and you taking for the reopening of school?

MKS: As of this writing, our district has delayed its start by 2 1/2 weeks for faculty and 4 weeks for students. Required temperature checks daily for staff and students (if temperature exceeds 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, individual must go home). Designated room for sick students.

Students will report half Mon and Wed, the other half, Tues and Thurs, and alternate Fridays. Masks are required for adults and for students in grades 3 thru 12. No visitors on campus. At my high school, three lunches, I believe, in a partitioned cafeteria. Scheduled bathroom breaks. Staggered class change. Reserved seating on the school buses. Deep cleaning of facilities each day (evening?), with teachers cleaning their classrooms before school, after school, and between classes. (To limit movement and cleaning, students will follow a block-styled schedule of 110 minutes per class for three classes and 53 minutes for the last class of the day. Desks 6 feet apart; teacher has a designated space and is encouraged to move around room as little as possible. District is also providing Chromebooks to all students, and teachers will be using Google Classroom as the principal teaching and learning platform.

I have also purchased two HEPA air filtration machines for my classroom. I also have purchased scrubs (allowed this year for teachers because scrubs are easy to wash), goggles (2 pair), face shields (2), and masks (multiple). The school will also provide all of these to staff (except goggles), as well as gloves and gowns for staff and masks for students (if needed). The school will provide cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer for staff and students.”

Will it be enough?  Hard to say.

 

 

Going against the dominant expectations as a teacher, as Chomsky says, is a dangerously fine line. Those who do, please keep up the great work.

school   “I don’t want to see penis when I go to the washroom; he just stands there with the stall open and it makes me uncomfortable.“.

That was the quotable bit from a conversation I had with a female student I happened to be teaching at an elementary school this week.  We were walking in from recess and Jaina brought this to my attention.  I couldn’t detect any hate or malice in her statement, as she had just been playing convivially with Dakota (Male to Trans) minutes before.  I told her that she had every right to feel uncomfortable as the situation she described was not appropriate in terms of what was happening in the bathroom…   Jaina was surprised that a teacher agreed with her and her feelings of discomfort.  I was going to suggest that she remind Dakota to shut the door but the conversation ended as we entered the school.

I hope that by listening to Jaina and supporting her statement she will talk with her teacher and her Dakota to sort that issue out.

The conversation caught me by surprise (as with most occurrences while teaching behaviour classes) and in the moment I had to negotiate between the child’s feelings and the official school board policy on gender and washrooms.

Review of the policy in question came down to these points –

Indicators of this best practice in action (pg.9)

• Students are able to access washrooms that are congruent with their gender identity.

• A student who objects to sharing a washroom or change-room with a student who is trans or gender-diverse is offered an alternative facility (this scenario also applies when a parent or other caregiver objects to shared washroom or change-room facilities on behalf of their child).

I certainly hope that Jaina’s concerns are heard and action is taken as traditionally the concerns of girls, and females in general, are all to often thrown under the bus.

 

attachment theory pic      To be honest, I could excerpt most of Bowlby’s book.  It is that good.  However, little things like time and copyright concerns limit me to providing some of the highlights of attachment theory and how big a change it was from traditional psychoanalysis.

“The first is to provide the patient with a secure base from which he can explore the various unhappy and painful aspects of his life, past and present, many of which he finds it difficult or perhaps impossible to think about and reconsider without a trusted companion to provide support, encouragement, sympathy, and, on occasion, guidance. 

A second is to assist the patient in his explorations by encouraging him to consider the ways in which he engages in relationships with significant figures in his current life, what his expectations are for his own feelings and behaviour and for those of other people, what unconscious biases he may be bringing when he selects a person with whom he hopes to make an intimate relationship and when he creates situations that go badly for him.

   A particular relationship that the therapist encourages the patient to examine, and that constitutes the third task, is the relationship between the two of them.  Into this the patient will import all of those perceptions, constructions, and expectations of how an attachment figure is likely to feel and behave towards him that his working models of parents and self dictate. 

  A fourth task is to encourage the patient to consider how his current perceptions and expectations and the feelings and actions to which they give risepicture25 may be the product either of the events and situations he encountered during his childhood and adolescence, especially those with his parents, or else as the products of what he may repeatedly have been told by them.  This is often a painful and difficult process and not infrequently requires the therapist sanction his patient to consider as possibilities ideas and feelings about his parents that he has hitherto regarded as unimaginable and unthinkable.  In doing so a patent may find himself moved by strong emotions and urges to action, some directed towards his parents and some towards the therapist, and many of which he finds frightening and/or alien and unacceptable.

    The therapist’s fifth task is to enable his patient to recognize that his images (models) of himself and others, derived either from past painful experiences or from misleading messages emanating from a parent, but all to often in the literature mislabelled as ‘fantasies’, may or may not be appropriate to his present future; or indeed, may never have been justified.  Once he has grasped the nature of his governing images (models) and has traced their origins, he may begin to understand what has led him to see the world and himself as he does and so to feel, to think, and to act in the way he does.

   He is then in a position to reflect on the accuracy and adequacy of those images (models), and on the ideas and actions to which they lead, in the light of his current experiences of emotionally significant people, including the therapist as well as his parents, and of himself in relationships to each.  Once the process has started he begins to see the old images (models) for what they are, the not unreasonable products of his past experiences or of what he has repeatedly been told, and thus feel free to imagine alternatives better fitted to his current life.  By these means the therapist hopes to enable his patient to cease being a slave to old and unconscious stereotypes and to feel, to think, and act in new ways. “

-John Bowlby.  A Secure Base.  pp. 138 – 139.

Now I like me some psychology and here is the thing; these five points share much with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), and it looks so simple on paper, yet in the real world the therapeutic process is fraught with so many difficulties and variables.

I often substitute teach with at-risk children and let me assure you,  I use any/all of what is said by Bowlby.  How do you learn when you don’t feel safe?  The quick answer is nothing, but as even this brief quotation shows there is so much that goes into how we react to situations and our learned set of responses to them.

attachment-types

Well, it is nice to know I have a little job security. :)

Need more learning and less stress in the classroom?  What you do behind the scenes can make or break your work day.  :>  Being a fan of organization strategies, this video makes me happy on several levels.   Enjoy.

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