You deserve better than blank Zoom boxes, current options


Dave Winter

The view of the campus from Houston Street during seventh period on Thursday reveals English teacher Eric Wydeven and and history teacher Joseph Carcione under matching Mac blue shade tents.

Alysa Spiro, opinion editor

Dear Teachers,

An ugly truth has come to me recently: I’ve been taking you for granted. How pathetic. It took me a global pandemic and the uprooting of a typical school year for me to realize the unsung heroes standing before me. As I read this back, I can’t help but cringe. Y’all deserve an apology.

I am sorry for not turning on my video some mornings. I like to think I am beyond caring what other people think, but the truth is, some mornings, the idea of other people seeing my messy hair and sleepy eyes freaks me out. I think it takes a lot of bravery to do what y’all do: to stand and teach amid a virtual classroom of eyes looking your way (even if they are all black boxes and don’t look like eyes at all).

I am sorry for sometimes not doing my homework until the last minute. I am a procrastinator. Your patience is astounding.

I am sorry for not turning on my video some mornings. … Some mornings, the idea of other people seeing my messy hair and sleepy eyes freaks me out.

Thanks for pointing out how I switched my negative and positive signs for the 15th time that day (I appreciate it, Ms. Seckar-Martinez). And for explaining how an aggregate-demand aggregate-supply graph works (they still confuse me, Ms. Wachsmann, but that’s not for lack of good teaching on your end). And being considerably tolerant of the fact that after four years of French, I still can’t form a coherent sentence (Ms. Favrin, it’s not your fault).

I’m also sorry for ever saying the clichéd “I hate school.” I take it back, really.

A lot of grit, sweat and love goes into your job. I can’t imagine the exhaustion you must feel; dedicating your whole lives to a livelihood dedicated to other people.

But I know that your exhaustion has gotten worse, because after giving everything you have to your students, AISD seeks to take what little you have left.

There’s a fundamental issue with how AISD is treating its teachers right now. Teachers who want nothing more than to teach are being used as pawns in AISD’s big chess game. How many pawns will be sacrificed while the queen hides, unmoving? It’s just sad. Who would have thought me saying “teachers deserve the right to feel safe” could be construed into a political statement?

I think the saddest part is this: AISD’s intentions are good. There are kids who need to be at school right now. The purpose of AISD to provide them with a safe space is admirable and necessary. But as teachers and staff have expressed time and time again, this is not the way to go about it.

Let teachers teach. That’s what they seek. AISD, don’t taint their passion with politics. Let’s focus on bettering the online school experience. Let’s focus on giving teachers outlets to improve their online lessons.

So once again, I express my deepest apologies. Sorry for taking y’all for granted. I think some of it has to do with my age (my mom says all teenagers are self-obsessed), but still, I want to let you know I appreciate you. A lot.


Alysa Spiro