News Analysis Nov 18, 2020 2:29 PM EST

Class cancelled because teacher 'living in forest'

The teacher, who has apparently absconded to the forest to avoid coronavirus, doesn't have enough internet connectivity there to do her job when the power goes out.

Class cancelled because teacher 'living in forest'
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY
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A mom took to Twitter to share that her 7th grader's class was cancelled because the teacher is reportedly "living in a forest." The teacher, who has apparently absconded to the forest to avoid coronavirus, doesn't have enough internet connectivity there to do her job when the power goes out, which appears to happen with some frequency.

Jenny Feldman, self-described New Yorker who currently resides in the Pacific Northwest, posted the message from her child's 7th grade language arts teacher.

It reads: "I am currently living in the forest, and so when our power goes out, it is for most of the day. My internet (from a hotspot) is enough to respond to messages but not to host a live class."

The message continues: "It is expected that you access today's folder and complete the work, as it is not required for us to have a live class to complete the paragraph. Everything you need is in that folder, and know that I will be responding to any questions you have on Schoolology or in a Teams chat!"

Then she "recommends that everyone attends officer hours tomorrow to check in!"

Feldman, the mom who posted the message, wrote: "Srsly. What are we teaching public school kids about the importance of education right now? The more they see themselves as the last priority, the more they are going to check out."

This 7th grade class is not being taught because the teacher in question has determined that her job, which is to teach 7th grade, is second to her need to live in a place that prevents her from adequately doing her job.

If schools were properly in session, these 7th graders would have an education, not an online drive full of folders and busy work that they are meant to do independently, with only brief check-ins, so long as the teacher's internet connectivity holds.

Remote learning is not school. Virtual class is not school. Group chats cannot replace education. If teachers and schools cannot prioritize students and education over lifestyle choices like living in forests, then parents should have the option of taking the funds for their children and obtaining an education from a school that considers education students to be the top mission.

The education of 7th graders cannot hinge on whether their teacher wants to live in a place where she can access the internet or not.

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