In person learning may be back, but virtual learning hasn’t gone anywhere. As a teacher in Davenport Community School District, I am to monitor my students’ behavior as they use an education technology software — Lexia — which is to teach them reading comprehension, grammar and vocabulary. In a 45-minute class, this is to be up to 30 minutes of instruction. Reading our novel is to take no more than 10 minutes of class. This is only, I’m assured, until the software can tell me the students’ deficits. At that time, the software will generate a lesson for me to teach the students.
Teachers have no say in the novels we read or the curriculum we teach or the software on the Chromebooks. The district does not trust our ability to know our students and what they need. They do not trust us to teach. We can no longer pass down the novels that inspired us to pursue the subject. Those things are chosen by a nameless bureaucrat at the central office. And now, we have been told that we are no longer allowed to print, all because students are to be using their Chromebooks for both reading and writing assignments.
We all struggled through the last year-and-a-half. But to react by alienating teachers from the subject we chose to teach, is not the answer. Our labor in the classroom feels robotic now, and I am willing to risk my job for things to change.