NewsLocal News


‘This has been a really hard year’: Jordan Education Association President talks COVID-19

Posted at 5:19 PM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-11 19:19:09-05

WEST JORDAN, Utah — The Jordan School district has more than 3,400 people quarantining as of Wednesday evening. The board plans to meet for an emergency meeting to discuss the surge in COVID-19 cases in almost all of the district’s middle and high schools.

It’s been a very hard year for teachers, Kelly Griffen, Jordan Education Association President, said.

“Teachers are really worn out. They are burnt out like it was April or May like we were working 9 months rather than 10 weeks,” she said.

Teachers are dealing with teaching in-person, online and in addition dealing with all the make-up work from kids, Griffen said.

“I feel like a lot of people are expecting our teachers to be teaching like it’s a normal year and they are forgetting that our teachers are human,” she said.

Read: Utah sees spike in teacher resignations due to COVID-19

Jordan School Board member Darrell Robinson said he wishes he could find a way to help teachers.

“A lot of teachers have reached out to me and they are just at their breaking point. They’ve just had as much as they possibly can take,” he said.

There’s no simple fix, Robinson admits.

“You’d like to say if we moved everyone online than all the teachers struggles would go away, but the fact is our teachers haven’t received the professional development, they don’t know how to use the tools,” he said.

Although teachers have gone through training over the summer and are working very hard, online teaching is different, Robinson said.

Read: What have teachers learned from two weeks of distance learning?

The uncertainty of schools moving online or staying in-person is very difficult, Griffen admitted.

“Online lessons are really hard. They take twice as much time to prepare and it’s a real burden for teachers to switch and yet we are being expected to switch instantaneously,” she said.

The Jordan Education Association would like to see the board set some criteria for when schools move to online rather than have an emergency meeting and make the decision late at night with little notice.

“We would really, really like to see the board make some set standards, some set protocols and stick to them,” Griffen said.

It’s something that’s been discussed, Robinson said, but the model doesn’t work as a one size fits all.

“The fact that we have an emergency meeting and we look at every school and we turn over every leaf of every school is actually a good thing,” he said.

For the latest COVID-19 information in the school district, click here.