Welcome to our new and improved website! I wish this were under different terms as we all grapple daily with the five W’s. BTA continues to support you and enforce the rights and protections we have under our current MOU and contract. Now more than ever it is important to have our union in place. I hope the few who are not members will grow to see that what they are able to enjoy is a result of all of their colleagues’ joint efforts to support unionism.
Today we move forward and practice safe measures until COVID-19 retracts, and it becomes safe for us to return to a new sense of normalcy. BTA is here for all of our members and in spite of our imperfection, we will rise and show our Burbank community what consummate educators look like as we resume education through a distance learning platform.
I look forward to the day we can meet again in person. We will celebrate! Until then, be well and stay well.
We are grateful to you for putting in so much time to make distance learning work for all our students. I know well intentioned ideas have popped up especially when it comes to Fridays and SEL activities. I do appreciate the willingness to do even more for our students, but we must remember that not all things are equal. Some of our colleagues may have things in place that are working for them and their students. We must find ways not to impose more work in the name of being compassionate or a team player. We must also remember that there is a key factor needed to ensure that our students are also getting what they need to succeed in school and that is our parents. Most are true partners, but there are also some who are struggling. We continue to ask our District to provide the community outreach necessary to help us do our job in the classroom. Otherwise, we run the risk of not just feeling burnout but experiencing what is called compassion fatigue.
I have copied an excerpt from NEA Today by: Wendy Turner, NEA member published: 09/23/2020
“When people are exposed to toxic or chronic stress, they can be in “flight, fight, or freeze” mode more often than usual, which makes learning difficult. Students who are impacted by trauma need safe and supportive learning environments, positive adult relationships, and the space to learn how to regulate their difficult emotions.
Guess who provides this to students? That is right, it’s the educators and other school staff who work with them day in and day out. Many adults are committed to being that support and helping students build resilience, but they, too, are at risk for what is known as secondary trauma.
Secondary traumatic stress, or compassion fatigue, is common in first responders, educators, and other school-based staff that support students and families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines it as “a set of observable reactions to working with people who have been traumatized.”
HHS further states that the “symptoms of compassion fatigue may include feelings of isolation, anxiety, dissociation, physical ailments, and sleep disturbances. Additionally, compassion fatigue is associated with a sense of confusion, helplessness, and a greater sense of isolation from supporters than is seen with burnout.”
Let us continue to reach out to each other and listen to each other and only then will we be able to address the needs of our students.
In conclusion, in moments of darkness, light brings hope and the ability to remember, commemorate, and celebrate. Tonight, is the first night of Hanukkah and my wish is that your life fills up with the light of menorah candles.