Working from the classroom or home should be an option for teachers, according to the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Union.
TPS leaders said their teachers work the best from their classrooms, even though those classrooms are empty right now because students are learning from home. The teacher’s union said some teachers prefer to choose.
Shawna Mott-Wright is the President of Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association and said with COVID-19 numbers rising, both in the district and across the state, many teachers said they want to work from home.
“If I can give them my best from my home, why then do you cause unnecessary anxiety by forcing me to teach from somewhere else?” Mott-Wright said.
Right now, teachers and staff are supposed to report to their building. Some teachers are working from home because of medical reason, but now if a teacher simply chooses to be at home, it counts as a sick day.
Mott-Wright said teachers should have a choice because many do not feel safe going to the classroom and being exposed to other people in the building.
“There’s plenty of space for people to be able to be spaced out to be able to do their work and not need to have interaction with others,” said Superintendent Deborah Gist.
The district said they’ll look at each request on a case-by-case basis and encourage employees to talk to their site supervisors.
“I want to be the most effective I can be for my children in my class, and I should be treated like the professional I am,” said Mott-Wright.
Former TPS teacher and current parent Christina Byrne told the school board this week that she agrees, teachers should be able to work from home whenever they want if that makes them more comfortable.
“If the message is, I will decide where you can best teach from that would make me feel very, very disrespected,” Byrne said.
Last week’s board meeting agenda listed 40 employees had quit in the past few weeks.
TPS said COVID-19 safety measures are being taken in all of their buildings.
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