Readers Write: No substitute for classroom teaching

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The president of our Port Washington school board, Mrs. Nora Johnson, recently reported that because of the pandemic, her board is “grappling” with a number of very significant and substantial matters.

The top two matters appear to be distance, or remote teaching and the district’s budget for the next school year. Some parents of school children also appear to be grappling with remote teaching.

I was told that at a very recent virtual meeting of our board, that board member Dave Kerpen read out about 20 messages from parents and that every message had to do with problems related to remote teaching.

I can easily believe how complicating remote teaching must be. But, I cannot believe that our Port Washington School District is still grappling with the implementation of remote teaching.

 Newsday and the internet tell me that many dozens of school districts in New York State and outside of our state have already successfully implemented remote teaching.

The wheel has been invented, so I cannot understand why our school district is still grappling with it. It shouldn’t have to. Just ask Great Neck, Manhasset, Roslyn, Jericho or Garden City, how they did it.

 Unfortunately, remote teaching can never be a satisfactory substitute for teaching a group of students in a classroom.

An excellent opinion piece in Newsday, just a few days ago, explained why and it also explained that remote teaching cannot be carried on for too long a period of time.

Again, unfortunately, when the pandemic hit New York, after closing all school buildings, the only choices were to just completely shut down the entire school system, or, to attempt to continue it, by remote teaching. The children cannot greatly benefit from remote teaching, but we have to hope that it’s better than nothing.

 Classroom teaching was invented by the ancient Greeks, about 2,500 years ago. It has worked very well, in all civilized societies, all of the years since. Let’s hope that we will be able to reopen our schools, soon.

 Joel Katz

Port Washington 

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