Forum, Feb. 18: Teachers work very hard for their students

Published: 2/18/2021 8:49:28 AM
Modified: 2/18/2021 8:49:26 AM
Teachers work very hard for their students

This is in response to Sarah Crysl Akhtar’s Forum letter (“Privileged teachers remain unwilling to work in person,” Feb. 5): I don’t know where she is getting her information.

My daughter is a teacher who goes into her school every day. As students return, teachers will be required to teach the in-person students as well as the ones choosing to remain on remote learning. The teachers will be expected to sanitize their rooms between each class.

My daughter has often bought supplies out of her own pocket, delivered supplies to students who couldn’t get to the school, provided her time to be a class adviser and a coach, and is always available to help her students. She loves them and works very hard for them, and I believe she is typical of most of our teachers. And for this privilege she is basically paid minimum wage and her position is not guaranteed for next year due to budget cuts.

I agree that grocery workers, teachers and all front-line workers should be vaccinated now. But please, let’s not add compromising their health to the list of everything our teachers do for their students.


White River Junction

Supporting Sharon Harkay for Thetford Selectboard

Last year, Sharon Harkay of Thetford Center ran for a one-year seat on the Selectboard to complete the term of a deceased board member. This year, she has decided to run for a vacant two-year seat, and I’m writing to encourage all Thetford residents to vote for her again.

In the past year, she has filled her role on the Selectboard very seriously and competently. She has made a point of looking deeply into every issue. She has gone out into the community to ask residents how they feel and what they would like to see done. She has gone beyond her friends and neighbors in order to speak to the people most affected by each issue. In Selectboard meetings, she has frequently played devil’s advocate, asking for clarification, details and more discussion, so every topic can be addressed from as many points of view as possible.

I’m guessing her long career as a high school English teacher, dealing with adolescents, their parents, and the bureaucracy of the school and district provided an unexpectedly appropriate training for questioning, listening, analyzing, synthesizing and making decisions while working within a strict and sometimes paltry budget. It also made her good at learning new rules and procedures that surround her job on the Selectboard.

Whatever the source, Sharon Harkay has used her experience well this past year, and I think Thetford would do well to take advantage of it for at least another term.


Thetford Center

Disappointed at proposal for Faulkner Park

As a resident of Woodstock and a daily user of Faulkner Park, I am disappointed in the proposal to overturn the directive of Marianne Faulkner’s trust and will to keep the park privately owned, tax-exempt and admission-free for the benefit of the public for the quiet enjoyment of an in-town, accessible park.

Her intent would be seriously compromised by having it become a town-managed park. Doing so would give one pause in the future to leave a bequest of any kind for the benefit of the public, if others could decide that their interests were more important.



Trump undeserving of pardon

I read Wayne Gersen’s op-ed column in the Sunday Valley News proposing that Donald Trump be pardoned for his actions, which, as the column indicated, were largely political. (“The speech I’d like to hear Joe Biden give,” Jan. 31).

But this is the same person who approved of separating children from their parents and keeping them in cages. Is this really the sort of person who deserves a pardon? How soon we forget.



An amusing malapropism

In the context of reading Daniel Menaker’s quite amusing book, The African Svelte: Ingenious Misspellings That Make Surprising Sense, I found a malapropism in a recent VtDigger article pretty amusing (“Return to play carries risk,” Feb. 11). Specifically, the story quoted Vermont state epidemiologist Dr. Patsy Kelso as saying that Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore “did not have a fulsome analysis” from the Vermont Department of Health’s epidemiology team (emphasis added).

“Fulsome,” a term that has been used to refer to the figures of well-endowed women, means characterized by abundance; generous in amount. The use of it here gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “flattening the curve.”



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