Transcript for NYC schools chancellor on reopening schools in the fall
We want to somehow turn to our next guest, who, less than two months ago, made history, became the first black woman to lead New York City public schools, the nation's largest school system of course. It makes sense that I just said we're in third grade so it makes sense that we're talking to a teacher right now. The chancellor of the New York City public education, meisha porter. Welcome, chancellor. Thanks for being with us. And it is teacher appreciation week. I mentioned you were a teacher, you were once an English teacher actually and you now of course run that school as chancellor, among others. We talked a lot about, during this pandemic, what it's been like for the parents, home schooling their children and definitely getting a new found appreciation for said teachers, but what has it been like for teachers over this past year or so? Yes, thank you so much. And so I'm also a parent, so I know what our parents have been going through as well, but our teachers have been so amazing throughout this pandemic. It has been extraordinarily difficult. But they have re-created their classrooms, they have learned new technologies. They've been so amazing through this time. So I'm just so thankful for what they've done throughout the pandemic. And all eyes on the fall, are all kids here in New York going to be going back to school full time? My hope and my goal is to get all of our students and all of our teachers and all of our staff back in person full-time, but in New York City, as we've done throughout this entire pandemic, we are going to continue to follow the science. A lot has been talked about where our students are right now, given this past year. How far are they behind? And what can you do to get them back up to speed? We know that what's going to be really important in bringing our school system back is also that we address and identify the support and emotional needs for our students and we are excited in New York City to be adding 500 new social workers but we will be doing a lot of important work to build academic skills and move our students forward. This is a really important moment and nurturing and building the whole student as a learner is going to be really important coming out of the pandemic. I know you're new on the job here, but on behalf of every single school student here in New York, I've got a bone to pick with you. You all are canceling snow days. You know this is coming. It's not a bone, though. It's not a bone. You're canceling snow days? Even on a snow day, there's ten inches of snow on the ground outside, the kids can't go to school, you're going to tell them, stay at home, but you still have to do remote learning, you're canceling snow days? We are not canceling, we are leveraging what we've learned from this pandemic, we're leveraging new technology, and what I can promise you is that all of our teachers will make sure our students have so much fun and get out in that snow. But also I have to tell you, in New York City, there have been very few snow days. I went to school here. I remember maybe one or two. One or two? Okay. But we relish those one or two. Please. I am talking to you like I'm in second grade. I'm a grown man here. You are. Listen, the first big snow, T.J., you have to meet me, we're going to do some remote learning and then we're going to have some fun in the snow. How about that? Snow angels. I want to see snow angels. Okay, Ms. Porter, you are clearly a teacher and educator. And you know how to talk about it. My parents are educators and you sound just like my folks. Congratulations, it's really good to have you here and good luck and I will take you up on that snow day, all right? I look forward to it.
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