Just tonight I heard again, from someone close to me; you have so many holidays, teachers have it easy.
Well let me spell it out a little just so everyone is clear..
The two week break we just had… was it a break? In fact I don’t believe there was a day we as teachers were not planning or preparing for the school term as we see it now…. COVID-19 and all…
Have a break we are told. Do nothing. Focus on your own family. That’s what many think we did.
However, let’s put it into perspective…
We were marking, yes those assessments which we received in week 6 or 7 of term 1 but due to the chaos of the term we had to delay marking them.
On top of that…….online learning. Some of us taught up until the last Friday of term one. Some had student free days to plan for what was ahead. Who’s to know, it was all so chaotic and unknown!
Each day of the holidays it was teacher meetings or e-mails in preparation of what was to come. Hours and hours of planning. Who was to know, as parents often you do not see the work behind the scenes. Some do, and I thank you for being patient and understanding, others please understand the time it takes!
I am both a parent and a teacher so know it both ways!
I am trying to manage home schooling a 14 year old, as well as teach and prepare online lessons. We know it is tough. Nothing has prepared us for this.
However; anyone who says, you have holidays, time and always time to prepare and we should be thankful. Is living in a world of denial and complete ignorance.
Let’s just say those people are naive, and actually have no idea what teachers do. For children as a whole and in fact their own children.
Today for example – Monday week 2. Let’s spell out how the day went.
It started with a briefing for all staff. Yes we do start before 8am despite what everyone thinks. A catch up to see how we are doing. Us as teachers and staff. As a team of human beings. Checking in to make sure we are doing okay…. who would have thought!
Into tutor group we go and the day begins.
Period one – 65 minutes of talking to a screen. Sometimes the students answer sometimes they don’t. All we wait for is a voice. A face. Gosh we miss it as much as they do!! Class is taught through sharing screens, talking to a computer and drawing on the screen. A success?? Who knows. Are they there the whole time? Are they engaged? How do we tell when all we have is an internet connection and an initial in the screen.
A 10 minute break – to check in on the 14 year old, make sure she is online and doing what she needs to. Mind you had she had breakfast.. actually have I?
Next class begins, marking a roll of 94, usually takes no time at all, 30 minutes later I think I have it! Who would have thought. After that I deal, or we deal with, the 100’s of e-mails and texts and teams chats which have come through! It’s multi tasking at its best. Who is present and who is not.
How are they doing mentally? What about those who were mentally fragile already, now this?
The toilet, what is that. I think I only realised I was busting at about 12:30pm. That’s as after 3L of water, 4 cups of tea and 1 cup of coffee!
In those ‘spares’ we all are told we have to ‘relax’, well I was planing, preparing lessons, populating the online learning, updating the system, contacting parents and students and more.
So please… bear with us. We are learning the new way of learning. We know it’s tough! It’s tough on all of us!
I became a teacher to be in front of the 30 faces. Not in front of a screen. I miss the classroom as much as you as parents do, as much as your students do and as much as the ‘normal’ does.
However, time’s are not normal. We are doing the best we can!
Parenting, home schooling and also being teachers!
So please, all I ask is next time you think we have too many holidays, realise we never have them. In fact we use the time to ensure we are the best we can be for your students/children when they return!
We are exhausted! We are tired! We are just as done as you and your students are! However, we are doing the best we can! Always!