A Teacher’s Perspective amidst Covid-19

An insight into the world of teachers

During the past week, I have done a huge amount of reading and research as I have tried to make sense of this pandemic using my logical brain.

However, the brain that governs my heart has been searching for answers to this crisis from the perspective of a teacher.

I have felt compelled to pen these thoughts on paper, hence this blog post. My hope is that as you read this, you will have insight into the world of the teachers. Just as teachers have tried to understand what it is like for parents navigating this crisis.

For many teachers, our entire careers as we have always known them, have been flipped upside down as a result of the global outbreak of Covid-19.

Many teachers in South Africa gave the children in their class a hug or a high five as they said goodbye on Friday, 13th March 2020. Very much expecting to see them again the following Monday, as we always do.

 

Little did we know that life would change so much in just a few days.

Teachers’ lives change within hours

A State of Disaster declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa at 8pm on Sunday, 15th March in response to the Covid-19 outbreak in our very own country changed everything.

Our teacher lives as we knew them did a ‘three sixty’ in a matter of hours.

Our hearts are sore as we miss the children and feel uncertain of just when we will see them again. This is not a stress-free time for us at all.

You become a teacher because of a genuine interest in children and a deep love for these precious beings.

Parents, your children become our children.

Even when they leave our classes to move on to the next teacher, they remain close to our hearts. We never stop caring for or worrying about them.

So many people assume that because we are not at school, teachers are on holiday. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We still have big responsibilities!

Having seen the response of teachers the world over to this crisis, I am acutely aware that teachers are indeed resilient and exceptional people!

 

Globally, teachers have been asked to completely change the way they would normally teach in a matter of hours and days. This was a lot to process and required a mind shift, pushing us to new limits.

Sheer determination and commitment were the order of the day.

The Broadacres Team rise to the challenge

In just four days, the team at Broadacres Academy came together to formulate a plan so that learning could continue, despite the big challenges imposed on all of us by Covid-19.

From designing superb learning packs for the children to work through over the next three weeks, to learning how to create an online platform for learning in just a few days, I have realised what a special and unique type of person a teacher is.

Teachers’ hearts know no bounds. The challenge was taken with both hands and tackled with immense creativity and resourcefulness across the grades.

What a team of outstanding people we have at Broadacres Academy.

Willing to go above and beyond to provide the children with exactly what they need to get them through this uncertain time.

The teachers are still hard at work each day, managing their class groups remotely with such love and commitment. Constantly searching for extra ideas to help parents.

Making themselves available to answer questions on a daily basis. Communicating and reassuring the parents that they are doing so well in their new role of ‘teacher at home’.

We’re proud of what has been achieved

To our team of brilliant teachers, I salute you! As always, you rose to the big challenge presented to you.

We can all feel incredibly proud of what has been achieved.

Thank you seems so insignificant at a time like this. You are all one in a million and we appreciate you. The children in your care are blessed beyond measure to have you at the helm.

Amidst the chaos of making sure the children in your class have what they need over this time, many of you are also wearing your ‘mommy hat’ too.

Juggling these responsibilities and making sure your own children are learning at home every day, as well as running your homes.

You are the unsung heroes.

 

Many people who have under-valued educators in the past, have realised that teachers are indeed a critical and fundamental part of a child’s life.

As a result, you have gained new-found respect and the admiration of many for your immense worth.

In the craziness of this time we find ourselves in, remember to take time for yourselves. To do what you need to do to relax and when you do, sit back, breathe in deeply and feel proud of what you have achieved.

Parents and Teachers wear ‘new hats’

In a social media post for Broadacres Academy last weekend, I wrote that life as we have known it has changed hugely in just a week.

All in our community and across the world are navigating a ‘new normal’.

We are having to wear many ‘new hats’ that we have never worn before.

 

To our special group of parents, be kind to yourselves through this time and celebrate the gift of time this global crisis has granted us.

There will be times when your children will drive you mad and you will be tested. I encourage you to be mindful of the many perfect moments you will have with your children during this 21-day lockdown period.

Surrender to your vulnerability, be brave, be kind and love one another – we will come out stronger!

In the words of our esteemed President,

“In the days, weeks and months ahead our resolve, our resourcefulness and our unity as a nation will be tested as never before. I call on all of us, one and all, to play our part. To be courageous, to be patient, and above all, to show compassion. Let us never despair. For we are a nation at one, and we will surely prevail. May God protect our people. Nkosi Sikelel’ IAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso.”

May God watch over you and your families at this time. Thinking of you and sending so much love your way.

Comments (1)

WENDY Herschel

Wow Tam, this is so beautifully written and captures the essence of the many hats we as teachers wear. You are an incredible person, mother, friend and most definitely one of the most dedicated teachers I have had the pleasure of teaching with – even though it was so long ago. I feel blessed to have you as a friend.

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