I added my post to Food 4 Thought for the first time last week and I was so happy to be chosen by Floss for the Spotlight post. When I read the prompt for this week I was not sure if I would be able to contribute but below are my rambling thoughts.
As I write this I am on the eve of starting online delivery of high school classes. It is something that I, along with many teachers, have worried about, spent copious amounts of time trying to prepare for and probably a similar amount of time debating about the political reasons for being thrust into this very uncomfortable space. Something many people don’t realize is that, in Australia at least, becoming qualified to be a teacher takes four years of university study. During those four years all of our training is based around being in front of our students. Suddenly in the space of a few weeks we have been asked to turn that upside down and implement this new way of delivery. Yes some of the principles are the same but for many of us, myself included, technology is unfamiliar and frightening. Yet here we are being forced to use some fairly new tech in ways that it probably wasn’t really designed to be used.
Consider also that most teachers, the good ones especially, don’t choose to teach because they are full of knowledge that they feel compelled to impart to the world. We teach because we love kids. We want to nurture a young person and facilitate their growth into the best version of themselves. In the process of making that happen we form relationships and genuine, deep attachments to our students. To be suddenly forced to only see and interact with them through a screen cuts our souls.
So on this eve of remote learning my hopes are that I can still do my job well. That I don’t lose those little sheep that sit quietly in class confused and unsure of how to ask for help. The ones that really can only be helped when someone sits with them and says “Let’s do this together” while the rest of the class gets on with it. They are the ones that will suffer because if you ask them directly they will say they are OK. Only when you sit and talk with them do you see that they aren’t. How does remote learning work for them?
My dreams are similar. My youngest child is in her final year of high school. For her this is supposed to be the year of last sporting carnivals, reflective retreats, formals (prom) and savoring time with friends among the chaos that is assessment and final exams. Much of this will be taken away from her, and many others. It is not as dramatic as losing your parent to Covid-19 and not being able to be there as they take their last breath. But it is sad nonetheless.
I have spent seventeen years raising a unicorn. I dream that this setback will not stop her from being as fabulous as she has the potential to be.
This post is part of Food 4 Thought Friday. You can read other posts by clicking on the image below.