Across the globe, the 5th of October annually is known as International Teachers’ Day or World Teachers’ Day. A day where we acknowledge and express appreciation for the value that teachers bring into our lives, through the lives of our children. This year, it hits different for me. The theme for World Teacher’s Day this year is ‘Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery.‘
Let me explain why it hits different.
Home-schooling isn’t for everyone
My child Kayden is only 5 years old, he is in Grade 00. He gets bored easily, very easily. For the most of this year, he has been at home due to this pandemic. At this age, it’s not easy to have him fully engaged in a home-schooling routine, nor was it easy for him to highly attentive at very short online classes. If you have a child/children and have experienced home-schooling for the first time during this pandemic, I think that you too, just like me, may have a greater appreciation for teachers.
I’m not going to lie; my patience was tested many times. It often made me wonder how Teachers get by an entire day with an entire classroom full of kids.
It’s not just a classroom full of kids. But its kids that come from all walks of life. There is so much of diversity, habits and personalities that a teacher has to put up with, but they do. Fortunately, Kayden only has 12 kids in his class. Yet during the months of home-schooling, where I felt like such a failure, I would often say to myself, “If I can’t handle one child, my own child, I can only imagine what teachers go through.”
I know the dynamics are different compared to our home environment and there’s also strength in numbers and the positive influence of peers that make lessons in the school environment easier. But still, I maintain and respect that Teachers are special because they get through to our kids in a way that not all of us can.
Whilst we read of many horrific stories of teachers being abusive, there are still many who are passionate about what they do. They treat our kids as if they were their own. But do we appreciate them and if we do, do we show it? Do we show it often enough?
There are so many incidents of bulling, shootings and hi-jacking etc. going on at schools, yet teachers have to manage all of this, they have to deal with the influences around to try to create a safe environment for our kids.
It breaks my heart to know that so many of them, being front-line workers, lost their lives because of their passion to educate our kids. They have left behind their own families, whilst sacrificing their lives during a pandemic to go out there and do what they do best.
Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery
Time has been lost due to this pandemic. Time that we will never get back. Momentum in learning has stifled. Attitudes have been affected. Skills were stretch and adjusted. Some teachers who never worked on a computer nor presented online learning, was suddenly pushed into a corner. They had to embrace the change whether they wanted to or not. They had to adapt and do whatever it took to get the job done. Whether or not they loved to be in front of a camera was irrelevant – it wasn’t a choice. I’m not sure if all parents realise this and appreciate this.
Some kids have not had much or any stimulation at home during the lockdown. Going to school used to be the only source of stimulation for them. Either because both parents were working or because of other domestic challenges.
Teachers have had to make up for this lost time as well. Not just the learning that has been lost in terms of the curriculum but also the attitudes that have been adjusted during the new normal.
For many in less fortunate areas, going to school meant having a meal and the result of the lockdown resulted in many of these kids missing out on such meals.
Teachers as a result of the effects of this pandemic, now have more to deal with. Undernourished kids. Kids who can’t come to school in their full uniform because parents have lost jobs and cannot afford a uniform.
Then there are the kids who have been emotionally affected by parents who could not live together but were forced to, during lockdown – and in doing so, exposed their kids to constant arguments and fights.
These kids, despite the circumstances and there are various, go back to school and it’s their teachers that must accommodate them, nurture them and support them in their learning journey.
It is not easy, it is not easy at all! But they do it. Teachers at the heart of education recovery.
If you’ve never appreciated or shown appreciation to teachers, I hope that this post will inspire you. I know that if I was a teacher, I would certainly want to be told and reminded that I am valued and appreciated.
Actually – it’s a human need to want to feel a sense of appreciation and teachers are human beings too. They too, have lost family members to this pandemic. They too, have been affected by this pandemic like the rest of us.
Let’s raise our hats to the Teachers who make our lives easier by taking on the role to educate our kids. Yes, some of you may argue that they get paid to do it…and yes they do, but it’s not something that just anyone can do…not effectively.
So let’s celebrate Teachers for all that they do and all that they are and all that they offer for and to our kids.
Today may be World Teacher’s Day but you need not only express your appreciation today only – there’s every other day that you have the opportunity to do so.
Think back to the time when you were in school – is there a teacher that left a lasting impression on you, which you remember to this very day? Let me know in the comments.
Feel free to share this post and tag a teacher that deserves recognition.