As a Year 12 English teacher for the past seven years, I have always struggled with the constant scrutiny from parents, principals, the government and the media.
But never have I felt so exposed than by the spotlight that is currently being placed on teachers during this period of remote learning.
I have been inundated with countless resources from my school and the department of education, with little to no guidance of how to use them.
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I have been desperately trying to navigate my way through the daunting task of teaching remotely.
I have had parents on the phone highly stressed because their child cannot access the task I have set or join the online meetings I am running.
I have been accused of setting work that is far too hard for their child and I’ve also been labelled as negligent for not challenging another student –both of whom are normally in the same class.
Clearly these parents are unaware of just how much effort and split-second decision making goes into supporting their child in a face-to-face environment – because in the classroom I am able to look after both of their needs.
Whilst I have been secretly delighted that some parents are learning of my frustrations (like how it feels to explain a task three times, in three different ways, so that their child can grasp the concept or understand what is required of them) I am also very sympathetic of their fears; that they feel unable to help their child or that their child is being left behind.
Here’s the thing though – this is how I am made to feel constantly as a Year 12 teacher. Despite being married to the job, I am constantly battling feelings of inadequacy.