The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. The feature image used is a stock photo.
Dear Teachers and parents,
In case you haven’t already worked it out, 2020 is NOT your time to shine. I mean it.
Ask any teacher in an Australian school and, if they have the energy to speak, they’ll tell you Term 1 was B-A-N-A-N-A-S. In my fifteen years of teaching, I’ve never known another like it. I carried (and often dropped) my own emotional load and tried to help students manage theirs. Sometimes we tackled the curriculum.
One night, taking a little break, I happened on a Facebook post by a parent from the school my own child attends. This mother was feeling overwhelmed trying to help her kids learn at home. They were missing deadlines and the stress was mounting. The comments echoed her frustration. “There has to be a better way. The school needs to sort this out,” someone declared.
I imagined a barrage of angry emails to the school and felt my heart breaking for those teachers.
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I could certainly sympathise with the parents. But I hated the thought of them taking up virtual pitch forks against teachers who were already exhausted. Staff who’d endured endless debates about school closures, carried out with little regard for their health, safety or morale. Teachers who had been given literally zero time to prepare online content – and were madly scrambling to do so whilst continuing to run face-to-face classes. The teacher in me became super-defensive.
Then the parent in me got her turn.
The tables were turned by a notice from my child’s teacher. A major assessment was due in two days. He had not started it and there was no way he would finish in time. How had I missed that? How had my son missed that?