Virus crisis: An open letter to teachers

 

TEACHERS, we need to talk.

We need to talk about what you have been doing in the last few weeks.

Like many in our community, you are being challenged in a way none of us could have imagined possible.

You have the same fears we all have. You have families to consider. Some of you have health conditions. Some of you have elderly relatives to care for.

And yet, day after day, you have been turning in for work.

For this we, as a community, owe you an enormous debt of gratitude.

It's not just the excellent education you are providing our children. Though that's invaluable.

Keeping calm and carrying on in these most difficult times has done more good than you can imagine.

Children worry too. But you've helped calm them. You've answered their many questions about what's going on in the world right now - and by goodness they never stop asking them.

Many of them have parents who are tired and stressed, because they are healthcare workers, or have lost their jobs.

You've provided those children with some normality when the world around them is beginning to seem frightening and confusing.

You may be too tired right now from juggling work and family to truly realise it, but you don't know how valuable this has been.

In doing so you have shown again something that has always been true, but not often enough acknowledged - that you are not just great educators, but frontline workers, an essential part of the fabric of our community.

Like police and firefighters, and most of all right now health workers, you play an invaluable role at difficult times.

You are called upon to put the community's interests ahead of your own, and you do it.

When the schools are finally closed, as appears imminent, know that you will be sorely missed, most of all by the children.

One of my daughters has her birthday today. She has been desperately hoping her school would still be open. Because that is where she most wants to be on her birthday. To me, that speaks volumes.

The children will lap up the online learning that I know you have been burning the midnight oil to prepare. They will celebrate when school reopens as if it is Christmas morning.

Because that is the value of what you do.

 

 

Keeping schools going so long has been incredibly valuable.
Keeping schools going so long has been incredibly valuable.

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I read a comment this week that some teachers feel they have been treated like glorified "babysitters" during the current crisis.

As a parent, I winced when I read it.

Most of us who send our children to your classrooms know you are so very much more than that.

We know how hard you work. We know the difference you are making to the lives of our children.

We know what you have been doing in the last few weeks and we know it has not been easy.

And yes, we need to talk about it.

Because there's something you should know.

That the noisy few who complain about everything don't represent all of us.

That most parents actually feel deep gratitude.

That there's only one thing we really want to say, and that's thank you.

Originally published as An open letter to Gold Coast teachers


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