Today, I returned to school with most of my students after what seems like an eternity. I retweeted this quote on twitter last week as a reminder to myself as a stepped back into what seemed like a media swirl of information overload and colleagues who were anxious and stressed about what could be to come.
This morning, as we let children chat for a good 20 minutes to reconnect, I reflected on what I was thankful for. I had students who returned safe and happy, others happily worked from home and handed things in on a digital learning platform from afar. As an Australian teacher, I know we are fortunate, as I recently watched American teachers pack up their classrooms for the year and gather together students resources knowing they wouldn’t be back this year. I know this school year is unlike any other I will ever experience. As a grade partner to a first year teacher I feel like there is no way to explain what is so far from the regular.
On the 25th of March I wrote a blog titled a letter from a teacher. At a time in the world I had never experienced before I wanted to record my feelings while documenting the world at the time. Here we are nearly two months later and I am posting the same graphic again. There are now four additional country-wide closures but most notably, Greenland has reopened their schools.
Currently, there is 4.3 million cases of corona virus in the world and nearing 300,000 deaths world wide. In Australia we make up 98 of these deaths. As no corner of the Earth has been left untouched, it is often easier to come from a place of anxiousness than a place of thankfulness.
May we remember as we welcome our students back slowly that their world has been turned upside down even more than our own. That while we are grappling with the news every night, stop to remember how a 10 year old would be processing this information. That when we ask them to put on hand sanitiser on as they walk through the gate, that we also remember the smile and a good morning first. Let us not get bogged down in what has not been done but remember the little human in front of us who is struggling just as much as we are.
We are teachers. We don’t not need to be told how to teach. However I have never taught during a pandemic. The world is different which makes our children different. Compassion is everything right now.