It’s term one. You are just over halfway. Your students know you and you know them. You are excited to see where the year will take you, learning together, laughing and having fun.
Classrooms can have a sense of lightness about them, and it’s about this time of the year you find that magical balance where fun and learning happen together. For most of us, teachers and students, our classroom is our happy place. Our safe place.
It’s always the same, reliable, constant. You know what to expect, who will be there and how to act. Your students know this too. Together you have all built a space where you are happy to spend the rest of the year together, not without its moments of course, but whatever happens, you know you will make it, you always do.
But no matter how well you prepared your classroom, your students or yourself for the best year in 2020, no-one ever told you to prepare for this moment. You are not prepared for this moment. No-one is.
It’s an ugly, messy, scary, unsure moment…
It’s normally about this time of term you would find yourself thinking about getting ready for parent-teacher interviews, whether or not you have every child figured out by now, and how you are going to connect with the last few students who are holding back, and it is about now you might start to realise holidays are close – yay!
Only this isn’t happening.
This isn’t what you are thinking. Instead, you are thinking about how you can stay healthy, germ-free, virus-free. You are worried about how your students will stay virus-free too.
Did they wash their hands after they went to the toilet?
This isn’t a new thought for teachers, kids aren’t exactly the cleanest… ‘I only do it because the teacher says I have to, not because I want to’, my 5-year-old nephew told my sister on the weekend as they were practising how to wash hands correctly.
Is that just a sniffle?
Where’s Tina today – I hope she’s ok?
OMG, he just sneezed on me – what if I now have it?
Today, these are your thoughts.
These are teachers’ thoughts all over the country as they stand in their classroom and try their best at ‘social distancing’ while maintaining a happy, supportive and safe learning environment for our students because that’s what teachers do right?
Well, teachers, we hear you. I hear you. Happy, safe, supportive. That is what you do best. Now. In this moment. Do as you always do. It’s hard, it’s scary, it’s ugly, but this is all we have right now.
Right now, this is the moment. We are in the middle of it, and you are at the front line.
Lean on each other.
Remind each other it’s OK.
Do the absolute best you can.
Look after each other.
Look after you.