What would you say to the education system?
Closing all schools has led to widespread disruption. The emotions, the sleepless nights, as well as the unprecedented levels of anxiety.
To all teachers
Dear teachers, I want to write to you to tell you how proud I am of you and our profession. Our moral purpose to get the best out of every child is ‘currently on hold’, but this hasn’t stopped each of you from reaching out to our young people in some shape or form. You have clearly demonstrated that you work with passion on a 24-hour basis, bringing the best to the ‘classroom’, each and every day, whether this is remotely or currently in some shape or form, conducted in some of our special schools and alternative providers.
All our teachers make the most of each opportunity to educate all children at whatever cost. Your energy and sense of perspective are why so many of teachers, love teaching. You genuinely enjoy being in the classroom, sharing a love of your subjects, using what time you have left from the busy working week to learn new information so that you can plan better lessons to inspire. You are dependable and capable, bringing the complex curriculum to life to help level the playing field.
Some of our colleagues, tragically, have lost their lives, doing all that they could to keep our classrooms working. Know this, they have played their part in history and our country will remember it. So have you. In years to come, our country will remember the teachers of 2020.
Teaching is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding places any adult can work, yet you still uphold the highest of society’s values. Credibility. Although the media has challenged our moral purpose about ‘being closed’, we all know that we have very much been ‘open for business’, working hard to offer a remote curriculum, to teach and feed vulnerable families, knocking on doors around the community, putting our own lives at risk. I suspect like you, becoming a teacher was the best decision you ever made. In fact, every day my association with teaching just gets stronger and in my work today in schools, this passion is shifting over from a career working with pupils to all of our teachers. Do what you can to support one another…
Whilst millions of pupils mourn the loss of their friendships, thousands of others will be discovering Tik Tok or having the opportunity to ‘play’ and be creative at home. Although many of our young people will have the ‘feeling bored’ sentiment more often than not, we must encourage them to use this time wisely to read, to learn and connect with their family. Our young people will never be given this time again and although millions will be delighted that they have escaped our ‘boring lessons’ and endless amounts of homework deadlines and detentions, there will be many who miss the structure of school.
And to the ½ million or so pupils who have lost their one opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned in end-of-year examinations. Rest assured that our education profession will safeguard your wellbeing for the future, whatever educational pathway you take next. Trust our teachers to assess classroom performance and believe in our examination bodies to conduct due diligence. Just because things are different this year, does not mean that our teachers never assessed your classwork before. When August 2020 arrives, don’t make dramas out of minor events. Speak with your school in the normal way, and keep your emotional energy in check. Be optimistic. See problems as opportunities to learn, to respond to changing circumstances and develop the resilience you will need for your entire life.
Finally, to our school families. Over the last 6 weeks, you have been tested in all shapes and form. From homeschooling to protecting yourselves from illness, to finding some quiet time whilst also wearing a multitude of hats – to entertain, to feed and to keep your children safe. I suspect many of you will have had great admiration for the teaching profession, and others will have had their faith challenged or renewed. Whatever the difficulties you have faced or the perceptions you may have had of all of our schools, know that each and every teacher wants your child back in the classroom today. Together, our teachers have demonstrated that we can all work together to provide all children, not just with an education, but with the social care, support and future our world needs. Thank you for playing your part.
At this challenging time, I encourage you to continue to work with patience, courage and maintain your constant focus on teaching and learning. Keep up the incredible work.
I am proud to call myself a teacher.