(I wrote this today in response to angry parent comments about online learning)
Open Letter to Parents from a Teacher,
I have been a teacher for 18 years. I have worked through typhoons and snowstorms. I have rushed students out of buildings as earthquakes shook us.
I have been through a lot in 18 years.
I have been through a lot, but nothing like COVID19.
None of us have.
Parents, teachers, administrators, siblings, health care providers….no one.
I am entering my 9th week of online learning.
I KNOW it isn’t as good as face-to-face.
My administrators KNOW it isn’t as good as face-to-face.
We are doing our best. We are really trying as hard as we can to give your children the best education we can in our current situation.
We can all agree to that.
We love your children. That’s why we get up early in the morning to make lessons for them. Make videos, check activities, post comments, host Zoom meetings, have team meetings via Zoom. ALL….while coaching our own children through their own lessons.
Maybe our own children haven’t seen friends in months. Maybe they haven’t had any contact with children to play with, in months. Maybe their learning styles aren’t suited to online learning. Maybe there are tears every day in our own houses. OR……Airbnb’s.
Maybe we can’t get back to our own homes. Maybe we can’t get back to our beloved pets who our children say they miss every night.
We support our administrators because they HAVE our backs and they HAVE the backs of your kids.
No one knows what to do in these times.
Everything changes every day!
Yes….we wanted to come back to our schools, but flights were limited and ticket prices blew up. Maybe you could get back, but we are teachers….we don’t make lots of money. We cannot afford $3000 plane tickets on a single income with four family members.
Maybe we felt it still wasn’t safe for our families to come back to their school.
We love your children. That is why we are staring at our phones all day long. Getting feedback, meeting with colleagues, getting ideas from teachers around the world. Watching endless YouTube tutorials on how to use Zoom, becoming Seesaw Ambassadors.
I know being online SUCKS…I KNOW….my eyesight has been damaged as well. Things are getting blurry for me as well. I hate looking at a device so much.
Your administration team loves your kids too! That’s why they hired such an amazing team of teachers.
This is happening EVERYWHERE now…
Schools across the world are closed and educators are having to adopt online learning.
They have no idea what to do.
They are fumbling in the dark as are their administrators.
This is ALL NEW!
They are reaching out to people like me at SIS who have been in the trenches for 9 weeks, educating your children. Children I love.
My life is currently in shambles. We made a choice to leave where we were because we wanted our children to be safe. Now they are safe, but we cannot get back home because of COVID19.
I love your children. They are my students.
I lose SLEEP every night thinking about them.
I WISH things were the way they were.
Until then…I will continue my online learning.
Don’t be angry at me…
Don’t be angry at my Vice Principals, my Principals, my Head Master…
They love your children too….that’s why they hired me and my amazing colleagues.
None of us wanted this…
We are all trying our best in uncharted waters.
Please be calm parents.
We’ve got your back!
If you have complaints….please be civil and clear.
Your child’s teacher
About the Podcaster/Writer:
Kevin O’Shea is a PYP/Nature/Outdoor educator currently based in Beijing, China. He is a father, husband, and avid conservationist. Kevin is an advocate for outdoor play and nature education. He is the host of the long-running Just Japan Podcast and the BRAND NEW Making Better Teachers Podcast!
Facebook: Making Better Teachers