|Published by Sarah Bourne on Wed, 24 Jun 2020 00:00|
I expect we can all remember a significant teacher, or indeed several of them, from our own school days. The fact that I can still recall the names of most of my teachers from primary school shows what a remarkable influence they were on my young life, and many of my subject teachers at secondary school are also etched into my memory as people who inspired me with a life-long love of learning. I still look forward to attending any training course nowadays because it gives me pleasure to expand my knowledge!
The past few months of lockdown have presented enormous challenges for schools, both staff and pupils alike. Re-designing lesson plans from delivery in classrooms to activities suitable for distance learning is remarkably time-consuming for teachers, as I know from more than 25 years of teaching before I was ordained as a priest. And pupils miss seeing their friends and developing their skills together in a classroom environment. Add to this the number of schoolchildren who do not have ready access to electronic devices and the internet for home learning, and we can see how devastating the impact of corona virus has been on the entire school population.
However, asking teachers to give up part of their coming summer holiday seems a strange request. Most teachers I know already spend a considerable part of their holiday preparing for the next term, and they have still been working through the weeks of lockdown, providing on-line tuition and specially designed activities, offering pupil and parent support, attending remote parents’ meetings, and running extra-curricular activities via Zoom, even though they have not been able to offer face-to-face teaching since lockdown started in March. Teaching is a vocation, but even those following a vocation should be allowed time off to recharge their batteries in preparation for the next season.
A Teaching Fantasy by Margaret Hatcher (an American teacher)
Ideas and words are my business.
I toss them into the air
and watch them float
as Autumn leaves
(though with much less color and grace).
They float around your heads,
drift in piles on your desktops,
glide along your sleeves
and whisper – dance
around your ears.
one may catch your attention,
and inspire you with its color –
at least for a season.
We at St Mary’s Church are incredibly proud of our church primary school with its leadership team and staff who have been working tirelessly to support pupils and provide lessons in a safe environment. As a governor, I know how wonderfully committed the Head and staff of St Mary’s Primary School are to learning and transformation. Let us remember to thank God for our school and its positive influence on our community, and to pray for all teachers and pupils through these difficult times.
Sarah Bourne – 24th June 2020 email@example.com