How to Take Care of our Teachers During a Global Pandemic
Whether you are an educating body or a concerned parent, let’s do something positive to support our teachers.
Many of our teachers have been getting up, going to work, and putting in a full shift, all through this pandemic. While hospital staff still need to work, teachers still need to show up to school buildings to take care of their children. Teachers are an essential cog in the wheel of care we are currently operating under. Without their support underpinning our nursing staff, we would be in a far worse situation.
We believe that there has never been a better time to evaluate teacher wellbeing. Not only to evaluate it, in fact, but to investigate ways that we can improve it. It takes a strength of will that not all of us have, to continue working under the pressures we are facing right now as a society. It’s time we started to reward the everyday heroes of the pandemic.
Teachers are Under Pressure
It isn’t only the NHS that is feeling the strain of the situation with Coronavirus. Covid-19 has hit numerous businesses across all sectors of industry. Thousands of us are stuck at home, quietly waiting for things to improve so we can go back to work. Thousands more of us are forced to put on our uniforms and show up to the supermarket, the takeaway, or the school where we work.
These are workers that we have never officially thanked before. That we would never have deemed to be the most essential ones before all of this. Each one of those workers is an everyday hero. They are impressive, every time they put on those shoes. One Scottish teacher said they were “Anxious about returning to school after the holidays” because they feared the danger of death that came with it (Education Support, May 2020).
Teachers belong in this group even though we are in a reduced access situation. Because even when the kids can’t get to school, the teachers are still giving online classes, teaching the children of other essential workers, and rewriting lesson plans for months in advance because the regulations keep changing. In a September report by the BBC, teachers were “trying their best to be safe” while still feeling the same pressures everyone else faced. The situation has only gotten worse since then.
Imagine having worked as a primary school teacher for forty years and be on the verge of retirement, then being told you must learn to give your classes through Zoom. Imagine being a teacher that gives 6 online lessons a day and has students in their class. Imagine showing up every day to take care of children who could potentially spread the virus to you.
Fresh off that imagery, let’s talk about ways to start making things better on our own. Amidst all of this, a little positivity goes a long way.
The 5 Best Ways to Thank a Teacher
With moral being at an all-time low, here are the five best ways you can put a smile on your favourite teacher’s face.
1 – If you are a Head Teacher
Those in teaching leadership roles need to practise accountability. Your teachers are tired, stressed-out, and in near constant danger of exposure. Until the vaccination is distributed and overall mental health improves, consider extra training. A well-being course for your employees allows them to develop skills that encourages them towards monitoring their own mental health. In turn, this creates a more stable, productive teacher.
2 –For the Children
Teachers love getting letters from their students and especially if they haven’t seen them for a while. Write yours a letter telling them about all the things you have been doing while you are off. When you are back at school, it will make a good reminder of all the things you did so you can share them with your friends.
3 – For the Parents
Home schooling is difficult, and nobody is going to deny it. However, the teachers have been doing what you are doing now, every day. They might be trained for all sorts of situations, but nobody trained them to handle Covid-19… So, cut them some slack.
A little thank you gift that the kids draw, or create, can go a long way for an exhausted teacher. A card, a few sweets, even a traditional apple – all of it makes them feel that little bit better in their time of need.
4 – For the Loved Ones
If you live with a teacher right now, you can do all sorts of little things to make them feel better. Run them a hot bath, make them their favourite meal, bring them coffee while the re-plan a lesson. If you can, give them the support they need in life while they research new ways to teach without contact. You are in the unique position of being best placed to help ease their wellbeing.
5 – For the Governors
Support payments would go a long way towards making the teachers in your district happier with their lot. It might not protect them from coronavirus, but a little danger money would help many of our essential workers turn up consistently to put themselves in harm’s way.
The Education System in 2021
This year is set to be the year that digital or online learning takes over traditional teaching methods in popularity. Although online courses have always been available to us, they have never been rolled out to quite this extent. Every college, university, school and summer camp, is putting its materials online. Make no mistake, 2021 is going to see some big changes in the education sector.
The downside of this is that we are going to be putting added pressure onto an already strained teaching staff in order to do this. The re-training of thousands of teachers, mentors, tutors and lecturers, is going to have to take place. Online and virtual learning might be the way of the future but getting there isn’t going to be comfortable.
We suggest that is more reason to thank a teacher today. If we act now, we can give them a reason to keep teaching even when the methods keep evolving.