With schools closed during the circuit breaker period, you might think that teachers are chilling in their beds watching the entire series of Tiger King.
Since students are now doing home-based learning, all the responsibility lies with the parents, right?
Reader: Yup that sounds about righ-
WELL YOU’RE WRONG.
Reader: Ok ok please stop shouting
You see, teachers may have even more work then they did before, as one frustrated educator explained.
S’pore Teacher’s Message to Parents: ‘We Are Still Working from Home’
One teacher named Jacklyn took to Facebook to respond to “parents who think that teachers are having a holiday now”.
According to Jacklyn, since parents are now the ones teaching their own kids, many of them assume that their teachers are as free as birds just released from prison.
But as Jacklyn explains, since she has children under her charge, their learning is her responsibility, “whether or not they are in school or at home”.
Plus, just like many frustrated parents who now have to balance teaching their kids and working from home, Jacklyn says that many people forget that teachers have to do the same.
Her Own Children’s Education is Compromised
Jacklyn, who has three kids aged 2, 4 and 6, has to balance their education with that of her students.
Since she’s not The Flash and can’t do both at once, she has to leave her kids to play toys, run around the house, play puzzles, or even watch Netflix while she’s managing live online lessons via Zoom.
“Anything just so they are engaged” while she does her job, she said.
Since her primary job is teaching her students, some of her children’s Zoom lessons have to be missed if they clash with her students’ Zoom lessons.
Reader Bao: But Zoom is now banned –
Just read on lah, Bao.
Planning For Offline Learning
And even when her online lessons are done, she can’t have a bubble bath while drinking some wine; she still has to plan for her students’ offline learning.
According to the frustrated teacher, home-based learning for students is a mixture of online and offline activities, so teachers need to ensure that they have pen-and-paper homework or textbook readings to do.
“This is to limit students’ daily screen time so that their eyes get sufficient rest,” she explained.
This planning and communication with the students require uploading information to online platforms so the students can access them easily.
And while that sounds easy, Jacklyn had to quickly transform into Bill Gates to do so.
She had to:
- learn how to design a web page
- then design the webpage
- upload all the necessary instructions
- set up Google folders for students to submit their homework
- link these Google folders to the webpage
- share the Google folders with students by adding their emails (one by one)
- set up Zoom lessons
- upload weblink, meeting IDs, and passwords for the Zoom lessons onto the webpage
She said that these tasks took a total of 18-20 manhours of work over two days, after which she found out that Zoom had been suspended due to security breaches.
So she had to quickly learn Google Meet/Hangout and set up new Google-based lessons, among other tasks.
The teacher added that in between these demanding duties, she still has to take care of her children and do grocery shopping.
She says she has been going to bed at 2 plus in the last couple of days because she simply has too much to do.
Just like me, though I was busy finishing up these videos that my colleague suggested during this Circuit Breaker period:
(Feel free to binge-watch our YouTube videos during this Circuit Breaker period!)
Teachers Are Frustrated Too
“You parents are frustrated because you have to juggle HBL together with WFH. So do we,” she said.
Despite her frustrations, Jacklyn says she is thankful that she still has a job and that her kids are healthy and not infected with the coronavirus.
She also urged parents to put aside their frustrations and stay positive for their kids:
“Times are not normal. We should not expect normalcy. This could be the new normal for a long time. If this is the case, what would your children see to be the new normal- frustration or patience, despair or hope, disgruntledness or compassion? What they see would be what you show them at home during this time.”
All she and many other teachers want is a little understanding and compassion. It’s easy to be frustrated with all the new responsibilities you have, but as Jacklyn has shown, teachers are just as busy as ever, if not busier.
So please, be kind to teachers. They’re doing their best.
In the meantime, if you’re really bored, you might want to download the Goody Feed app to read news about COVID-19 written in a light-hearted and easy-to-understand style (yet still informative), because if you depend on Facebook, you’d just be reading all the grimy news.
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