On May 19th, the New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced in her daily Press Conference that NSW schools will go back to normal on May 25th, with the expectation of all students returning to school daily. For me as a teacher and for families, this brings positivity and relief. On the eve of school returning back to normal, I believe the return of normality in schools brings benefits to a lot of families in NSW. Below, I share some benefits.
Structure. With students going back to school full-time – teachers, parents and students are going back to their ‘normal structure’ pre COVID-19. For me as a teacher, it allows me to go back to normal – going to and from work at my accustomed hours, the flow of each week is back, and allows me to structure my week accordingly. For families, it allows them to plan their week much easier with the return of schooling hours in their weekly schedules.
Effectiveness of Face to Face Teaching. As a teacher, I believe that Face to Face Teaching is the best form of teaching as this allows for teacher-student connection, the rich discussions/questioning, teacher support and guidance, just to name a few. This is what we signed up for, and why we chose this profession – to be in the classroom with our students, and to teach them ‘face to face’. I can confidently say that students would also feel relieved, and would appreciate much more the value of being in the classroom with their peers, and their teachers.
Easing of pressure/demand on parents. ‘Remote Learning’, ‘Distant Learning’, ‘Homeschooling’, ‘Home Learning’ or whichever other method this process has been referred to by politicians or other schools, has demanded more work for teachers – scaffolding, detail in planning, checking in with students etc. But not only has this taken its toll on teachers, more immensely, there has been a higher pressure and demand placed on parents who have been at the forefront of providing the guidance, being the facilitator, and ‘acting as the teacher’ for the past two months. Parents have had to get their children occupied with their school work and with this, it presented them with challenges such as technological issues, the questioning posed by their children, misinterpreting/misunderstanding around the task etc. And this is on top of juggling their responsibilities set by their employers. Now, add that together, take a moment to feel and imagine the teachers who are also parents – now that pressure is immense! So I am sure the return of school normality is welcomed by a lot of people.
Normality. In closing statements, suffice to say that a lot teachers, parents and students welcome the ‘normality’ of schools returning. Parents can now place more focus on their professions and careers without having to deal with the demands of their children’s school work. Furthermore, this allows our economy to restart, revive and job opportunities can also arise as many unfortunate Australians lost their jobs permanently/temporarily during this time.