I know, it has been a long while since this blog was use. All my subscribers have left. Life got in the way, as it so often does.
I live in Melbourne. I teach at a wonderful Government school here in the Eastern Suburbs. I have been there 5 years a bit now and love my job. Not as much as I used to, because I can’t actually do my job at the moment, due to the global pandemic (you may have heard about it……..). The Job I am doing is making the best of a situation, but it is beginning to feel like I am being sacrificed and unnecessarily risked.
The news over the last few days have made me physically ill. Literally, I am so stressed and worried my stomach is playing up. The idea of returning to school, under these circumstances has made me too things; outraged and terrified.
- The idea that the government is so willing to risk my health and those of my family, by making all schools go to remote learning, to achieve the purpose of making it “fair” for year 12s is absolute bullshit. Guess what Dan, the scores are not going to matter, as the Uni’s have already lost 50% of there enrolments due to no international students; there will be spaces if you bloody well fund them! You want to talk about fair, think of my kids who could lose a parent (as we are both teachers) or a sibling because we were forced back to work, when it was something we could do from home, like you keep saying – if you can work from home you must work from home.
- Social distancing at schools is not physically possible – you built the schools that way, look at your own blueprints. Ask any damn teacher who was there last term, and it was a joke of a concept, we couldn’t truly enforce, which is why the government said, “social distancing does not apply to students while at school”.
- Yes, kids appear to be resilient to the virus, but teachers are not – we are adults and like other adults – we should be avoiding contact with everybody for fucks sake, as per the advice previously mentioned.
- Remote teaching worked last time. It was painful. It sucked. It sucked for teachers, it sucked for parents, and it sucked for teachers who were parents (probably even more). I hated every minute of it. It was not the job I signed on to do and not something I would ever do again, unless necessary. It was hard – I worked harder than I every have. My wife and I will testify to this in court if need be; we spent 8 hours a day remote teaching, managing a 7-year old’s remote learning, providing childcare for our 18-month-old, plus normal household duties. Then after the kids were in bed, on average, we would each spend another 3 or 4 hours doing the work we could not do with our own kids under foot – marking, providing feedback, prepping lessons etc.
- We tried remote teaching from onsite for two weeks before the students came back. All it did was make me depressed and worried; raised my general anxiety levels to new heights; cause me immeasurable stress; and overall made me worse at remote teaching and less productive in general.
Look this is a rant, but I need to express my feeling and thoughts about this. I want the world to return to what it was; I want to teach again, in the classroom, not worrying about getting sick or making my family sick. BUT that is not possible at the moment, we are in a global pandemic. That is the reality of 2020 and life for the immediate future.
What do I want moving forward? I want to do my job, without be lied to or being asked to do something that endangers my family. I work as a teacher. Not a doctor, not a nurse, not a soldier and not a cop. I am not a babysitter, though often treated like one. I am an educator. I should be able to do my job without jeopardizing my health or safety or that of my family. I want to remote teach from offsite, so that I can do the best job I can, working with the least amount of stress and fear possible; I want to keep Mickey and Lachie safe. I do not think it fair that I will have to risk them in care, when we have other options, that worked last time.
Please let us teachers go back to remote learning, Mr Andrews. Let us do the jobs you pay us for without risking our health and that of our family’s.