The affect Covid-19 has had on the world has certainly been dramatic. Everyone has been impacted, regardless of what they do to make a living. And teachers have been forced to approach how they teach in whole new ways. Despite the similarities though, there are differences depending on which country you happen to live and teach in.
In my neck of the woods, Victoria, Australia, we’re right in the middle of Term 3. Schools in some areas remain closed and the students from those schools haven’t seen their teachers IRL since the end of Term Two. In addition to that there have be ad hoc school closures for deep cleaning as students or teachers have tested positive for the virus.
Across the world there are myriad approaches. Some countries never closed their schools, other countries have reopened schools but have introduced measures such as smaller class sizes, or wearing masks, where possible. Other schools are waiting with bated breath. Soon the summer school holidays will end, and teachers and students will return. If you follow any teachers on social media who are approaching the beginning of their teaching year, their nervousness is clear.
One of the things I’ve noticed, where teachers share their opinions, is that how comfortable teachers feel about being in the classroom reflects how much they trust their government. For those that don’t trust the powers that be, there’s a pervasive feeling that they’re lambs being sacrificed to the god of the economy. Certainly, having worked in schools that are understaffed, under-resourced and don’t even provide soap in the student toilets, let alone a reliable supply of hand sanitiser, I can see where they’re coming from.
The truth is, no one knows how long this will go on for. No one has the one true answer. All any of us can do is our best. Our best to social distance, our best to wash our hands, our best to wear our masks.
And our best to teach our students and protect our kids. Whatever that looks like.