Oct. 02, 2020
Every year on Oct. 5, we celebrate World Teachers’ Day. And every year, we celebrate and thank our teachers for their important contributions to student learning. This year, the global theme is “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future.”
But this year, this recognition doesn’t seem to truly capture the depth and breadth of what teachers – as well as all those who support them – are doing to ensure each child is learning every day. The pandemic has changed everything, and significantly added to the challenges already faced by educators around the world.
Teachers are teaching in physical classrooms that have changed significantly or are in new virtual spaces. They are catching up from months of fragmented learning and ensuring vulnerable populations do not get left behind, all while managing a dizzying array of ever-changing health measures to keep everyone safe and healthy.
A couple of quotes from an article written by Alma Harris and Michelle Jones (School Leadership & Management) paint a vivid picture of what the new reality is in our schools each day:
“For school leaders working in these demanding and chaotic circumstances, the pressure is relentless, the options are limited, the sleepless night are frequent. The staff meetings, coffee catch ups and corridor chats with colleagues, that made up a school day, have gone.
“Parents, students, and teachers now exist in a twilight education world either awaiting the return of normal service or hoping for some new normal that might offer stability, continuity, and reassurance. The stark reality is that neither is likely to occur anytime soon.”
While these changes may indeed reflect our current reality, the opening of schools has also created a new sense of hope and optimism. Schools have never played a more vital role in helping our society to function and in bringing back the beginnings of stability and normalcy to the lives of our families. The impact this will have on the future of our students and our society as a whole cannot be underestimated.
Thank you for choosing to teach, and for continuing to do so on the front lines of a global pandemic. Your passion and dedication continues to shine in a world that badly needs a beacon of hope.
To our teachers, and all those staff who support the work of teachers, you have our admiration, respect and unreserved support.
Chief Superintendent of Schools
Chair, Board of Trustees