Sun, 26 April 2020 01:55
By Lauren Templin
Special for Niagara border publications
With all the madness and uncertainty in the world now, it is easy to identify the heroes of society. From doctors to fast-food and grocery store employees, it is clear who has been important to society’s daily life.
But the unknown heroes of the pandemic are teachers at the school. They teach the future of the world and change and enrich the lives of their students for the better.
When the world is in “normal” everyday life, they are doing their best to help their students. Now they are working on trying to find a “new normal” for their students.
Jessica Dubke, kindergarten teacher at Anne E. Moncure Elementary, Virginia, shared her experience with elementary school remotely.
Dubke said, “Practical experiences and real-life failures are how you learn.”
As a double student at Niagara University, Dubke said he couldn’t have graduated from a better place. Still, she was not prepared to teach during a pandemic. The real test of being prepared was through real life experience and, with the current situation, everyone is learning to prepare in a different way.
The biggest challenge for teachers was the transition from personally to online. The unknown of how long this would last and not seeing their students again was difficult for teachers.
Dubke said: “In the beginning, it was very stressful. In the beginning, there was much unknown. We didn’t know if we would have to create new learnings for the Internet, how we would review the materials already taught, how we would plan and how we would reach all of our students.
“It was also very stressful to know that we would never again teach these students in our classroom. We worry about how they would continue to practice the skills they had already learned, whether they were eating, sleeping, safe, etc. Now that we know what our plan is for the rest of the year and as most of our students are doing, it is less stressful. “
Since no one could be prepared for what COVID-19 has in store for the world, it has been difficult for everyone to deal with the situation.
Dubke said: “The municipality in which I work did not have a plan at first, but they quickly developed one in about two weeks, then informed the principals and teachers what their plan was. I must say that our municipality and school are doing an excellent job in dealing with remote learning at home and connecting with teachers and families. I am very impressed.
Although teachers are migrating to remote learning and encouraging the participation of students (and their families), education has not been as problematic as it could have been.
Dubke said: “Most of my parents are getting their kids to complete activities and get involved with the teacher. Twenty-one out of every 23 families in my classroom have contacted me at least once, and I know for sure that they are receiving documents for their children to use in practice. Some families are showing me how they are participating and others are not.
“Even though I would love for all students in my class to complete these activities, we work hard to create and make fun of it, and for all family members to participate and respond to me, I understand that it is not feasible for all families at the moment. . I understand that families have a lot of stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so I will not judge them for not getting as involved as they should. “
One of the primary concerns of teachers, including Dubke, was to check on students and make sure they are well during this difficult situation.
Dubke said: “I talk to my students every day; I invite you to send me messages, photos, videos (and send it back). I assure you that everything will be fine, that they are working hard and that I am very proud of them.
“Right now, honestly, I care about their happiness and well-being,” said Dubke. “I invite you to do silly things with me, to hear / see me read your favorite stories and have some fun now! I also discuss how, when the quarantine is over, and it is safe for everyone to be together, we will all meet for a big party. “
Dubke explained that teachers are not given enough credit when it comes to the impact they have on society – and that was true even before the pandemic.
Now, moreover, teachers are working to ensure that their students receive an adequate education.
Dubke said: “I heard from some families that their eyes are opening up to what teachers do and how hard they work because of this situation. However, some families, members of the community and society feel that teachers are not “doing enough” at the moment or do not deserve their salary because they are not in the classroom.
“Honestly, I am working hard and emphasizing much more now that we are discovering how to create activities for remote learning, working with colleagues in a new way and not being with our students than it would be if I were in my normal school environment. “
Dubke added: “I hope that when it is all over, people will value teachers who never gave up, never stopped working and gave their time, emotion and energy to ensure that students are as safe, happy, loved and involved as possible” .
A simple “thank you” is going to teachers a lot right now. Google created a series of doodles thanking the COVID-19 workers. One of the doodles is to pay tribute to teachers and children who take care of their work during the pandemic. Teachers expect this to be the first of many. To see the doodle, visit https://www.google.com/doodles.
Niagara Frontier Publications works with the communication studies department at the University of Niagara to publish students’ main work on CMS 120A-B.
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