1. To all the teachers, I have not heard of our being considered essential workers but indeed we are.
2. Teachers have always been very resourceful and creative over time as it is a necessary skill. Most times teachers create much with very little. Teachers pull off sports meets, graduations and cultural activities with little resources and within short timelines, working after-hours and on weekends.
Under this pandemic, there is no difference. Even with no connectivity or devices in many homes, teachers are still able to reach many students. In cases where all the resources are at the students’ disposal, teachers are adapting to this new hybrid teaching and learning environment and are developing a new expertise.
3. Teachers are creating history in Trinidad and Tobago as the first group of educators to embark upon a job that requires teaching virtually. Whilst there are limitations to online teaching and learning, teachers have still been able to teach every subject on the syllabus, do evaluation, give feedback and communicate with parents. The job our teachers are doing matters and we are all change agents in this new hybrid teaching and learning environment.
4. Parents continue being patient and supportive to this new teaching and learning environment. Both teachers and students are in unfamiliar territory but as time passes, we will acclimatise.
5. The pandemic has challenged the world in many ways and not the least of which are the challenges in education. The home is now the classroom and as such the role of the parents have now included management of the children during school hours. Many parents have expressed frustration in one form or the other and we are doing our best to assist. The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education has been a great support. The Catholic Church through the efforts of the Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM) and His Grace the Archbishop have been working assiduously behind the scenes to help where there are challenges and this is a very noble gesture.
Submitted by the Principal of Tamana RC, Randal Luces.