As I sit in front of yet another device, with another task related to education in front of me, I can feel the fatigue twinges in my eyes and wrists.
I’m a parent of five children, and this pandemic has offered me no reprieve from worry related to their mental health and physical survival of a deadly virus that has infiltrated so many aspects of our daily lives. As a parent who has done my very best to navigate choices, weigh risks and mitigate detrimental consequences for our precious children, I have felt overwhelmed and at some points, terrified. What has helped me move from the perpetual doom and gloom into some semblance of routine and optimism related to education?
Teachers. Full stop.
Teachers have helped my family survive and thrive during a global pandemic.
The hard work, dedication and perseverance of teachers has no doubt exhausted them. It has no doubt worn them down to little nubs, like the pencils that gather at the bottom of bins and backpacks at the end of a long year. Teachers are June tired in October, and as parents we are comrades in the weary work. We see the creativity, innovation, compassion and professionalism of teachers pouring into classrooms across the province, in the physical rooms as well as the online spaces. We see the caring embedded in every lesson plan, every assignment so carefully orchestrated and every follow up to see if our children are doing OK so far.
What I want so desperately to convey in this short space is that we, as parents, see you. We see teachers and the way you show up for our children, day after day, throughout a global pandemic. The countless hours you’ve put into working and reworking schedules, lessons, support plans and new health protocols has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.
Families have been able to return to work, create a semblance of familiar routine and begin to rebuild a life while COVID weaves itself into the fabric of our society. They have been able to do these things in no small part because of the teachers in our province who have returned to the classroom, in unprecedented times, to continue their noble work.
Children are able to learn and build meaningful concept connections because of teachers just like you. You keep showing up to remind all of us that education is the framework by which all other societal structures are fastened.
Education is the great equalizer and enabler of all global citizens. It is through education that ideas and initiatives become game-changing endeavours. It is through education that our communities have, generation after generation, continued to build, serve and share in their prosperity. There is no Alberta without education. There is no education without compassionate professionals like you teaching our children.
It is your wisdom and skill that sees our children through their daily class work. It is to you that we, as parents, and as a province, owe gratitude for continuing to provide quality education to our students.
The Alberta School Councils’ Association recognizes parents as partners in education. We recognize the value of parent engagement in student success and the meaningful collaboration that occurs between parents and teachers. Parents are working closely with their teachers and schools to help students transition into a new school life with a COVID lens. Teachers are working together and with parents to help every student succeed. I sincerely thank you for this collaboration. I deeply thank you for all that you do and will continue to do to support our precious babies.
Your work matters, your mental well-being and safety matter, and you matter.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. ❚
Brandi Rai lives in Edmonton and has five children in grades 5 through 10.