This is an editorial of Factions News Commentary.
Jamaican parents over the years have been echoing the same complaints about teachers. If it’s not a concern over the teacher being too swift to punish, it’s an issue with the teacher’s teaching style. In light of the COVID-19 spread in Jamaica though, the tables have now turned and parents are now starting to see what teachers have been saying for years – “It’s easier said than done.”
For every complaint parents used to throw at their children’s teachers, they are starting to see that maybe they were a little too critical. They are now starting to see that the job isn’t that easy after all. Keeping up with the demands of not only seeing to it that the child doesn’t destroy the house but that they also sit down to some constructive school work, is a whole lot for any one person, but it’s what our parents had to do for the entirety of the last school term.
One of the many opportunities that can be capitalized on now, while children are at home and while parents try to navigate the difficulties of dodging COVID-19, is that of parents actually spending quality time at home with their children. Indeed, parents are back at work and may not have extended periods of time to spend at home but COVID-19 has certainly put limits on many of our once frequent outdoor entertainment activities, giving us more time to spend indoors. Let us not give up on this golden opportunity.
We have all been forced to slow down and with many workplaces on ‘go slow’ mode (that is, for those that have not halted operations altogether) it is an opportune time for usually busy parents to not only get a good idea of where their child’s headspace is in relation to the many issues that are affecting our children during these uncertain times, but also to engage in fun activities with the children that will create lasting memories of family togetherness.
As preparation for the upcoming school year, parents can also start looking into educational games that will make school work a little less monotonous when school resumes. As is being planned by the education ministry, schools will be taking a rotational approach to teaching. This means most of our children will not be fully engaged in physical classes right throughout the year as they will show up to school only on specified days.
This means our parents will have to find creative ways of keeping the children constructively engaged and out of trouble on these ‘stay home’ days. Parents should use the time they have now to plan and prepare for this period.
Prudent planning, however, will also be needed to see to it that students are adequately prepared for the time they will spend at school. From ensuring that children are equipped with an adequate number of face masks, hand sanitizers and soaps, parents certainly have their work cut out for them.
For those parents who are also teachers, they will feel as though they have the academic needs of both their biological and classroom children to cater to – which undoubtedly is a lot of work. They must avoid the temptation of taking over the job of their children’s actual teachers. It is easy for parents to become anxious about their children’s academic progress especially as schools try to figure out the most efficient ways of delivering lessons but it is important to remember that COVID-19 will not be forever and we simply have to do what we can to get through this temporary period of discomfort.
We can indeed be very productive, even given the many restrictions. Parents can use the uncertain times both now and ahead to form stronger bonds with their children and to pay even closer attention to their development. COVID-19 has made many things difficult but has also presented amazing opportunities for us to improve in many areas. Let us be grateful for the good and make preparations for the bad.
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