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Three cheers for teachers

Like many parents, Roxanne McCarty-O’Kane is home alone once again, and she’s reflecting on the dedication of our children’s teachers.

Opinion

Three cheers for teachers

Like many parents, Roxanne McCarty-O’Kane is home alone once again, and she’s reflecting on the dedication of our children’s teachers.

This week has been so quiet at my house. Eerily quiet. For the past five weeks, it has been a mad house. I have been a secretary, watching the clock to alert my little workers so they don’t miss their Zoom calls.

I’ve been in active wear so I’m always prepared for compulsory exercise breaks. I’ve been sharpening pencils, searching underneath furniture for erasers and drawing up grid paper on demand.

Of course, logistics have come into play in a major way, making sure the fridge and pantry are sufficiently stocked to ensure there isn’t a breakout of ‘hangry’ Gremlins.

I count my lucky stars that my eldest is only in Year three, because I could handle fractions and shape symmetry. Anything more complicated and you probably would have found me in a corner in the foetal position. Has it been hectic? Yes. I also had to run a business in all of this craziness. Do I miss it? I never thought I would. I was counting down the days to when both of my children would be back at school.

But I miss having them around.

I don’t have a daytime table tennis buddy, or anyone to laugh at the silly songs I make up and I’m back to sitting for too long because there isn’t a break time to get me on my feet.

One beautiful thing to come out of this short era is I know I will now be working my tail off while they are at school so I can down tools the moment I pick them up and have that precious time together. I have realised how often I would continue working while they came home and how much time I was missing with them.

On the flipside, my kids aren’t missing me. They are revelling in the fact they can see their friends and be taught by a real teacher who has oodles of patience.

My eldest has said she’s happy for me to be ‘just mum’ once again.

I would like to give a standing ovation to every teacher across the Coast, from day care to high school and even university.

Many of them have managed to juggle classrooms with some children still attending as well as ensuring students in their charge have been able to continue with remote learning. Zoom meetings, weekly workbooks, customised PE and music lessons – everything was thought of.

I categorise teachers as frontline workers now and I tip my hat to each and every one of you. I definitely have a whole new level of appreciation for what you do for our kids and to see how you all adapted when faced with this pandemic has been nothing short of impressive.

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Roxy has been a journalist for more than a decade and joined the MWP team at the end of 2016. She is a chocolate-powered writing machine who loves to engage with the Coast community, uncover untold inspirational stories and share information that can help people.

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