It’s been an unprecedented year for everyone but the field of education has arguably been one of the sectors most impacted by the pandemic.
Both teachers and students have been constantly adapting to the new reality of living with COVID-19. In addition, Year 12 students are now preparing for the biggest exams of their lives.
Author and educator Gabbie Stroud spoke to Hope 103.2 about the impact COVID-19 is having on education and how you can support both teachers and students during this tough season.
“I know the impact [of COVID-19] has been huge for everyone but teachers had to transform a job that is essentially best done in relationship with the person that you’re working with and put all of that online so it was a massive switch and it literally had to happen overnight,” Gabbie said.
“So the impact on teachers has been an absolutely massive workload and it’s really changed the dynamic and the relationship between them and their student – there’s something that’s lost when we’re not connecting in real life and in real time with our students.”
While parents normally try to teach their kids that “It’s not all about you”, Gabbie says this moment in time is the exception to that rule. For our Year 12s, it really is all about them right now.
“I think that what our Year 12 students need to understand is that they are sitting their exams in a particular moment in time and that this moment in time is unlike any other moment that we have seen in education in recent and easily remembered history,” Gabbie said.
“And, so yes, all we can ask of them is to try their best, but I would like to reassure them that I do believe that our education system will consider their results and their performance in light of this particular moment in time.
“I’d like everyone to remember that it’s not about what works right now, it’s about what matters. For parents who have kids in Year 12 and facing their HSC, I’d be reminding those parents to encourage their child to remember what matters.
“What matters right now is that we’re all safe and that we’re all well and keeping healthy. What matters right now is that you’ve worked really hard. And, what matters right now is that we keep you as the student as the front-and-centre focus in our family for this little bit and we get you over the line and through these exams. Just focus on what’s important right now.
“They really do need a lot of care and concern and to be front of our families at this point in time.”
Full Interview with Author and Educator Gabbie Stroud (19.38)
Gabbie Stroud ended a 15-year career in the classroom due to burnout – a harsh reminder of the many demands and sacrifices of the job. Now an author, she educates both teachers and parents on their roles in the education of the next generation.
Gabbie’s latest book is called Dear Parents: Letters From the Teacher. Your Children, Their Education, and How You Can Help.