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Covid-19: testing times for teachers

16 July 2020

Covid-19 took teachers well beyond their comfort zone, learning new skills in double-quick time to offer online lessons to pupils.

How teachers adapted to new challenges came to light in a wellbeing session at the school when teachers were asked about the new skills they acquired.

Deputy Head Lyna Panas said: “This was a very positive activity and afterwards the group felt they could share their successes, of which there have been many.”

As well as mastering new technology, and ensuring that lessons would work just as well online, teachers often found themselves running sessions in front of whole families. And when parents phoned to discuss the lessons or to give feedback teachers found themselves having “courageous conversations”.

“This increased confidence and self belief and teachers’ own abilities to support the pupils,” she explained.

Teachers had to think up creative ways of teaching, especially for art, and the school’s Attention Autism teaching programme. Learning to work individually, yet collaboratively to benefit all pupils was another challenge when teamwork is fundamental to the normal running of the school.

It was essential to see the funny side of things, teachers found. There were errors, but a good sense of humour meant these weren’t taken too seriously. Returning to the school building after lockdown restrictions were eased brought problems of its own. Most people were nervous about the safety of going back, and teachers were no exception.

Honesty in dealing with anxiety was another skill the teachers mastered, how it was best to be honest about their feelings and to talk about their mechanisms for coping. The teachers picked up on each others’ worries and had conversations to help relieve stress.

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Pirkei Avos
“The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of kindness.” Kisharon looks at the person not the disability, teaching Torah, Middos and Mitzvot embracing and cherishing everybody’s special talent and bringing out the best in them.