Author: Antasha René
In this global time of uncertainty, the relationship between parent and teacher is crucial to provide stability for our students, which includes a sense of normalcy and familiarity. In January 2020, those of us in China were celebrating the Spring Festival, as many other nations were ending their seasonal holidays. A brief mentionin the international press about a flu outbreak in Wuhan, China, seemed so far away. Those of us in Guangzhou also felt Wuhan was near, yet far. We all continued our daily routines or made plans to travel here, there, and backagain, much like the year before. The idea of a flu outbreak may havebrought other illnesses to mind but didn’t really capture the attention of themasses. The headlines quickly changed when public protocols wereestablished, Spring Festival was extended, and people were encouraged to stayindoors. China, as a nation, was preparing to combat a crisis the world had yet to recognize. The joy of recent celebrations was brought to asobering halt when pharmacy lines grew, supplies diminished and rumors werefought as aggressively as this newly disclosed flu virus. The response in China was swift and decisive! The students of Huamei International School were placed on an extended holiday, as this nation sought to contain itsgrowing crisis.
With this evolving situation, whatcould parents do when not only their plans had changed, but the welfare oftheir children became an immediate consideration? What could so manytraveling teachers expect, whether they stayed locally, journeyed to otherparts of the country, or to international destinations? Our roles and responsibilities were suddenlyin suspension. How do we balance everchanging answers, the desire to be safe, and checks with our loved ones, allwhile remaining healthy, calm and organized? The “what” and/or “how” do we… may have been the question of multiple topics. However, the one constant certainty we, as teachers and parents, maintain isthat of our commitment to our children, in and out of the classroom.
The need for direction is a mustwith a focus on satisfying our academic goals and agendas. To stay trueto those things, we, as educators and a school, can formulate solutions toensure our students do not lose a semester when we do not have a school opening date. We were one of the first to accommodate learning on an onlineplatform to deliver our lessons and stay connected. We maintain anacademic standard of quality, with the expectations of performance, just as wedid in the first semester.
We, as parents and teachers, must partner together in a way toincrease our communication with one another. We must remain available to provide academic support, comfort, or a listening ear, to our young ones who may not fully understand what is happening or why, or even how long it will all last. This is a historic time that has expanded well beyond China’s borders. The one thing we all owe ourselves, collectively andindividually, is to take care of ourselves. In doing so, we are strongenough to fulfill our duties and ensure none of us are left standing alone. May we remain focused and endure until we all meet again, face to face.
Pictured: completed student assignments, viewsof Easy Class, Khan Academy, and a shared WeChat video