Primary schools have reopened nationwide under a paper based distance learning model. Our hardworking and adaptable teachers worked very diligently between the end of the lockdown/hurricane and the first day of school to prepare learning packets for the first day of school, which parents were able to collect and take home.
It was a first day back like no other. Masked teachers sat alone in empty classrooms full of evenly spaced desks. Still, teachers were happy to be back and excited to start!
Currently the Ministry of Education has said that distance learning will continue throughout September, with an assessment made later this month to determine whether distance or in person learning will occur in October.
Principal Olivia Tasher described preparations to reopen as the hardest in all her years of teaching. Beside the obvious difficulties of massive change with uncertain timelines, a large part of the difficulty came from having to interact with so many people online in a culture where effective communication mainly takes place face-to-face.
Despite challenges, all has gone well. Our teachers were more than ready to return to the classroom, and look forward to a time when they can once again teach face to face.
When asked about the new style of teaching, they described it as being challenging, but they were adapting and overcoming the challenges.
All teachers described the parents as being very helpful and involved. Parents are faithfully collecting the learning packages and doing their best to support students. An unexpected bonus is that teachers are getting to know parents much better, while parents have a higher awareness of what their students are learning.
Our teachers are also adapting well to the whole new challenge of all working parents at this time - having to do their own job during the day, then come home to help their children learn.