Celebrate learning together

Teachers: They are urged to provide students with holistic support. This includes a focus on emotional wellbeing too.
Teachers: They are urged to provide students with holistic support. This includes a focus on emotional wellbeing too.

"Modern learning cannot be confined to the classroom, and it is more important than ever to empower our teachers to continuously guide and nurture students during this difficult time," a school principal, Kenneth Cheng said.

Education Week is an annual state-wide event that celebrates the NSW public education community. This year, Education Week will run from Monday, August 3 to Friday, August 7 and the theme is "Learning together".

The week will be launched with a live streamed video at 10am on Monday, August 3 and it is hoped most schools will share this with their staff and students.

With a year of bushfires, floods and COVID-19, key lessons were learned:

  1. Parents are partners in learning
  2. Teachers and students are lifelong learners - learning together makes everyone stronger and more resilient
  3. Technology enables learning anywhere, any time

Teachers have done a phenomenal job of adapting how they deliver lessons during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents have done their best and students have on the whole adapted well.

For the few months that schools were either closed or with few students in attendance, teachers engaged in distance learning while keeping their students motivated as well.

Teachers also needed support with technology, workloads and their emotional wellbeing.

"You have turned yourselves inside out and gone over and above the call of duty, to provide some level of educational continuity to all your students," a NSW Teachers' Federation spokesperson said.

Now that students are back at school, the challenges are not over.

"Members must follow the advice issued to schools regarding physical distancing, encouraging good hygiene practices and the enhanced cleaning measures are being implemented," the spokesperson said.

Schools should also provide children with vital information on protecting themselves and their families, facilitate mental health support, and help to prevent virus stigma.

There is continued lobbying to the government too re employment, workload and pay. An overwhelming majority of Federation members believe teaching is more challenging and complex than ever before and that pay rates should better reflect the changed nature of their work.

"While students and teachers are back at school, not everything is back to normal," a teacher said. "But we are up for the challenge."

Join #EdWeek20 to celebrate learning together with our students, parents, teachers, schools and the community.

See education.nsw.gov.au and nswtf.org.au