This school year has begun like no other in our lifetime. Social distancing, masks, virtual and hybrid learning, PCR tests and daily announcements by the government of cases has raised everyone’s anxiousness. As the students have begun the new school year and filled a building that has sat empty for the past five months, I am reminded of what is important in education.
- It is the joy a teacher brings to a classroom as they creatively unfold learning for their students.
- It is the small moments that a teacher takes to connect one on one with a student to know them just a little more as a human being, and a learner.
- It is the laughter and smiles of our students as teachers bring humor to learning.
- It is the drive to succeed that a child has when they know their teacher believes in them, and with that they want to demonstrate that belief is warranted.
- It is the care teachers take to challenge each student in the curricular expectations and in a manner that builds their knowledge, understanding and skills to be successful lifelong learners.
- It is the absolute commitment and passion a teacher gives to his/her students, colleagues, families and the profession.
This week as I walked the halls and visited classrooms, I wondered how many other professionals could have their practice so fully turned upside down. Our teachers are having their “office” live streamed into your homes by 2-3 cameras, some are teaching half their students in a physical space (with 1.5 meters distance) while also engaging and including students who are watching and participating through a video screen. They are doing this with new technologies and finding new ways to ensure our children get the best education possible. Many people say that “I couldn’t be a teacher”, and at this time in history, it really is a special person who makes all this happen for our children.
Make no mistake, this is not easy work. Our teachers are working incredibly hard and spending long hours because they care about your children. This is what Dubai American Academy teachers do, and will continue to do.
We know the beginning of the year can be one filled with anxiety for children, parents and staff. This year, that has simply been magnified with COVID-19 and all the changes we are seeing to start 2020-2021. Please know we are doing our absolute best to ensure each and every child receives the education you expect from Dubai American Academy; an education that teaches the head, and the heart of our students. Please also know that we continue to review, reflect and improve on to ensure optimal academic and social-emotional learning for all.
One of the COVID-19 hashtags on social media has been #inthistogether and we have been so thankful to parents who understand the current situation we find ourselves in, and have reached out to teachers and administrators with messages of thanks, encouragement and gratitude. It has been so nice to see parents bringing our Culture of Kindness to life as our teachers continue to work to bring normalcy to our students in a very un-normal year.
Thank you for being role-models for your children with your patience, kindness, understanding and resilience as we continue into this new year with open-minds, flexibility, learning excellence and commitments to look after and support one another. It will be an incredible year.