I currently work at an international school in Thailand, and we have been working from home for the last 2 weeks. Although it has been an interesting new challenge and one that has brought our team closer, it has been challenging in a range of ways. Firstly, our children and parents mostly have English as an Additional Language. We have catered for this in every way possible, by uploading different guidelines and tips in Thai, Mandarin and Russian, but whether our children are accessing it or not is another issue. Some of the parents are thoroughly engaged and using the material we have uploaded (different videos, sheets that have instructions on how to make funky finger gloop, playdough etc.), and some of the parents have not acknowledged their use of this at all.
Due to the nature of the Early Years Foundation Stage, we cannot make any of the parents or children engage in the material if they do not want to, but there is also pressure from above that all the parents should be engaging with the materials and that can get us down sometimes.
Furthermore, we live in a place where, although the sense of community is strong, there are teachers from EYFS all the way through to Secondary. Our workload is different (and always has been), and challenges us in different ways, but this has come with negative connotations now that we can visibly see what each one of us are doing. I have heard lots of comments like ‘Your work is so easy’ and ‘You don’t have to do as much as us’. I understand that yes, the content of my work may be ‘easier’, but in times like this when solidarity is important I do feel that people have been upset personally and taken it out on others, rather than reflecting upon themselves.
But, with all this being said, I need to reflect upon the positives and thank everyone who has been so kind and supportive towards us! A lot of my parents are reaching out and saying thank you for all the hard work, I have been reconnecting with many people that I have not had the chance to speak to in months/years, and I am grateful that we have educators, people in the medical profession, food and service industry people that help keep us fed everyday, and so on and so forth. We are all working together to fight this, and for that I am eternally grateful!