Love our Teachers
As a part of our theme on Love for this term we wanted to hear what teachers are up against, to help us love and pray for them effectively. We asked Heather, a member of our team and a part-time teacher, to tell us:
What is it like for teachers during lockdown?
The lockdowns haven’t changed the working life of many school staff who have braved the virus and continued caring for children throughout! Others are juggling numbers of children attending school, while providing high quality support for children learning at home. Some staff are shielding and attempting to provide this level of education from their own homes. Instead of delivering lessons to children sitting in front of them, teachers are recording lessons for children to access at home or producing materials to present live via video conferencing software.
The first issue for many is the technology; often with no or minimal training, suddenly they must produce lessons online. Primary aged children need videos, audio clips and pictures to help them understand their lessons. This takes time to produce and upload onto a virtual classroom. There is a feeling that recorded material should be perfect, so everything is constantly refined. It’s hard constantly seeing yourself on playback!
The next issue is response. Not all families have computer equipment and some do not know how to use it, which prevents those children from taking part. Sadly this is often those who really need it, which is frustrating. Teachers then spend time telephoning the parents, many of whom are stressed out with it all!
It can be challenging to establish boundaries: lesson preparation, assessing and paperwork often stray into evenings and weekends. Managing an online classroom in your home, attending school briefings and staff meetings on your laptop with countless emails pinging in; it can feel that you are never off duty. Home and school-life merge into one. Imagine all this for those with their own young families to care for too!
Happily, success with the technology can lead to a sense of achievement, when professional looking resources are
produced. Teachers love to work with children and it is them that really keep us going. Little comments like, ‘Miss, I loved your assembly,’ posted on the comments section makes it all worthwhile.
Heather Hawthorne, RE Specialist
Love ourselves. Love one another.
When questioned about the most important thing to remember in the universe, Jesus answered “Love, Love, Love!”
You will know I am oversimplifying ‘The Greatest Commandment’, but as we are in another national lockdown, I find myself setting very low bars in order to survive and succeed, and I wonder if this simplicity is, actually, exactly right.
Jesus knew that we are not powered just by food and drink, but by love (Matt 4:4) – our feelings, our thoughts, our bodies, and growth; they are all fuelled because of love.
Lord we pray that children and parents live in the light of your love, not the shadow of lockdown.
We have all been separated from each other: from family members, classmates and networks.
Lord, help us to to love one another from a distance, and bring to mind those that need our prayers right now.
I believe that self-care has never been more important for more people than right now. The weather may be dreary, downtime is in short supply for most families, and in oversupply for so many others.
Lord, let parents be kind to themselves, let teachers be kind to themselves, and let children be kind to themselves.
Love, love, love: It is our delight at Spinnaker to share Jesus’ profound words with schools and homes. Lord, let every child, teacher and staff member, every parent and every sibling know that they are loved, and empowered to love and live.
Mike Harrowing, CEO
Loving What We Do
It has been said that if you want to love what you do, you have to do what you love. Well, one of the things that I love is communicating revelation or inspiration or sometimes simply that funny idea that popped into my head. Since working for Spinnaker, leading school assemblies is mainly how I did that... up until March 2020.
Much of the time once spent sharing with pupils, now passes by alone in front of a camera. However, the new medium remains an outlet for the old love - sharing truth. What's more, I am now working far more collaboratively and developing fresh
ways of communicating across all of our hubs. Clicking “upload” at the end of the video producing process feels very different to walking out in front of an assembled school, but when the video goes live, I know that truth is being shared.
In a strange way, although there is much that we miss, the current situation has enhanced what we do and now it is not just what I love, but ever more tangibly what we – the Spinnaker Team – love doing.
Sam Oakes, Eastbourne Hub Leader