You end meeting for all as your third or fourth 2-hour class for the day comes to a close. You push yourself away from your makeshift workspace, take a deep breath and let out a loud sigh then head over to the counter where your meal from this morning was left uneaten. You entertain the idea of throwing it away and cooking a fresh meal or ordering online but the roaring sound from within reminds you that the only thing you’ve had all day is a cup of coffee (if you’re lucky) and a bottle of water (if you remembered to refill it) so you eat that cold meal just to quieten the roaring sound of hunger and promise yourself to do better tomorrow. As if on cue, your phone vibrates and the screen turns on to a sea of messages from students asking for help with their assignments and permission for deadlines to be extended, and from management requesting you to attend countless meetings and/or workshops outside of schooling hours. As you scroll through the incoming messages, you mull over what to do next - do nothing or something that fulfills your want for a ‘life’ or dive right back into work until your eyes can no longer stay open.
This is a simplified version of a day in the life of an educator during COVID-19. There is a misperception here that simply because everyone is stuck at home, educators have more free time to take on additional administrative and counselling responsibilities - all of which “isn’t counted in the KPI”.
It is understandable that educational institutions, like many other businesses, are struggling to stay afloat during this pandemic but to micromanage their educators into taking on more responsibilities without emotional and mental health support, and additional financial compensation is hilariously pathetic. How can you expect educators to prioritise students’ wellbeing if the wellbeing of educators is not a priority?
Regardless of the uncertainty that Year Two of coronavirus will have on the education industry, the wellbeing of educators must be protected and prioritised.