Dear Parents and Carers,
It is understandable that many people are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and under pressure by everything that is happening at the moment.
This includes the work being set online for your children to do if they are home now or will be into the future. I wanted to just give everyone my perspective being the Principal at Kinross College.
This is an unprecedented emergency situation impacting on the entire world. Parents and carers will have other priorities at this time. We all need to keep formal education in perspective, what we are providing is and will not be home schooling.
Home schooling is a choice, where you’ve considered it, you’ve planned for it and you are your child’s teacher in whatever form you choose. This online education that we are providing, and will continue to, is at best distance learning. Part of the aim of all of this will be to keep some semblance of normality in the lives of our students, your children.
At Kinross College my staff have been working incredibly hard under difficult circumstances to provide an education for the students still at school, those at home (even though we are not meant to) and to plan for full on-line delivery. We also simply do not know how long this situation will last.
Parents, you are, and always have been, your child’s primary educator. You know your child’s personality and needs best. If you decide for whatever reason that in your situation your child is not going to engage with anything sent home online, and is going to spend the entire period doing something alternative, that is your right. There will be nothing to stress or feel guilty about.
If you decide that your child will spend time helping mum or dad build something, renovate, lay paving, paint, produce some art, construct with Lego, cook, all of this is learning – very valuable learning.
Some students will want as much on-line learning as possible, others will not. However, we will still engage if students make little contact as we care for them and are teachers of course, that is our profession.
Parents you will not replace the influence of a teacher, don’t even try, nor will these on-line courses, if they did we would be out of a job.
Your child will not fall behind. They will cover many of the concepts over and over again in class into the future.
Schools too did not know all of this would happen and hence we have had very little real time to coordinate this online effort. However, at Kinross College I feel we are well ahead of many educational organisations as we have been investing in the professional development of our staff within these areas for several years.
If online does not work for your child, what then is a bare minimum? Try to get your children to at least read every day, independently or to listen to a book via the free services offered from Audible as a start. Do some writing, perhaps a diary, some maths in some practical form and some physical exercise.
After all you will be doing enough. You are loving your kids and supporting them through a difficult time. Look after yourself. We will still send home strategies to keep morale up and to provide contact for students or parents that need support. Minimising stress is absolutely vital in a time like this for mental health. Don’t let this be something else that stresses you, you have enough to think about. Only you can control that by accepting it is in your circle of control, you are the primary educator and this is all your call.
You may well be aware that the Premier, Mark McGowan, has today made an announcement regarding the planned closure of schools as of Friday 3 April. We at school are now processing this update and planning for how this will look here at the College.
We will look forward, as you will, to seeing your children once again on the other side of this situation that we all find ourselves in.
We will keep you updated as things progress.
26 March 2020