There’s a mean old phrase out there about the relative skills of the teaching profession: “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”
It needs updating for the coronavirus era. More than two months after our educators were ordered into confinement and told to instruct their charges using little more than unfamiliar software and bags of enthusiasm, we need a new epigram.
How about: “Those who teach, can.”
That is certainly the message from legions of readers who have been in touch with us full of praise and admiration, as Molly Blackall found out.
Otherwise on the Upside, it was a good week for:
There has been healthy demand for tickets for our Upside live event next Friday in which we are examining why Covid-19 generated such great community spirit. There are still a few left though, as it’s happening on the internet. Get yours here.
What we liked
Half the universe used to be missing, which seems pretty careless. Now, apparently, we’ve found it, though I’m still not sure where exactly. This courtesy of the Conversation, a great source of intelligent information worth following.
The world’s most digital country – and why it aced lockdown as a result, by Nina Jankowicz in the Atlantic.
And in a related article, Jason Wingard looked at the four new “pillars of work” that will underpin our future work patterns, in Quartz.
What we heard
More teacher lockdown praise:
Belinda Daley wrote in from New South Wales:
Here is a link to my daughter’s kindergarten teacher. His name is Brendan Jackson and he teaches at New Lambton South public school in New Lambton, Newcastle, NSW, Australia. My daughter had only been in kindergarten for seven weeks when our school shut down. He sends his little videos like this every day. He really makes a huge difference in her life.
Brenda Huggons bigs up some extracurricular activity:
My daughter-in-law works in a primary school in a deprived area. Many of the children as old as year 6 were not able to ride bicycles, and she has taught them this life skill during lockdown.
Sheena Alagar is full of admiration for a primary school headteacher.
I really must nominate the primary school headmaster at my daughter’s school (Royal Grammar School Newcastle). He’s been an absolute breath of fresh air and gives our whole family a giggle every morning. He emails a video assembly out from a different location every day – up a tree, inside a wardrobe, in his son’s playhouse, on the roof of the school, dressed as Spider-Man! – and always with a message about wellbeing, reminding the kids how able they are and how well they’re doing, and about being strong, calm and kind and helping each other out.
Not a single day has gone by without an enormous smile on his face – even though he has a new baby at home and has at times been isolating from his own family due to being at school a lot supervising key workers’ children. He’s also passed on this approach to all of the staff and it has been so refreshing and uplifting at difficult times. I can honestly say he has many times been responsible for lifting our whole family’s mood for the whole day – I will always remember how wonderful he has been throughout this crisis. A real spreader of joy!
Where was the Upside?
In New Zealand, which discharged its last Covid-19 patient this week.
Also with the slow, welcome return of sport.