Mid-term update: 9 November, 2021

Tuesday, 9 Nov 2021

Dear parents, when 2021 started we all hoped for a ‘normal’ year. We were blessed to have relative ‘normality’ for many months until 18 August … Since then, a new, uncomfortable, ‘normal’ has developed. Our experience the past three months emphasise why believing in an unchanging, all-powerful God who is ‘slow to anger and abounding in love’ gives us the strength and hope we need to live an abundant and victorious life through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

The staff members and I want to acknowledge the enormous effort you have put into supporting your children’s learning the past three months. Remote learning has its positives and negatives.

On the positive side,

  • parents and children have been able to spend more time together, something the research shows us (and we instinctively know) is of immeasurable value for the healthy development of our children;
  • children have been getting more one-on-one attention (since all of the children now have parental teacher assistants!) that has clearly benefited some students to make exceptional progress.

On the negative side,

  • it has been a big challenge to balance work responsibilities with the support your child(ren)’s learning requires, possibly being a source of frustration in the family.
  • some of our children are really missing face-to-face interaction with their peers

As a school, we are incredibly grateful for the digital communication tools that enable us to continue a teaching and learning programme and support you as parents with the education of your children. However, we are acutely aware that remote learning is not as efficient as face-to-face learning and screens are unable to replace the rich learning experiences that students can have when they are with other students in a classroom.

Despite the valuable support you are giving your children with their remote learning, teachers’ workload has actually increased, especially as it relates to time spent on teaching responsibilities. My concern as principal for our teachers is that they do not create work routines that are not sustainable in the long run, eventually leading to burnout! This is, of course, true for you as well as you try to cope with the additional responsibility of remote learning support at home.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like things are going to change much for the five weeks of school left in the 2021 school year. The Ministry of Education will share some advice on how more students can be allowed to return to school for the remainder of the term, possibly starting Monday 15 November, in a government announcement today and/or tomorrow. This advice, together with your input, will inform the approach that we, the Tyndale Park Christian School community, will take that will not only enable us to maximise teaching and learning for our students but also keep our community safe.

As always, it is an honour and privilege to serve you in the education of your children.

Barend Blom

Principal

Photo by Jim Romero on Unsplash

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p 09 274 9771   e admin@tyndalepark.school.nz   a 206 Murphys Road, Flat Bush, Auckland 2019