A beautiful letter from a teacher to struggling parents.
A teacher from Johannesburg, Tessa MacMurray wrote this heartfelt open letter to all the parents in lockdown.
I see you. In fact, with our recent transition to virtual classrooms and distance-learning, I am seeing you more than ever. I have seen your art, your unmade beds, your pyjamas as you walk past carrying coffee and your misbehaving pets.
I see you exhausted, dishevelled and working in the background whilst your child reads beautifully.
I see your shadow across the screen as you whisper the answers to your child.
I see you play-acting to be wearing pants during parent interviews, even though I can see you are not, and I appreciate you for pretending.
I see you in WhatsApp videos exhausted, chasing after your child as they ride away on their bikes and the dogs surround you, and still I can hear the smile in your voice despite being outnumbered and overwhelmed. This is courage.
I see you second-guessing yourself. You are more than enough, as I am in awe. Your child is smiling on my screen and they have managed some work today, in my book you are winning
I see your cursive writing on your child’s worksheet, pretending to be the work of a seven-year-old boy. Please be aware your son has not learned cursive yet, and it will probably never be that neat! Although if you would like me to assess your writing, please know you are doing very well according to Grade 2 assessment standards.
I see your raised eyebrow because I only own 4 reputable looking jerseys, and I am wearing the blue one again.
I see how happy your child is to be spending so much time with you. Despite the fights. I see your child, years from now, telling people this was on of their happiest times with you.
I see your immense kindness when your child is just not “getting” their Maths. I hear you taking a deep breath and explaining it again, gently and calmly.
I see you having a massive argument with your child because you forgot to turn off the recording and they are sprinting away from you into the garden! I am sitting there wishing your child speed and you luck.
I see you are worried. I cannot take that worry away but know that when we return to the classroom I will do everything in my power to make school feel safe again, encourage laughter and help them to learn as much as humanly possible.
I see your alcohol stores have run low and I am sending you a virtual bottle of bubbly to celebrate you and your child. Please take a sip for every sentence that was read and every sum you helped to completer. I am proud because bravery is contagious and I see it trickling through your child and believe me, I know where it comes from.
I see you baking cakes when I understand your need to relax in front of mindless television.
I see you making your child’s day because you sat down to dinner with them. In their Weekend report, your child mentioned it was the best part of their whole week.
I see the note you helped your child type, to thank me for the video lesson. I saved that note as my screensaver, that encouragement meant more than you know.
I see your fatigue. The time for us to swap roles once again is fast approaching, I will be waiting at the classroom door, watching your sigh of relief with a smile.”
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