Uffe Rostrup: Relax and don’t forget that this is just a temporary solution
The lockdown of the Danish society, including the independent schools, has been extended until the end of February. This was presented at a press conference on Thursday January 28th by the Danish Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen. At a press conference on February 1st, the Prime Minister let the pupils in the grades 0-4 go back to school.
However, up until the summer holidays, emergency education will have to continue – both for the pupils at the schools and for the ones who attend online from their homes. As a consequence, most of the teachers at independent schools will provide online education.
Many teachers are contacting the Teachers' Union for Danish Independent Schools because they feel stressed out by the enormous task of restructuring their education to make it work online. In addition, they say that it is difficult to draw the line between work and leisure when you spend the majority of your time at home in front of your computer screen.
The chairman of the Teachers' Union for Danish Independent Schools, Uffe Rostrup, understands and knows the challenge. He says that it is important that we, as teachers, don’t forget that this is a temporary solution. We cannot and should not have the same ambitions as when we teach in class at the school, he believes:
“Professional ambitions are great, of course, but the situation is as far from the normal as it could possibly get, and that is why it is important that teachers and pupils alike remain motivated for school attendance.”
Uffe Rostrup encourages union representatives to discuss the level of ambition at their school with school management:
“Schools have the option of changing the schedule, removing tasks, and adjusting ambitions so that teachers do not succumb to the pressure. A responsible school management should use this option,” says Uffe Rostrup.
Vulnerable pupils must be taught at the school
Vulnerable pupils with special social, pedagogical or learning difficulties must be taught at the school – even if all other pupils have been sent home and receive online education. This has been pointed out by the Danish Minister for Education, Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil, time and time again.
The school leader is responsible for identifying the vulnerable pupils and for making sure that they are taught at the school. As a teacher, you can draw your leader’s attention to vulnerable pupils whose situations require that they are taught at the school.