Teachers say they are grateful and happy for extended mid-term break since ‘new normal is not normal’


Teachers are ecstatic that they will be getting one week off for mid-term holidays, this term, instead of the customary one day.

In a memo to principals dated October 9, Director of Education Clare Browne says the Ministry of Education has decided to adjust the academic calendar for the 2020-2021 school year.

Accordingly, Browne says the mid-term break will be extended to one week – from Monday, October 26, until Friday, October 30.

Speaking to REAL News, one woman says she is looking forward to the time off, because she has never had it this rough as a teacher.

She says it is such a strain to prepare and teach one lesson twice, due to the fact that “they stagger how children attend school.” What is even more strenuous, she says, is that teachers also have to keep their eyes on students at all times to ensure they are observing the health protocols.

This can prove to be very difficult, especially when dealing with a class of 25 or 30 students, she explains.

A male educator tells our News Department that he will spend his week catching up on sleep, since, as a family man, he feels drained at the end of each day.

Although he loves teaching, he is looking forward to the break, he says, “because this new normal is not normal.”

Another teacher is thanking the Ministry for the extra time off so their bodies and minds can recuperate.

“Well, at least all our efforts are not for naught, and the Ministry of Education is rewarding our hard work and dedication as teachers,” she says.

In his missive, the Director applauds the “school leaders, teachers and supporting staff for going beyond the call of duty in ensuring that our educational institutions were in a state of readiness to safely re-open for the academic year 2020-2021.”

Browne says the decision to extend the break was taken in light of the current COVID-19 climate, and to allow educators to rejuvenate for the remainder of the term.

He says the current era demands that “we become creative and vigilant as we work within our school environment.”

After the mid-term break, schools are set to re-open on November 3, following the Independence celebrations.