Northumberland teacher 'humbled' by support of parents during lockdown

A Northumberland teacher has described it as ‘humbling’, as a new survey shows the level of backing from parents for their efforts during the coronavirus lockdown.

Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 12:20 pm

The poll of parents with school-age children, released today and commissioned by the Department for Education’s Get Into Teaching campaign in support of national Thank A Teacher Day (May 20), reveals the scale of new-found appreciation for teachers up and down the country.

More than eight in 10 (81%) parents in the North East who responded to the survey agree that over the course of the coronavirus restrictions they have developed a greater appreciation for the job teachers do, and seven in 10 (70%) agree teachers nationwide have gone ‘above and beyond’ over this period.

Based on their experience supporting home education, more than nine in 10 parents in the North East agreed that being a teacher requires a lot of patience (93%), and nearly nine in 10 said keeping young people engaged in learning takes a lot of creativity (89%).

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Martin Murphy, a teacher at Horton Grange Primary School in Blyth.

The Thank A Teacher campaign, run by The Teaching Awards Trust, is calling on children and their families to join forces today to thank teachers and school staff.

Martin Murphy, a teacher at Horton Grange Primary School in Blyth, said: “It really is humbling to hear that so many parents are feeling so appreciative of our efforts.

“Being a teacher always allows you to make a real difference in the world, but I’ve felt a heightened sense of purpose during these extraordinary circumstances.

“School leaders, teachers and staff have pulled together in hugely challenging circumstances to keep schools open for those who need it the most and find innovative and creative ways to support our pupils. For example, we’ve used our online learning journal to provide a range of daily activities for our early years, and with Google Classrooms for the older children, they are able to send us their work and we can still praise them.

“I’ve been touched by the heartfelt messages of support and thank-yous from pupils, parents and the wider community – it’s created stronger bonds between us all and has helped keep me motivated over the last few weeks.”

Of those parents surveyed in the North East, 87% are grateful to the teachers who positively influence their child, day in day out.

Children themselves also seem appreciative, with 83% of parents saying their child is missing their schoolteacher and being in lessons while schools are closed to the majority of pupils.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: “Teachers, head teachers and support staff have shown outstanding professionalism and commitment during these challenging times.

“They are doing an incredible job in finding innovative ways to continue young people’s education at home, be it through online lessons, set work or motivating phone calls with pupils.

“Now as we prepare for more young people returning to school, and as the country takes careful steps towards recovery, teachers and support staff are playing a vital role in ensuring children continue their education in these unprecedented times.”

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