‘We are not babysitters for the economy’: WA teacher speaks out

'We are not babysitters for the economy': WA teacher speaks out

Apparently we are experiencing ‘unprecedented times’, yet you advise parents that they may CHOOSE to keep their children at home.

I am in contact with hundreds of students every day. I am in the classroom with them while they pick their nose, blow raspberries at each other, chew pencils then leave them on the desks and wipe their noses with the back of their hands. Because that is what kids do.

I mind them while they eat, attempting to enforce some sort of social distancing, but they like to sit closely, heads together, knees touching, and share their food when we are not looking.

Because that is what kids do. I see to their knees when they have had a fall in a playground, after they have touched balls and playground equipment. They hold onto my clothes for reassurance, because that’s what kids do.

The school environment is a petri dish, regardless of hand sanitisers, teachers washing desks three times a day, children washing their hands frequently. Because 30 seconds later, they have opened a toilet door, or turned on a drink tap and acquired another million germs. Because that’s what kids do.

I am 57-years-old, with ageing parents and a brother who is about to start chemotherapy this week to combat cancer.


My daughter is immune compromised. I turn up to work every day, hoping and praying that my principal will announce that the school is closing; not to protect the health of the children in my school, or even my own health, but to protect the health of my family.

We are not babysitters for the economy. You keep the schools open, and I find myself in the unenviable position of being exposed to high-risk behaviours by a beautiful bunch of guileless innocents.

I find myself in a position where I am a risk to my own family. And I find myself in the position of catering to students who are learning at home whilst keeping up with those left in my classroom.

I am at the end of my tether.

Right now, I hate the fact that I am a teacher.

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