It’s okay to be afraid, just do the right things

I was afraid when Covid-19 was detected in Malaysia. I was afraid for my team, my students, and their parents – but I knew it was okay to be afraid.

I also knew to survive, I needed to lead my team with confidence and be the best version of myself and that is what I expect from my team too.

I took stock of my fears and found the courage to do the right things and to face the challenges head-on.

We all knew life couldn’t go on as normal. We had to start doing things differently.

At my school, Global Oak Tree Scholars, we embraced online coaching from the moment the Movement Control Order (MCO) was announced on March 18. In fact, we started preparing two weeks before schools were told to close.

We began with recorded lessons before conducting live lessons daily, until our mid-term break just before Hari Raya. Our new term begins on June 22.

It has been a challenging but rewarding time. Of course, I would have preferred us to be in school but online lessons will continue for now.

The online learning process wasn’t easy but our commitment to delivering the best education possible meant we had to do it – and do it efficiently.

Parents have had to adapt to this ‘new norm’ too, especially those whose children are in pre-school.

Being so young, these children needed to have an adult sit beside them during the online lessons, and they can be quite a handful.

Parents and educators faced different challenges during MCO and we have come to appreciate each other even more.

I believe sharing those long hours in front of the computer has made the parents understand our teaching style and concept even more. We in turn, better understand the parents.

The key to running a good school, be it a national, private or international one, is understanding and cooperation. For that, I am truly blessed as I have a wonderful team.

We have received plenty of positive feedback from the parents and our coaches appreciate it. Of course, we can do better. I always believe we can and must strive to improve.

So what does the immediate future hold?

As of now, those sitting for exams – Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, Sijil Vokasional Malaysia, Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia, Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia and international examinations of equal standard will return to school on June 24. Pre-schoolers will be back on July 1.

We won’t know when things will get back to normal; when the other students will be allowed back to schools.

But we as educators must begin preparations. It doesn’t matter if we open a month from now or two months from now. My belief is if you start now, then you are well-prepared.

I look forward to the day all my scholars are back in school. I miss them and my team so much.

Stay safe, everyone.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.