It’s a difficult time for everyone, but particularly for principals who have to ensure their teachers and support staff have everything they need in remote learning to ensure continuity of learning for their students.

Health insurance company Teachers Health (THF) celebrated the hard work and dedication of our school leaders on Principal’s Day on Friday, with Chris Egan one of the many who have led their schools community through the challenges of the last year.

Having been a principal for 10 years and presently at the helm of Regina Coeli Catholic Primary School in Beverly Hills, he says that along with health professionals, teachers are the real heroes deserving our praise during the current pandemic.

“It has been very stressful and demanding period for teachers as they provide learning remotely, and they miss teaching their students at school very much,” he said.

“They have assumed significant responsibility for the learning and well-being of their students and have done this with a positive ‘can do’ attitude.

Covid impacts on all of us in different ways, and teachers are balancing their work with a multitude of pressures in their private lives, including supporting their own children doing home learning.

Working longer hours now, Mr Egan says it can be challenging to ‘switch off’.

“You find yourself thinking and worrying about your students, staff and parents all the time,” he said.

“I have prioritised trying to get some daily exercise and relaxing at night; my beloved Sharks football team have not been the greatest source of joy during lockdown, but I have loved watching our Australian Olympians excelling at Tokyo.”

Mr Egan says he hopes the Australian community recognises how hard principals and teachers at all schools are working for their students during this pandemic, and in turn, provide the profession the respect that it rightly deserves.

“Apart from providing healthcare, there is nothing more important than giving a child the gift of education and opening up the doors of opportunity for them later in life,” he said.

Mr Egan also acknowledges that it is very challenging for parents and students to learn remotely at home during lockdown, ‘Our students are doing an amazing job and producing excellent work each day, but we can’t wait to welcome them back to school soon!’.

Original article posted on the Canterbury/Bankstown Torch (11/08/21)