Amidst the difficult times of COVID-19, we set out to accomplish a highly innovative effort with 3 targets: (1) needed infrastructure, (2) teacher motivation and (3) modeling the use of digital resources.
First we noted that locally the COVID health focus was almost exclusively on student handwashing, ignoring the hygiene concerns of the teachers, many of whom are older, with chronic health conditions. Hence our idea to construct teacher-only toilets and sinks– offering immediate health benefits, but also the potential for an enormous motivational impact on the teaching staff.
Imagine sharing toilets with 300+ students pre-covid. Now imagine sharing toilets with the students under the threat of COVID-10 and you have a sense of the heightened level of stress on these professionals.
Our new teacher-only toilets offered concrete evidence that they are valued and respected.
We also used teacher toilet “down time” to provide hours of training during COVID-19, a period when teacher professional training simply disappeared. Teachers collaborated online to locate resources of interest to them that we attached to the inside walls of the toilets. In the course of their “down time” the teachers reflect on new ideas and inspiration quotes. They are now excitedly engaged in locating digital resources and experiencing for themselves how this can add to their motivation and professional learning…. on the toilet no less!