The COVID-19 pandemic and the Painful Truth of a Teacher's Sacrifice
She wakes up as early as 6 AM to get ready for work. Her eyes are tired and her stomach’s empty, but she needs to get off the bed because she still has another responsibility. She used to hate early showers, but now, she endures the cold water to keep her awake. Then, she puts on her school uniform and rushes to her workstation. She has not seen her family for one year and three months now since the lockdown began. Weary and wary and, she longs for her family, especially her one-year-old son who had already forgotten her as a mom. This is the COVID-19 pandemic story of Teacher Soul…heart-pinching, bittersweet and sacrificial of a mother’s sacrifice.
Teacher Soul is among the 1, 300 plus QQEnglish employees who sacrificed for their families since the pandemic started in March 2020. As a mother to a one-year-old child, Martin, her life has been greatly affected because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Teacher Soul, in her wildest dream, has never dreamed of being separated from her family this long, not until the pandemic happened. The COVID-19 pandemic has its own way of twisting its fate and challenged her to experience what she once dreaded. The test of time has been relentless, but it left Soul with no choice but to face living a life away from her family with a brave heart.
For Soul, not seeing her now two-year-old son take his first walk and not hearing him say his first word in person was the saddest memory she’ll forever regret as a mother. Deep in her is an emotional agony of regrets and dismay for missing what every mother considers one of the most wonderful milestones in their child’s life
"My life was difficult"
“I should’ve been there when my son uttered his first word. I should’ve been there to witness his first walk and first fall, but sadly I wasn’t.” Soul gasped while her tears rolled down her face. “My life was difficult. It was really hard to be far away from my family, especially my son. Although more than a year had already passed, I still can’t imagine how he sleeps and how my husband and husband would put him to sleep.”
Other people would think of Soul as a worry-free woman because of her optimistic and positive personality, but little did they know that behind every smile she shows is a constant battle of hardships and emotional and mental pressure
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, her husband lost his job and Soul carries the responsibilities of becoming the family’s breadwinner. To this hardworking mother-teacher, giving up is not and will never be an option. Because the moment she gives up will be the moment her beloved ones would financially suffer.
"Things were amazing before the COVID-19 pandemic happened."
Despite being homesick, Teacher Soul continues to embrace reality and moves on with life. But human as she is, she admits that sometimes, she gets very emotional. Her son used to be her ultimate happy pill, but now that she’s left with only pillows and an empty bed, she could not help but cry.
“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, even if my day was extremely exhausting, I instantly felt better every time I hug my son. It’s so hard. I try to be strong during the daytime, but before I go to bed, all the pain, that’s the time when I miss them,” she gasped while trying to stop the tears that are clouding up her eyes.
Sometimes, Soul would just cry and imagine how amazing things were before the COVID-19 pandemic happened. She already longs for the time when he can sleep next to her son and be with her family again. She missed the feeling of being hugged by her loved ones before she leaves work and when she arrives home from work. But everything changed, and for Soul, all those were but only happy memories of the past.
Sunrise in the COVID-19 pandemic: Another Morning, Another Hope.
Despite the painful experience of being away from her loved ones, Teacher Soul remains thankful for the chance QQEnglish has given her. Although she misses home badly, her QQEnglish family remains the other family that has provided her with love, care, and hope during this tough time.
“All I can do now is to work hard for them and become an inspiration to all my students. I am happy that all my sacrifices are valid because it is the reason for my student’s happiness. Life may seem hard now because of this pandemic but I could never imagine how my life would be like now without QQEnglish and all its students,” Soul stated with a smile on her face.
This enthusiastic teacher is a Kid’s favorite. For almost five years now, Soul has changed young learner’s perception of online English language learning. According to her, it’s very fulfilling to know that some students keep coming back just to have her as their English online teacher.
“It’s totally rewarding. The smiles I see in the faces of my students truly fill the emptiness I feel of being far from home. Being an online English teacher for kids gives me a satisfying feeling of being a teacher and a mother. I could never imagine my life without my students. They are the prime reason QQEnglish exists despite the pandemic and I will forever be indebted to them.”
Fun English Lessons
Unlike other online English schools, would-be English speakers can enjoy fun and effective online English lessons with QQEnglish. Every day, Teacher Soul gets very interested in teaching her young students English songs and rhymes. It also makes her happy when she gets the chance to teach her students basic English grammar and unfamiliar words. And above all, it excited when she reads English stories to her students since that’s what she and Martin always do before going to bed.
“Teaching young ESL learners online is de-stressing. It fills my heart with pure delight when I see them enjoy my class. Instead of feeling tired, I suddenly become energized because I see my child in them,” she happily shared.
Teacher Soul is just one of the many teachers who sacrificed being with family amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, where learning English seems difficult, Teacher Soul is one of those ‘education heroes’ who remain unmoved by the test of time.
Excited for the COVID-19 pandemic to end
Even though she badly misses home, Teacher Soul is optimistic and excited for the COVID-19 pandemic to end. Just like other teachers on quarantine for months in QQEnglish, she can’t also wait to be back home again and rekindle all the memories she missed from being away from home for over a year. Teacher Soul, just like the rest of us, is excited to be spending time again with her loved ones, especially with her son Martin.
“I don’t know how will I hug him. I am excited about that time, but I am also worried because my son no longer knows who I am to him. He used to call me mama. But now, I am not sure if it will still be the same. My son, my only child, has already forgotten me.”
Emotionally wrecked for how things have been because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Teacher Soul is positive that her son, Martin, will still remember her as his mother. Although it may take some time, weeks, or even months for him to get comfortable with her again, she believes her son will feel her and will soon realize that she is his mother.
Teacher Soul knows her battle of emptiness will continue, but she will forever choose to fight for her family’s future. Together with other teachers, Soul emerges to become tougher than she was before for the people she loves. She is determined to wake up at 6 AM and endure the cold water to get ready for work to support his family and to provide Martin with everything he needs.