P.E.I. teacher keeping up lessons with quarantined students in China
‘There's a lot of stress in terms of the limbo of it all’
A P.E.I. woman teaching English in China is facing new challenges as she continues to teach her Grade 2 students from Portugal.
Annie Ladéroute was on holiday in Spain when the COVID-19 outbreak in China grew to the point that her students were quarantined, and she was told it was not safe for her to return. Ladéroute teaches in Guangdong province in China.
She and her partner, who also teaches at the school and is from P.E.I., settled in Portugal to ride out the quarantine, and in the meantime are teaching their students online.
"For the most part things are going pretty well. I mean we're safe. We're in a beautiful country," said Ladéroute.
"There's not much for us to really complain on that front but there's a lot of stress in terms of the limbo of it all. So we just don't know when we're going back to our normal life, and teaching Grade 2 students online is certainly not ideal."
Ladéroute is meeting with her students in small groups via video conference through the day, and they've been doing assignments online. They have been quarantined in their homes for several weeks, and only recently allowed to spend some time outside.
They are quarantining people and that's making me a little more nervous.— Annie Ladéroute
Ladéroute has continued to be paid, but is not receiving any money for the extra expenses she is facing living in Portugal. The school is currently scheduled to reopen March 23, but there is nothing certain about that.
"Plans have changed multiple times over, in terms of how we might make up school time and how to better support our students," she said.
"We've had to change our flight two times now."
Ladéroute said the coronavirus itself is not a particular concern to her when it comes to returning to China.
"I'm not sure that I'm so concerned about my health, more so than maybe perhaps being stuck in China if I return," she said.
"It seems like they are quarantining people and that's making me a little bit more nervous than the actual virus itself, which sounds more like a flu."
The school has already announced longer class-time hours every day when it reopens, but Ladéroute is hopeful with the online work she doing now, the school year will not have to be extended.
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With files from Island Morning