Working it out

26 May 2020

Staff Amanda Lester 3726 SQWith two boys under five, an assignment for her Master of Education (Leadership) due and lessons to manage, Mathematics teacher Amanda Lester says juggling life in lockdown was busy and challenging, but she was happy to just roll with it.

“Education and teaching is my passion, but work was no longer at work, it spilled into every aspect of life and was constantly on my radar. I was Mrs Lester, a student myself, a wife and “mummy”, but somehow managed to find the energy for it all.”

She did so by sticking to a routine: up early, out every day for a walk, teaching and checking in with her students, researching and writing her assignment, plus family time – a lot of lego, building forts and secret hideouts, and a lot of snacks.

“It was sometimes difficult with the boys, trying to help them understand why mummy wasn’t available when I was right there. They gatecrashed a couple of my classes at different times, which was kind of fun. The [College] boys were really good. I’d asked what would work well for them, and ended up giving them work on the first day and then using Google Meet to answer questions and do examples, with lots of checks for understanding along the way.”

Amanda is a Canadian married to a Kiwi and, after many years in Canada, the family moved to Christchurch in 2018. She has been keeping in close contact with family and friends back home, watching the coronavirus crisis unfold.

“My family is in Ontario, close to the border with the US, and I’m so grateful the border is closed. I feel lucky to be in New Zealand, in a safe country that’s managing well ... but the world feels far bigger now, we can’t simply get on a plane and go to see family, and that’s hard.”