Staff at Cumberland Community School have sent out a video message to their students – in essence, don’t worry: everything will be OK.
The video, featuring teachers and educational assistants, was threaded together by the school’s music teacher, Gary Ball.
“It’s not an original idea, I think lots of people have already done this,” said Ball, who also provided the music for the video. “We [staff] were having a meeting and Brian Gorman, one of the EAs at the school suggested we do something. I told them because I don’t have a class right now, I would take on putting the video together.”
Diana Miller, an EA specialist at Cumberland Community School, provides the signing in the video.
The video features Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds (a.k.a. Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright)and the New Zealand song Pokarekare Ana, which has particular significance to Cumberland students.
“The Bob Marley song… I thought that was a nice, simple idea, to have that song in there, and all the children in our school know the song Pokarekare Ana,” said Ball. “My mom comes from New Zealand so I grew up with a whole bunch of New Zealand culture. We all learned to sing Pokarekare Ana, which is like their unofficial anthem. So I teach it to the kids. Part of the message is ‘I long to see you again’ so it’s really appropriate, considering the circumstances.”
Ball has been a teacher since 1995, and at Cumberland Community School since 2000. He said the challenges surrounding the COVID-19 social isolation restrictions have hit a lot of teachers particularly hard and he’s no different in that regard.
“I want to get back in there. I really miss my classes. I miss a lot of my teaching friends as well, but I really miss the kids a lot, and I miss what I do.”
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