Peru - Calgary
Art by Emily Honderich
Levia Quequezana story
Levia Quequezana arrived in Montreal in 2005 and moved to Calgary the following year with her husband and six children. In 2019 she graduated with a Bachelor of Education from St. Mary’s University and now teaches full-time at Calgary Catholic School District.
COVID and Me
On March 16th, an announcement in the school where I worked filled my mind with a strange feeling of relief. "Classes suspended indefinitely due to COVID-19." Until then, I had too much to teach, to learn and too many classes to prepare. I thought that teaching online would not be as hard. I was wrong. All of a sudden, the Coronavirus changed our lives, my family's, my students' and my own. Since everyone did not know how to teach from home or learn from home, we overdid it. The first weeks were devastating for me as a mother pretending to homeschool my children, as a tired housewife and as a teacher chasing my pupils and their parents. The isolation took over my lifestyle but especially darkened my soul. I could not share the rare feeling of sadness and I did not want to spread my gloomy emotions. My children refused to believe in Zoom classes while I tried to convince my students that learning online was fun to keep them engaged. I felt like I was drowning often; the only motivation to keep swimming was loving my students and my children.
I learned to accept my pain of sitting for long hours, my mediocre online classes that could not reach all my students, an unreliable internet connection, and a flawed English as my second language. I accepted both the well-done homework and the absence of homework from my pupils. I embraced the willingness to participate and also those kids that ignored my lessons. I slowed down the rigour of my expectations and the pressure on my children. We all felt overwhelmed with uncertainty. I could not hide my feelings and expect my students to ignore their fears and loneliness. We surrendered to the circumstances; we embraced the changes, and we dealt with them. I talked about COVID and us, we discussed with my kids and my students how, where, when, why, and the impact on us and the entire world. The word "Okay" never had more sense to me than now. "It is Okay." "We are Okay." "It will be Okay."
"The first weeks were devastating for me as a mother pretending to homeschool my children, as a tired housewife and as a teacher chasing my pupils and their parents. The isolation took over my lifestyle but especially darkened my soul. I could not share the rare feeling of sadness and I did not want to spread my gloomy emotions."