Covid-19 / School Days

All in a Day 6 and 7

I had not felt great the last two days so to feel okay now, is brilliant. Nothing related to covid, more the continual grinding out of busy school days with never a second to spare. Knocks on the door for a minute chat (that are never a minute); emails pinging in (the majority of which ideally would just be deleted); the routine things we do (that are great). It all adds up and takes time. Add to that the demands of the pointless ones. The time-wasting queries, challenges and more that really, like some of those emails, you’d like to just set the door on or press the mute button. Not always easy to do that.

When you have taught for a little and the questions come – maybe I should not write questions – maybe I should write challenges. You know those ones where non-qualified, uneducated, ignorant (in the true meaning of the word) people think they know how a school runs; how to teach; and how they know best. I think it is the kind of thing if I sat down and wrote a sitcom on it, it would be hilarious. It would be like the Harry Enfield sketches… “Only meeee!” That annoying interference from someone making suggestions because they have no ideas and totally do not get it. Imagine a passenger of a flight contacting the pilot every two minutes with questions and suggestions on how to fly the plane? Imagine the surgeon being interrupted by the patient’s family member suggesting how to carry out the operation. Or the estate agent advising the soldier how to storm the building. Sounds like I have had a few this week but I actually haven’t. Only a couple wanting the vehicle gate to be opened so children and parents can walk straight out into the road. Road v Distancing. Both need common sense but the lowest risk I’d suggest is distancing.

Sat in on a meeting of Young Leaders today. The way 9 to 11 year olds behaved in a meeting and chaired it was brilliant. I’ve seen adults do it well but what I saw today was great. These are the things true teachers teach for. We care for all subjects but the extras on top are so rewarding. I look forward to watching their work develop and school development as a result. Yes, we as adults can drive it, and we will. But for me know it is about letting the children run the school and drive the improvements with us; they are ready for it.

Reflection is one of the most underused yet powerful tools for success.

Richard Carlson

We keep reflecting on what is working well and we should reflect on the past term too. I remember whilst training to be a teacher we had to evaluate every lesson we taught. It was usually about half a page of what worked, what didn’t and how the strategies used benefited the children’s learning. I think that work helped in continually evaluation. I don’t think it needs writing down – we all work in a different way. For some, certainly me, I just think about it and see it in my head. I encouraged staff to do this today for the term. In my opinion we have achieved some great things. We have had minimal bubbles close since returning. In all cases we have been able to sort things out straight away and whilst not ideal for children to be at home, they have had work. I have seen staff leading live lessons, online feedback and stories and phonics for the youngest. There is no reason we can’t deliver in these Covid times – only excuses.

Reflecting on the term we have so many positives and Covid for me has made things simpler. We have had less events taking place which is a real shame. It has however meant less distractions and organisation for some staff – that has to be easier. We have (sadly) had no swimming lessons or the usual weekly sporting competitions out of school. Again, another great shame but for staff, simpler. Children have been with their own teacher and all classes with their own Teaching Assistant. Can’t be any reasons for anything other than exceptional behaviour there either.

All in all, whilst Covid is not great, it has meant teaching should be simpler. Of course, this is as long as staff have remain Covid free and limited requirements to self-isolate. For us, that is the case and I don’t think that is all down to good luck. It has been tiring and it has been a challenge. All that said though, we should all reflect and be proud of what we have achieved. We continue to learn and try new things: live lessons, blended learning and flipped classrooms. Keep exploring and enjoy the job. The children are always great and if they aren’t change your attitude.

Keep safe and keep going – it’s almost Christmas.

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