Covid-19 / School Days

Remote Learning – Day 17 and 18

Reflecting on the past two days whilst watching Man Utd run riot against a depleted Southampton team. When things go well, they go well and when they don’t it is hard. What we see here in football is the same for many in their everyday lives, whether personal or professional. With the current lockdown and restrictions in place, these lows (not so much the highs) are, I imagine, amplified. I write this, thinking of some I know that are not in the best of places right now and whilst mental health is highlighted at present, is everyone doing their bit to support and reach out to others that would benefit?

Other than one minor point, the last two days for me have been very positive. Sharing the work of colleagues wider in the organisation and seeing the may positives in these times makes you pleased to be part of a great team. I feel proud to be part of it and when colleagues give praise, then very kind words of praise come from parents too, it is well appreciated.

You and your staff are doing a great job. Our children are so fortunate, so thank you.

A Parent

That comment from a parent alone gives a great boost and helps you to keep going. You of course, listen to the feedback form those with ways they suggest could be improved, and we take those with the sincerity they are offered and in partnership, get better. Whilst the day was busy, two informal meetings (one for parents and one for colleagues) were well received and good to do. The first was a new weekly remote meeting for parents; an informal event so they can ask any questions and in honesty, engage with others. Lockdown is hard for all and we do lots for the children but want to help parents too. The offer of a quiz was not taken up but a few questions and possible adaptations to what we do are eminent. The second meeting (for colleagues) was also informal – a chance to engage and share tips and tricks. It also gave the opportunity for colleagues to ask questions about features and possibilities – basically tapping into the expertise of colleagues. This should happen more and the reason this was pushed.

Today was just as busy as yesterday, if not a little more. The highlight had to be teaching a class and for me it was my first remote lesson. Add to the fun, it was a Talk for Writing lesson with about 25 children at home – I take my hat off to colleagues up and down the country and around the world, managing the tech; working out who offered an answer and finding the child on the wall of images. To see the children smiling and letting you know you forgot an action was comical in itself but most importantly, positive.

After the fun of teaching and positivity of the class, it was time to get ready for a presentation to some leaders in the organisation. It was positive too and acknowledgement of a few months work done with some notable achievements. What happens next… don’t know myself yet. To have the opportunity to share what you have been doing and having been able to shape that, is good.

The reminder of the day was spent (besides the nipping around school, messages, tasks and praise) in two webinars; one on staff well-being and one on Safer Online Blended Learning. The first was great to hear how head teacher colleagues engage staff and promote well-being. The talk of creating the policies to ensure it happens was interesting, although not everybody is in a position to influence it. It was reassuring to hear others share how they work to reduce the workload of staff. It is something that takes a brave leader willing to justify choices. Too many people want ‘evidence’ and fail to see how the work and outcomes in class is the important ‘evidence’ needed. The second webinar shared simple things to implement and consider in the current remote world of education we are in.

A good couple of days but busy. It is a week when mental health is being talked about a bit more than usual. Strange though how decisions can be made one day supporting others, yet another decision takes it all away. How well are you looked after and do the people around you show you respect and realise how their ideas and decisions are/can negatively affect you? Some give you water, knowing it is good for you; be grateful to those.

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