It’s been a really strange time to work in a school…
Back in March school life as we know it changed. Imploded, some may say.
As we were given 48 hrs notice to prepare work packs and set up online learning, the reality of what was about to happen hit home. This was something pretty major. Something that teachers will never have been faced with, nor would expect to be. Four years at university could never have prepared us mentally or emotionally for what we were going to have to deal with.
3 weeks soon turned into six months.
Unions and, indeed, some councils were dead set on keeping schools closed. Failing to protect the very people that we are employed to protect. Teaching is not just about ‘teaching.’ It encompasses so much more than that. We are social workers, psychologists, lunchtime supervisors, parental support, nurses, doctors, dentists!!! We support children in every element of their mental and emotional well-being. Without this in place children cannot learn. By being forced to stay closed to most children we were neglecting those who need us.
Schools were open to key workers and vulnerable. Please don’t underestimate the enormity of this. This involved, delivering school meals to those who were entitled to free school meals. Ringing home weekly to those vulnerable/at risk children. Ensuring parents were still supported the same way they would be if school was open. Offering respite to parents who needed it. That’s great. We got to protect those who we know needed our help. What about those that we didn’t know about?
Fast forward to September. Schools ‘opened.’
But, they didn’t open quietly. Behind the scenes there were still murmurings from unions. ‘We need masks.’ ‘We need PPE.’ ‘What about me, me, me.’
‘We didn’t sign up to teach and die.’
Some teachers were/are genuinely scared. But this fear is being led by media and unions. Unions who are using our children and teachers as Political pawns. Something I will not be party too. Myself and lots of other teachers left unions in droves.
On the whole, I believe Primary Schools have been generally measured in their approach.
I don’t know one primary teacher/staff who wants to close schools. We know school is the best place for children.
For now, I will carry on doing what I love.
Thank you to all school staff. Keep doing what you are doing. You are making a difference.