COVID-19: Brief Reflections on Working at School

A rota system is in place where I work to help ensure that staff time is distributed equitably across three-week cycles.  I’ve just done my second and final day of the period, so what follows are just a few reflections on my experiences.  Nothing more than that.

One of the first things that really struck me was the goodwill and patience of the staff I worked alongside.  It would have been entirely natural – at least at points – for frustrations to emerge or for tempers to fray or whatever, but there was none of that.  In fact, quite the opposite.  Everyone just got on with stuff and dealt with issues as they arose without a fuss.  And there was some nice chit chat along the way, too.  Small and inconsequential interactions are important, and particularly so right now.

Onto the students…  Yep, they’ve been brilliant.  No cheap praise.  It’s a strange and stressful situation for them, being thrown together each day to engage with various tasks and assignments and challenges.  But they demonstrated genuine resilience and were remarkably upbeat throughout.   From afar, at break and lunch, I watched them play together – football, tag, chase – with a delightful enthusiasm.  Not sure how things will look in a couple of weeks because we’ll be well into the Easter holiday by that point but, right now, everyone seems pretty positive.

Looking back on my two days, it’s obvious that I was a beneficiary of all the hard work done by the team who put the systems into place and established the routines during the first week.  Props to those staff.  And, beyond that, props to Headteachers everywhere.  What a tough gig.  It’s easy to forget how chaotic things were in the days following Williamson’s announcement that schools were to close.

Before I sign-off, one more thing.  Going into school this week (and being at home) has been made immeasurably easier for me by my colleagues in the English Department.  Work for students has been set centrally and parental questions and enquiries have dealt with by the HoD and TLR holders.  The team are amazing and I owe them big time.

Thanks for reading and all the very best for what remains of the week –


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