DISPLAYING ITEMS BY TAG: DISTANCE LEARNING

Teachers and schools will need little reminding that in recent weeks they have been the subject of a number of newspaper headlines, most of which haven’t been positive about our profession. Likewise, some social media commentators have had an open season in sharing their opinions about education. This has implications for the wellbeing of our staff in these challenging times.

Up and down the country, there will be teams of senior leaders and teachers getting together (from a safe distance!) to discuss what school will look like come September. So how on earth do we start the process of prepping for September with children who have been away from school for over five months?

Zoom has exploded onto the stage during lockdown - everyone is zooming everyone, although occasionally grandparents are not quite getting the hang of it. My daughter reportedly spent 10 minutes speaking to my dad’s right ear. Though, to be fair to him, the fact he had managed to find the app on his phone was an achievement in itself (I think he had help).

In the last couple of months, it’s become evident that we are experiencing educational disruption likely to last for the foreseeable future. Most teachers have been looking for opportunities to continually support pupils in the most effective ways, whether the teaching takes place onsite or online.

Pupil wellbeing is high on the agenda for educators as the phased return to school begins. Indicators such as Young Minds Charity are telling us that there is a growing need for mental health support. The Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield shared her views that all schools would need to have an onsite councillor to help manage the current children and young people’s mental health crisis in the return from lockdown. Only today the DFE have announced that pupil mental health and wellbeing needs to be a priority for the school reintegration process. So, what can educators do to prepare for this additional support for young people’s mental health as the country moves out of the pandemic? 

These are strange and sad times, and tough times for teachers. As soon as lockdown began I knew that my subject – drama – would be particularly vulnerable.

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