DISPLAYING ITEMS BY TAG: TEACHERS

How was your last term?

The final term of the year was obviously very different to normal. My school reacted thoughtfully and decisively to closure by setting up an online provision focused on supporting students to access education. The provision constantly evolved to incorporate different forms of education experiences, using technology to support students further.

How’s your last term been? 

If you had said in February that we would spend the whole of Summer Term teaching from home, I would have been gobsmacked. The last term has been the strangest of my decade-long teaching career. Not all of the events that unfolded post-lockdown were unpleasant. If you believe some online ‘commentators’, teachers spent that time sitting on the couch, which I did at some points. I spent more time with my own children, even becoming their teacher for a couple of months (more difficult than teaching my pupils). I provided online learning for my class whilst also spending one day a week supporting key worker children.  

Covid-19 had struck. We sent the children home from Roundthorn Primary Academy three days before schools closed nationally to all but key workers and vulnerable children. We’d had an outbreak; a number of staff fell ill and I was taking no chances. With little time to plan and just a few photocopied sheets in hand, we sent the children home not knowing what the immediate future might look like or when we’d see them again.

I am not the only teacher who dreaded “going back” after the Easter break, but I had more to dread than most as I had been off sick for a number of weeks before lockdown. This meant that I had no preparation time for remote learning and felt totally out of the loop, both professionally and digitally!

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.

Various factors drove me to wanting to become a teacher: factors such as inspiring young people to succeed, watching children progress and also contributing to making a difference in someone’s life. However, another huge driving force was also this vision of having more BAME educators in schools. In my head, being a visible representation of both the Black and Muslim community would somehow be my own daily, personal resistance to injustice everywhere. Allowing young children to see an individual such as myself, holding such an important role in their life, would somehow push them to grow up with open minds and open hearts to people from different cultures. 

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.

As we come to the end of lockdown (apparently), I am reflecting on my lockdown experience as an educator who lives with anxiety, and I have realised that it has been a double-edged sword. 

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