Our New Normal?
Updated: Apr 19, 2020
How long have you been in lockdown? Three weeks? A month?
I have almost lost track. I say almost because I am still teaching remotely so I have to be at least slightly aware of the days of the week. But only just.
Our family actually began isolated in mid March, a week before the schools closed as we were displaying symptoms. I’ve been at home now for five weeks. (I had to look at the calendar to make sure I hadn’t got that wrong.)
For two weeks ‘the germ’ as we call it in our house worked it’s way through every family member, bar the dog. Though scary and not at all pleasant we were lucky with the ‘milder‘ version meaning we were bed bound but thankfully not hospital cases. We’re generally all right now.
However, in that two week period our school, like so many around the world, transitioned from face to face teaching to the wibbly wobbly world of online learning. Having been off sick during this change I am still playing catch up! I have finally worked out how to get onto the school system. This doesn’t sound very impressive but when you are as tech unsavvy as I am and the instructions were three pages long with screen shots and numbers, well, it might as well have been written in ancient Sanskrit.
I have also been incredibly grateful to all the teachers and other educators out there for sharing their ideas and tech knowledge (voiceover on PowerPoint anyone?!) that a simpleton like me can use. It is making things more accessible for my classes so thank you!
In my department we are also using this time to create resources for next year and I’ll be integrating anything techy I find useful to them. So that’s exciting.
The part I am finding hardest though combining being a teacher with being a parent. Lots of people seem to think that as a teacher we should naturally be able to home school. But I’m a secondary teacher and my little fella is an infants age child. Also to him I’m Mummy not Miss and am there to play lego not force him to read about Chip Biff and Kipper.
He‘s now been away from school for over a month and is not what you’d call a self motivated school learner. Don’t get me wrong, he loves to learn things, just not so much how to read or write! So I am having to juggle my teaching with making his learning more project-based, all at the same time. And it doesn’t help that he has the patience of Stalin.
So far we have, among many other less educational activities, made and eaten afternoon tea accompanied virtually by Granny, created a fairy garden, done some science experiments, learned all about Easter (thank you Twinkl!) and built a cardboard box aeroplane.
All while setting my own work, planning, creating new lessons resources, marking and replying to students emails.
I am exhausted!
I miss my classroom and the peace it affords to work. I miss my students and the chat. I miss speaking to other grown ups!
But we will get back there. This is the new normal for now not forever.
Thankfully, so far, no one has made me teach on camera yet. Nobody needs to see that level of clutter and I certainly don’t have the time to clear it all up!
See you soon! (Hopefully...)