Pace ourselves

The trouble with schools is, we’re all closed! Should we be closed? What is the best way to engage learners at the moment? What’s happening with GCSEs and A Levels? When will we reopen? What will the long-term impact be on learners? What will the impact be on our own work ethic? How will we best reopen schools when the time comes?

During the first week of school closures there have been so many questions flying around, an unbelievable amount of emails (mostly labelled urgent), and enough text in WhatsApp messages to reach Mars. I haven’t dared look at Twitter. We all seemed to have exploded into action this week, with enough energy to launch the Mars bound rocket dropping off the WhatsApp messages.

We don’t know how long this will go on for and so we need to pace ourselves.  We don’t know yet the underlying trauma we are undergoing and the effect that will have on us.  For teachers who have been in the profession more than a few years, this is big.  Our consistent and reliable routines have been shattered, and we are having to cope with new situations on a daily basis. 

After one week, we may not feel traumatised, but it’s important we all keep a very close eye on our own feelings and emotions first and foremost.  That’s not to say we all burst into new exercise regimes and wellbeing classes, as seems to have happened this week. That in itself is bringing another change into your life.   I’m just saying pace yourselves, evaluate the effect the changes are having on you.  If anything, mindfulness is what you need just now; just how do you feel at the moment? What can you cope with at the moment?

So before you go to plan the classes for children of key workers, plan and mark your online work, or work out what to feed your own kids (the ones who have all come back to live at home and want fed every second of the day), think about the instructions on aeroplanes – Put the oxygen mask on yourself first, before  you put it on your children. 

3 thoughts on “Pace ourselves

  1. Wise words Armando – keep safe yourself. Have started an hourly lesson online for my two grandsons – as you say, trying not to do it all at once. Stay well. Happy Birthday on the 8th. Graham

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  2. The trouble is , you don’t actually know what you can cope with, your mind does not let you go there; as if to protect you, it shuts down before you are confronted with the worst reality has to offer you right now.
    I have never enjoyed crafts with my children and I cannot pretend to enjoy it now. It somehow seems forced and magnifies the strangeness of what is now. My children look at me in disbelief when I present them with tissue paper and sequins with suggestions of making me a birthday card. This may of course be because one is 16 and grieving the normality of GCSE stress and the other is simply bewildered but acutely award that life has changed.
    I have barricaded all my thoughts and feelings and have tried to be a very happy, practical and resourceful parent. Trouble is, I have begun to wonder whether I have ever been any of these things. Be safe everyone.

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