Having not posted for a very long time, what better moment to reignite this blog than to reflect on the first day of the rest of our lives.
For several weeks now, we have being steadily preparing for the restriction, or even removal, of service from our school. We began to get the message, from the stories being told overseas, that we would indeed need to close. And, despite a huge effort from the staff team and the senior leaders and admin team in particular, nothing could prepare us for the day when we were simply left running childcare for 23 children.
So now that we are there, now enabling learning remotely, we find ourselves supporting parents in a way that we have to now get used to very, very quickly. And, as is always the case when doing something for the first time, there is a lot toe learn and a lot to reflect upon.
Here, then, are the reflections of the first day of the rest of our lives in education.
Three things I’ve learned:
1. We are all in the same boat now.
For so long, teachers have been seen as the embattled, little understood, cat to kick by the parents who just hand their problematic progeny to us and expect us to wave the magic wand of learning and behaviour.
Now they know how challenging educating their children can be. We know how important it is to provide support to ensure the children keep going. There is a real sense of the potential for real understand.
2. Consistent Communication
The school community, now largely at a distance, were left with a motivational and plentiful range of learning activities, ideas and resources by the thorough and well-prepared teaching team.
Facebook, was brought to bear in engaging the families and motivate others to contribute or at least feel as if they ought to be getting on with things.
Through relentless comms, from weeks before, dripping infromation and pre-emptive messages into regular messages, to faster and more intensive messaging in the past few days, the community has a rallying point and a shared sense of purpose; something that they are contributing to themselves.
3. Plan-Review-Evaluate: at all levels
We have been in a constant state of plan-review-evaluate for two weeks. The result has left us feeling that we are in danger of losing the control that we, as educators, treasure so highly.
However, by using the plan-review-evaluate cycle model at all levels – from the whole-school development plan, to the term, to the week, to the day and to the hour – the staff team, and the leadership team inparticular, have the license and decision-making agility to consider the impact of what is happening, revise intention and implement a slighlty modified action.
I will reflect again tomorrow, Day 2, and hopefully have 3 more reflections about these very new and very different times that we inhabit as educators.