As news came of the third lockdown, teachers all over the country began to plan for remote learning again.
Scott Booth shares his thoughts on how he’s found it.
After the bright days of summer and the promise of a vaccine, I think we all lived in hope of an easier year when 2021 chimed into view. However, a chaotic first day back and the inevitable return to remote learning sharply changed the perspective for all teaching and support staff.
I think for many, the decision to tell all of us at 8 p.m on a dreary January evening that we would be reverting back to teaching only key worker children, rather than allowing us the time to adjust during the Christmas break, seemed like a cruel shot across the bow by our Prime Minister. Nevertheless, school leaders and staff worked well into the night to ensure that the very best provision was available to the children under our care, and a day of printing, checking internet access for families and the delivery of home learning packs allowed a smoother start to the day on the Wednesday. From there, I have seen the absolute best of our profession and those that support us without question.
The selfless acts from fellow members of staff, such as the delivery of food parcels, late-night advice to parents on how to use Microsoft Teams, and the daily offer of a cup of coffee to a tired colleague, are also shining through. Above all though, the enthusiasm and the engagement of the children towards their online learning seems to be like night and day when compared to the last lockdown. I am seeing most of my class arrive on time and ready to learn, offering pertinent and thoughtful answers and contributions, as well as completing their online assignments to a high standard. This is due to all three points of the famous parent, child, teacher triangle working in unison to make the most of a far from easy situation. If this continues then I see remote learning being a much smoother bridge to their inevitable return to the classroom later this year.