So, it’s back to work on Monday after 9 weeks of holidays. I’m not quite sure where the summer has gone. We spent a lovely week away relaxing by the pool at the beginning of August but other than that I’ve been at home. The time has just flown.
I suppose I have spent quite a lot of time working on my collection of short stories, It’s Complicated and it was fantastic to finally see the finished e-book. I can’t wait to see the printed proof, currently on its way over to me from the US.
I’ve also enjoyed regular trips to the beach, done a lot of BeBalanced sessions, both in the Rio with Belinda and at home, and enjoyed lazy mornings and regular film nights in bed. I’ve baked a lot (despite the heat) and I’ve spent a lot of time on Duolingo. I’ve read books and I’ve listened to music. I’ve even been to karaoke a couple of times, although it’s sadly had to close again. But just like school, it’ll be back.
Anyway, this morning I went in to the academy for a meeting and to find out how we’re going to approach teaching in the classroom in the face of coronavirus. The answer is this: with a great deal of forethought and planning!
I have to say that the owners have done a great job with the new protocol and it is good to know that they are taking things so seriously. Class sizes have been reduced to allow for desks to be spaced throughout classrooms, lesson times have been adjusted to allow time for students to arrive and leave safely, hand sanitisers are being provided, masks are to be worn by all staff and students, no sharing of materials is to be allowed, and so on. And if anyone gets ill, there are plans for dealing with that too.
The issue is that obviously this raises new challenges for us as teachers. No more ball games. No more games of ‘consequences’ or ‘whose story is it?’, which require papers to be passed between students. No more ‘mingle’ activities. Students are expected to arrive and sit in their seats for the duration of the lesson, except if they are invited up to write on the board (with board markers being cleaned as appropriate, naturally). After teaching online and the challenges that presented, this is going to provide us with a whole new set of challenges to be overcome.
So, how do I feel about the whole thing? Excited. Slightly trepidatious. But actually pretty calm. We adapted to online classes. We’ll adapt to this too. And it will be good to see my students again. When I was given the register today and saw their names again, it made me smile.
I know there will be challenges. I know that getting 8 year-olds to sit still for an hour and a half will be interesting. But I know that we’ll face these challenges together as a team. And I know that we’ll overcome them.
I’ve had a fantastic summer. I really have. I’ve loved every minute. But it’s time to go back to work now.
I’m looking forward to getting started.