You’ve just completed your first week as the headteacher, classroom teacher, caretaker and lunchtime supervisor of your very own home school, all while juggling your own work responsibilities. Sarah Mullin, Deputy Head and author of What They Didn’t Teach Me on My PGCE, explains that the key to surviving these unprecedented times is to be realistic about what can be achieved.
Your colour-coded Covid-19 timetable didn’t go to plan
Daily chores, morning walks and academic time: you’ve created the ideal timetable for your dream routine.
It was all going well until day two, when you realised that it’s just not possible to take an important call while also supervising your youngest making a tower out of toilet rolls.
None of us has ever encountered a pandemic before. We are learning to be flexible in the face of adversity. So, if baking cakes puts a smile on your child’s face, it’s OK if the timetable doesn’t quite go to plan this afternoon.
You set up an Insta-worthy home classroom that has hardly been used
You cleared a workspace and organised your child’s books neatly in the corner. Highlighters, pencils, pens and rulers were carefully positioned against some brightly coloured Post-It notes. You took a quick photo and shared it on social media, feeling proud of your parent-teacher study area.
After five minutes, there’s a bowl of cornflakes resting on the maths homework and marker pen ink on the walls.
School classrooms are designed to meet the needs of multiple learners. But some of the best learning experiences happen when children feel comfortable and content. So why not try dissecting the parts of a flower in the garden, or having fun with fractions using some fruit in the kitchen?
And if you need to resort to CBBC so that you can manage an hour of work duties, that’s OK, too.
You thought celebrity exercise work-outs would be a great family bonding experience
It’s 9am and you’re lunging and stretching in front of a YouTube screen. What a way to get fit, while spending time with your nearest and dearest. And fitness means productivity.
Pity it also means that you now can’t walk up the stairs without whimpering in pain. Who knew PE lessons could be that painful?
You’ll never get this time again
It may be chaos at times, but it is important to appreciate spending time with our loved ones in the comfort and safety of our own homes.
We’re no longer sitting in queues of traffic on the daily commute, and exercise feels like a treat rather than a chore. We’re preparing home-cooked meals for the family, and taking pleasure in spending time with one another.
Board games are coming out of storage, and books that sat on shelves for years are brightening up our evenings. Watching the news has taken priority over watching Netflix, and acts of kindness are abundant in communities across the country.
This period has taught us that our health truly is our wealth, and that the most important things in the world are family, friends, community and love.