It’s true! I am not doing my job at the moment.
It’s not because I am not doing a good job it is quite simply that my job has changed so much that it is almost unrecognisable. It is not the job I signed up to that is for sure!
Life has changed for many and for some unfortunately their jobs have disappeared completely. For most their role has changed to working from home and this brings about its own difficulties not least the lack of social contact. However, it is the role of those people in education which I think has changed more than the majority of others and it is this which seems to have been forgotten by some especially those in the media.
For my class teachers for example, they are now carrying out a style of teaching they have only recently started using and are expected by the public to be experts- can you imagine any other industry having the goal posts changed so dramatically and then being expected to be overnight masters?
Suddenly going from what you know to the unknown is extremely stressful and worrying for many however they have just stepped up and tried to do the best they can.
I cannot think of any other industry which expected such a dramatic change in working practices literally overnight and certainly none where the staff just got on with it with only 24 hours notice and little training.
My role as another example, has changed for the majority of my time from that of strategic leadership to managing the health & safety of my pupils and staff. Never before have I had to read as much guidance on a daily basis and never before have I felt as much accountability for things I have no control over. My role of ensuring the best outcomes for my pupils has shifted to that of ensuring families are safe, fed and able to even access education, spending hours daily trying to sort out food vouchers, laptops and stressed out parents.
However, by not doing my job I have also found lots of positive changes which may never have come about if not for lockdown. Even more focus on the wellbeing of staff and pupils cannot be a bad thing and the community spirit which has been fostered as we all pulled together is something that will never be lost.
It has also highlighted to me just how little our Government know about education or about the people who make it happen on a daily basis- this has to change.
I don’t want sympathy and neither do my staff- we just want a bit more understanding and the recognition that we are adapting as best we can and are constantly trying to deliver the highest standards of teaching and learning that we can- we do this because we care and we put our children first- THAT is something that hasn’t changed.