A restive teacher
There are three weeks left of the school year. On 17th July, there should have been that joyous moment of dismissing a class until September, instead it will be a day similar to all of the others in the past three months. The six week break will not bring prospect of time away, the hiked prices of accommodation will exclude all but the most affluent.
In the meantime, there are the remaining weeks of term time. Teaching religious education, there is little left to do. The online lessons for Years 7, 8 and 9 are all posted. I shall be teaching none of the current Year 10 next year, when they become Year 11 students. The senior leadership team have determined that ethics is not as important as English, maths and science. Don’t worry about understanding right and wrong, your grades are more important for you (and very important for the school).
The past week has been spent watching for the electronic delivery of students’ work. I know whose efforts will arrive via the online platform or by email and from whom I shall hear nothing at all. Some students have done nothing whatsoever during the lockdown. Among their parents will undoubtedly be some who complain when their children do not achieve their expected grades when they take their GCSE examinations.
When not watching the screen for work, I have spent time preparing next year’s lessons. There needed to be a lot of refinement of what I had done this year, as well as the preparation of lessons to fill in the gaps that only became apparent during the course of the year.
Next week, every day will be spent with students of key workers and those considered “vulnerable.” The students are split into pods of twelve. They must spend the whole day with their pod. There are two teachers to supervise each pod. Some of the students feel a sense of injustice at being in school while their peers are at home playing on their X-boxes and PlayStations. How much benefit they will derive from their presence in school is unclear. The greatest benefit there has been is that it has given their parents the necessary opportunity to do essential jobs.
The week after next will be spent on further lesson preparation. Then, in the last week of term, there will be a day for face to face meetings with parents, a training day, and then the end.
It is all ragged, shapeless, unsatisfactory.
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