There is a sense of apprehension.
School returns tomorrow after the half-term break. Perhaps, more correctly, lessons resume tomorrow after a week without them. The teaching will be done via a computer screen, hoping that the students in their homes will be learning something. Since one student announced loudly during an online lesson, “sir, I got the sniper!” it seems naive to expect that some of them will be focused on the content of the lesson rather than on whatever computer game they might be playing.
Perhaps they will all be back on 8th March, but back to what? Presumably, to the strange world we inhabited before Christmas with the four hundred members of Years 7 and 8 confined to their own classrooms, sitting in the same room, with the same people all day while teachers rush from room to room between lessons.
None of that is a cause for apprehension, though, I have been there and done that.
Nor is work a cause for concern. I have realised that I am someone who lives to work, that if I do not have work to do, I become restive, agitated. Health permitting, I shall work through until being compelled to retire at the age of seventy-five.
Even when there is no school work, I find things to do. After a nine year gestation period, I finally completed a doctoral proposal this week. Once registered, it is expected to take seventeen and a half hours a week. Looking at the beliefs of eleven and twelve year olds, the research is directly rooted in the workaday reality of the teaching.
Perhaps it is the Year 10 parents’ evening. Like everything else, it is a virtual event. It takes place through an online platform where each encounter lasts exactly five minutes before it cuts off. But it has gone smoothly with Years 7, 8 and 9, so there is no reason to assume that the one this week will be any different.
“Why the shadow of apprehension?” I thought. “Why is the return any different from the return in September, November or January?”
Perhaps the apprehension is unconnected with the return to school and owes more to an appointment on Wednesday for my first the first Covid jab. The details came by text from the surgery. Date, place, Pfizer, the only choice it offered me was the time.
Perhaps it will be like the flu jab, where I wandered into a pharmacy, got it done, and thought no more about it. Then, again, perhaps it won’t.