I think it is easy to succumb to a feeling of hopelessness at the moment. So many people have messaged to say they feel that there is little point. I could be way off the mark, but, I think they may feel like this because (and please do feel free to challenge and correct me)…
Senior leaders are working under enormous pressures, day/night/weekends/hols and must be on permanent ‘receive’ for positive test results in pupils&staff, making the requisite decisions, taking actions no matter the time of day. Now there’s lateral flow and the myriad issues.
Senior leaders are working under enormous pressures, day, night, weekends to prepare for accountability instruments: Ofsted inspections, that have resumed, particularly those in rather odd/irregular circumstances (such as my own lovely school). In addition, (LA/Trust visits)
Senior leaders are working under enormous pressures, day/night/weekends/hols to make sure families do not go hungry, have the right ‘kit’ and support at home for learning, are safe, are mentally and emotionally coping and where they are not, then planning and taking action.
Senior leaders are working under enormous pressures, day/night/weekends/hols to support all stakeholders (staff, pupils, parents) who are bereaved, as a result of Covid and more usual factors. Because they care, about everyone and everything!
Senior leaders are working under enormous pressures, day/night/weekends/hols to recreate one rota after the next as either bubbles close, or staff/pupils succumb to Covid and must isolate, so that the children of critical workers and the vulnerable, can come to school.
Senior leaders are working under enormous pressures, day/night/weekends/hols to read, digest, and act upon the sea of emails and paperwork that comes from government, LAs, unions, in addition to the usual documents and statutory things that must be done annually (e.g. SFVS).
Senior leaders are working under enormous pressures, day/night/weekends/hols especially if they new to post, new to the area, back from mat/pat leave, or are brave enough to have taken on the role knowingly and recently, during the pandemic. It is a huge role anyway, but now??
Senior leaders are working under enormous pressures because they know they owe it to themselves, and their staff, to make sure well being and care is prioritised. But they cannot model that right now. They are trying to create opportunity, and unable to largely.
Senior leaders are working under enormous pressures, day/night/weekends/hols to ensure that entitlements are met for staff, because they deserve it: PM that is supportive, PPA, good quality INSET (especially, but not exclusively as a result of the implications of 2. above).
Senior leaders are working under enormous pressures, day/night/weekends/hols to respond to complaints, some of them vexatious, occasionally one that is nasty, many legitimate, but many also out of the control of the school and a result of decision making ‘1 & 2 up’ from us.12
Teachers are simply doing their level best to teach. If they have been teaching a while then they know what children must learn, and are constantly working to create accessible, inclusive, differentiated, appropriate, challenging, manageable lessons (and fear 2. above).
Teachers are simply doing their level best to care. Because they do. This, despite comments during live lessons, in chats, in complaint emails after lessons, hours spent planning, possibly caring for their own children, possibly worrying for their family/friends/being ill.
Teachers are simply doing their level best to stay mentally robust and healthy because they know if they are not, that this situation could destroy the love they have of the job. This, despite the relentless rhetoric in the press, the news, from many misinformed individuals.
Admin teams are doing their best to man phones, emails, letters from staff and parents who are struggling or with issues, or complaints. Trying to complete endless forms to beg for things that should simply be given. To do what is expected despite the pandemic (e.g. census).
Admin teams are doing their best to keep parents and staff informed of positive tests, bubble closures, children isolating in school. This alongside giving 1st aid to those in school, dealing with general H&S (legionella checks etc.), weather warnings and floods, LF results.
TAs are doing their best in and out of school to support children and teachers in any and all capacities. They are caring for 1:1 children. They are adapting everything they do to help the main effort.
SEND and Pastoral staff are working around the clock to continue to orchestrate meetings for TAFs, CiNs, CPs, IHCP reviews; to liaise with external agencies and continue to fight for funding for the most vulnerable; to contact parents, carers and children to check they’re ok.
Parents and carers are threadbare with worry about work, income, jobs, when this will end, how they can manage children’s learning and their workload, the relentlessness of it all. The news versus what school are telling them. The confusion. The anxiety. The ‘fairness’.
So, it is little wonder we are all feeling a tad hopeless. Do not despair. I know for a fact I have endured every rubbish thing in my life to date, and I am not about to capitulate now, not when I have such a super school team, and set of governors to support. I urge you if you are feeling overwhelmed, to stop. Send a message to a trusted colleague or friend, or failing that, a Twitter acquaintance, and tell someone. A problem shared and all that. I know I have called over 50 people in the last 4 weeks to check on them. Now more than ever in our lives, we need one another. Unless it is just me who sees/feels this. In which case, ignore my rant, and happy Saturday!!!