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Week 1 Done: Back in the classroom but how long until the Summer holidays?

Updated: Jun 13, 2020

How did Week 1 go?

I was delighted to see happy children who settled back into nursery life so easily this week. We have had very few tears from the children. It was a great pleasure hearing the children laugh, scream and play together with no social distancing in their ‘bubbles.’ So much joy for the adults and children. Interestingly, the new protocols implemented from our Risk Assessment have made our direct work with the children easier in many ways. For example parents sending in packed lunches rather than serving up hot meals and puddings. Smaller groups of children to re-establish relationships with. Different drop off and pick up arrangements, although staggered have been quicker for us. Shorter days. Grateful happy parents. The usual madness and chaos of working in education continues, with continuous phone calls, emails, Ofsted pressures, media hassles, political issues, Safeguarding, oh and teaching the children of course!

Despite the usual hectic life in education I couldn’t help but reflect this week that the word ‘bubble’ is very apt. When working with my ‘bubble’ I easily forget about the invisible 'Big Bad Wolf' that is plaguing the world outside. Life inside the ‘bubble’ is relatively normal. Although resources are limited, only plastic toys for the children to play with, their own individual mark making packs being used instead of sharing stationery, even more time outside than usual (hard to imagine in Early Year’s as we have free flow so spend a great deal of time outside no matter what the weather). Picnic lunches eaten outside, each child sitting on their own individual placemats. Daily ‘well-being walks‘ for the children around the field. Staff comfort breaks are rare and cups of tea/coffee not being allowed are even relatively normal for Early Year’s. I suppose the biggest change to the work is the cleaning. Spray bottles are the way forward. So much quicker and easier for cleaning. But it isn’t so easy to manage all the extra cleaning with the children in.

But the world of Education marches on…

Careful considerations for the new academic year being made, Improvement Plans, thinking about how to do initial home visits creatively and marketing. A challenge under normal circumstances, it feels like an enormous task right now trying to plan for a return when we don’t know what restrictions, if any, will be in place. It’s difficult to think about the September intake when we are only just seeing how the new Government guidance can be implemented. There is media talk about summer schools to help children catch up. How would that work? Who would do the teaching? Surely not teachers who have worked all through this pandemic? Week 1 of the wider reopening done and I’m shattered. That familiar feeling of utter exhaustion at the end of a week working with children is back in full force. The familiar feeling of Friday hysteria that comes from working in education. The one that makes you think about alcohol even if you don’t drink!!!

I am glad to be back at nursery, working in my ‘bubble’ feeling like the world is normal (ish). But how long until the summer holidays?......

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