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Feeling a bit useless

(24 Posts)
SallyAlly2020 Mon 13-Apr-20 08:01:19

On one hand, my HT has been fantastic during this crisis. Very level headed, no expectations for us to be doing anything at home other than staying well and doing what is right for our families. Ring fenced the Easter hols by using outside providers for key workers' children. On rota to be in once a week after Easter with the 2 or 3 children that do come in.

On the other hand, we've also had no contact with children or parents since lockdown. We are not to respond to their emails, to call, anything. No live or pre-recorded lessons, just links to websites on our school website where activities can be accessed for home learning.

Her reasoning is that the national curriculum has been suspended and if any of us get ill, we won't be able to maintain contact which might in turn cause a problem. Plus we can't do online learning because it would be exclusive to those that dont have ICT access and therefore pointless as we would need to pick it all up anyway when we return.

I see the reasoning but I dont think the DfE have made it explicit enough that the curriculum is suspended, all I can see is parents complaining about how teachers are not doing enough during this time and think...yep...I'm one of them. Or see the long lists of things other teachers are doing and feeling like I'm letting the side/the kids down.

Is anyone else in a similar position?

OP’s posts: |
wonderpants Mon 13-Apr-20 09:15:02

Yes- almost exactly!

pfrench Mon 13-Apr-20 10:08:18

Yep first week was frustrating. But I wrote reports, signed off a student etc.

We were given a long list of planning to do for when we're back, so I've done that. It doesn't feel meaningful tho.

At this point I want the gov to cut our pay and put us on key worker rotas. Less grief from parents/public/media, and we can stop stressing about what we are and aren't doing. Problem with that is that secondaries and richer schools have set stuff up, so gaps will inevitably grow. As usual.

noblegiraffe Mon 13-Apr-20 12:07:05

Some bus drivers are out driving buses around with a couple of passengers on board because their bus company has told them to keep driving.

Other bus routes have been cancelled and the driver has been told to stay at home.

Which is the better bus driver? Which driver isn’t pulling their weight?

It’s a stupid question because both drivers are doing exactly what their employer has told them to.

Someone stood at a bus stop waiting for a bus that doesn’t arrive would criticise the bus company, not call the driver lazy.

Some people on here think that teachers have more individual autonomy over what they are doing in this pandemic than they actually do. Some people think that because other schools are doing live lessons that this is actually the best solution and that schools that aren’t are lazy rather than having entirely reasonable and serious concerns, including the effect on those unable to access live lessons.


boredboss Mon 13-Apr-20 12:27:08

My DDs school has carried on with a full 'remote' timetable since lockdown.

Admittedly it is all done online (as all pupils have access to the right equipment) but they are even having tutor time & assembly via Zoom.

I worry for pupils at schools without the IT to do this, and clearly from this post they are not in the minority, as it's going to produce a two tiered system - particularly with current year 10s/12s sitting exams next summer.

boredboss Mon 13-Apr-20 12:39:36

.... and I'm not saying they are right or 'better', I think the DoE should make it clear what the expectations are in order to create a more level playing field - even if that means righting off the summer term.

Harleyisme Mon 13-Apr-20 12:50:15

During this its states the dofe have suspended the national curriculum and that they aren't expectations on education settings to be provide lessons and remote working.
However in a sen document it is said that parents are still responsible for ensuring that children have access to a level appropriate education.
Biggest problem is nothings clear from dofe. No ones to blame at the current climate teachers or parents. Parents are feeling the pressure as they are expected to provide a education tecahers feel the pressure as they are unsure of what there role is supposed to be. Then really whats going to happen on the other end. Are parents going to be frowned upon for lack of development are teachers going to be accused of not doing enough. Its a unknown situation for everybody and all are expressing there stress likely on the people that don't deserve ot and we are all driven by the heightened anxiety as we are unable to predict the outcome.

LolaSmiles Mon 13-Apr-20 13:01:31

It's a really complicated situation where everyone is doing their best in their respective jobs, respective schools and communities.

Anyone who wants to spend their time bitching about people doing their best and following what their employers have told them to do (be it teaching or any other job) can do one as far as I'm concerned.

boredboss There's some substantial issues with Zoom from what I've heard. I'm honestly surprised some schools are using it.

You're right though, some definitive lines from the DfE would be good.

boredboss Mon 13-Apr-20 13:05:42

Yes, waiting to see what happens after the 'Easter break' with regards to Zoom

notchickenagain Mon 13-Apr-20 13:09:52

Can you summarise what is wrong with Zoom? We are having staff meetings using it. shock

drivinmecrazy Mon 13-Apr-20 13:24:20

Not a teacher but wanted to say that your contributions have been vital to many kids over the past few weeks.
DD2 is year 10 and pre-Easter was working almost a school day because of work and short deadlines, it was a life saver!
DD2 is a reluctant learner but is now saying she can't wait for the Easter holidays to finish so she can get back to 'school'.
Point being, rather clumsily made, is that the work you are doing is not wasted, not unappreciated and not a reflection on your dedication to your subjects and pupils.
You are all very much key workers to our children and as a parent I am in awe of the way you are bending, adjusting, adapting to these extraordinary circumstances.
Stick with the kids because they need you more than ever daffodildaffodil

SallyAlly2020 Mon 13-Apr-20 13:32:37

Thanks everyone. I think I just needed some reassurance on a dreary morning.

Like you all say, we have less autonomy over this than most of the general public think.

For my own sanity, I just need to stay away from AIBU!

OP’s posts: |
LolaSmiles Mon 13-Apr-20 13:34:20

There's some more technologically informed posters than me who will no doubt do a better, more detailed explanation than me.

My understanding is that there's been issues with Zoom being open to people hacking devices, porn being added into meetings, safeguarding issues surrounding microphones and videos of homes.

There's some teachers on Twitter and the person who runs Teacher Toolkit who have written advice guides for using it, but schools in the US have had substantial issues and I think somewhere in Asia, possibly Singapore if I remember correctly, they stopped schools using it because of safeguarding issues.

justanotherneighinparadise Mon 13-Apr-20 13:43:01

My sons teacher is amazing and I know she will be at home feeling wretched during this period and I also know that anything that is it isn’t happening at my sons school will have nothing to do with her.

PumpkinPie2016 Mon 13-Apr-20 14:41:06

It's such a strange situation. Everyone is just muddling through as well as they can. Our headteacher has also been very level headed. We are setting work for students but it's mainly revision work.

We have curriculum stuff to do at home.

I am doing live lessons with my Y12 group because currently, information from the DfE about what will happen due to decreased classroom time isn't available and I don't want the students to be disadvantaged.

I agree with you about staying away from some threads on AIBU though.

notchickenagain Mon 13-Apr-20 15:16:13

Thanks for that Lola, I will find out if our team are aware.

teaandajammydodger Mon 13-Apr-20 16:02:26

Zoom issue:

LaProfesora Mon 13-Apr-20 16:21:19

In my school we have a 6-page document on what we're supposed to be doing during lockdown, which includes planning lessons, setting assignments, marking, keeping in touch with students and their families, completing online CPD, producing new resources, organising already existing resources etc.
I guess every school does it differently...

notchickenagain Mon 13-Apr-20 16:44:35

Thanks for the link

LaProfesora Mon 13-Apr-20 18:30:01

In my school we have a 6-page document on what we're supposed to be doing during lockdown, which includes planning lessons, setting assignments, marking, keeping in touch with students and their families, completing online CPD, producing new resources, organising already existing resources etc.
I guess every school does it differently...

likeafishneedsabike Mon 13-Apr-20 19:06:55

@pfrench I said the same about teachers being furloughed on another thread and got slated. One teacher said that, quite understandably, she wants to continue teaching remotely full time or else her students will be disadvantaged. But let’s face it: any kid who lacks IT resources, parental input/support and even a stable home set up is seriously disadvantaged. I am not delivering the curriculum because I have been instructed not to do so. If I were delivering the curriculum on SLT instruction, I would be very concerned that My incredibly had work was contributing to social divide.
Meantime, my own DC’s primary is delivering the full curriculum via interactive learning platform. There is no way on God’s earth that they would be able to follow it without heavy parental input, despite being able children. Headline news - all children need teaching to Learn. Who would have thought it?

GeorgeTheFirst Mon 13-Apr-20 19:48:16

I believe that one local school, which is independent, is putting lessons online. If this is common, I wonder whether this will give next year's exam years an advantage over the kids from state schools.

PumpkinPie2016 Mon 13-Apr-20 21:48:42

George I've heard that about a private school near us too. I do think it will probably give those pupils more of an advantage over a lot state school pupils sad

I don't know how the DfE/exam boards can make it more of a level playing field though. It never is really is it? hmm I work in a pretty average comprehensive and we have a number of very disadvantaged pupils who are always on the back foot bless them. At least normally, they can access the lessons and resources in school.

reefedsail Tue 14-Apr-20 10:28:58

There have been a lot of threads asking why state schools haven’t moved online like the independent schools have.

The thing is, independent schools can make the basic assumption that their pupils will be sorted out with access by their parents. We have bought our 10yo DS his own laptop, which was never part of the plan at this stage, so he can access his prep school’s online offering. DH and I both have laptops, but we are WFH and having to share with us would restrict his access. DS also has a desk in a room of his own where he can have quiet when he needs to access zoom etc.

On the other hand, I know the only device many of my class of 10 year olds is their parent’s phone and maybe a shared games console. School has said we are not allowed to post out paper work packs. So, TBH, many of them won’t access much.

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