I am really pleased with how much support some of you are able to give your children with their remote learning: thank you. I understand that when your child has submitted a piece of homework, you want feedback on it immediately- particularly if it was difficult to get them to do it or they did a really good job. Unfortunately, you will not always receive feedback as quickly as you might want.
These are some of the things teachers are doing during remote learning:
- Phoning children and families (and phoning again when nobody answers the first number, or the second, or the third...)
- Teaching small groups on Teams
- Doing whole class registration on Teams (and dealing with all the technical hitches that children encounter- whilst being watched by 30 sets of parents)
-Phoning children to help them with technical hitches, find out why they weren't on registration, explain work in more detail, help parents, etc
- Following up wellbeing or safeguarding concerns with social workers/ family support/ GPs/ health visitors
- Booking appointments for families at the foodbank/ debt counselling/ GPs
- Planning work and uploading it to the school website
- Creating videos of themselves teaching/ telling stories/ doing phonics and uploading them to the website/ Padlet
- Delivering paper packs to houses
- Doing doorstep visits to check children are safe and well.
-Marking work which has been submitted in a million different formats by children- on Teams chat, via email, through BGFL, on a photograph, on paper....
- Attending staff meetings and training sessions
Please bear in mind that whatever a teacher does for your child, they are also doing for 29 other children. Marking is much more time-consuming online than working through a plie of books. The work is coming at staff in drips and drabs and in all sorts of formats-via email, on Teams chat, as photographs, as submitted assignments, on J2E tools. It takes ages to collate it all, before they can even start to mark it.
This is a challenging time for everyone: for you, your children and the staff too. Nobody gets up in the morning and decides to do a bad job, and St John's teachers are working their hardest to provide your children with the best remote education possible. Many of us are struggling with children who are bored at home, technology that doesn't always work, demands from our places of work, fear of catching Covid, worries about money, etc. Remember that many teachers are providing remote education AND looking after critical worker/vulnerable children at school too.
I am extremely proud of the remote learning on offer at St John's, and of the work that the staff are doing to keep your children involved in learning. Please treat the staff as the amazing professionals that they are. Please don't send multiple nagging emails to them in a week- It is unreasonable. Remember that whatever you do, 29 other parents might be doing too. Remember too, that this is not the job any teacher signed up for. Teachers became teachers because they're good with children: not good with technology.
Please think about what you email or say to staff- it could be the difference between them staying in this profession, or leaving it.