At times like this I feel very fortunate to have a job like mine. To be able to come to work, and to be surrounded by children who, even in difficult circumstances, are willing to adapt and carry on, always looking for the fun in any situation. The new routines are now part of the fun of classroom – Harry the hand sanitiser is the new silent member of the class, he is always quietly there to greet us all as we come in through the door (he has even managed to stop leaking when it gets too cold!). It has been lovely to be part of a real community at a time when we have needed each other most, and to learn along with the children how important it is to appreciate each other.
I have a new appreciation of how much I enjoy being in school with the children. Their enthusiasm for learning and enjoyment of all the things we do has brought positivity into what has been a challenging year.
When I think back over last year at school, the principal feeling is one of camaraderie. In what could have been one of the most difficult and stressful years of my career, instead it was one of the most rewarding. Back in March when the news arrived that all schools were to be closed, I was watching our Year 6 children abseiling down a cliff. I don’t think I could ever have conceived of a more surreal moment during our residential visit to the Gower! Throughout the rest of the year there were highs and lows. Who knew that home-schooling your own children could be so difficult for a teacher? Apparently, my ‘teacher voice’ is ‘weird’. Duly noted. Joking aside, as I mentioned before, the challenges that this year has presented have brought out the very best in my colleagues who have worked so incredibly hard to continue to deliver an excellent education for our children while keeping everyone as safe as possible.
I am proud of how Wychwood has remained a happy and fear-free environment for the children. Even during lockdown we had so much fun with our key workers’ children, doing crafts, playing outside and sledging down slopes in cardboard boxes! Sometimes it feels like we’re all swans – everything seems calm and normal on the surface but all the staff have been working like crazy to make it so. Everyone needed a well-earned break this Christmas!
Let’s hope we see life start get back to normal as 2021 progresses.