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On Gratitude

Today we are grateful to have reached the end of the first week of the new way of living during COVID-19.

Author David Gumbrell refers to BC - Before Covid - in this brilliant blog and it just made me think about what we were grateful for BC compared to now, or DC, During Covid:

BC

Before Covid, we were grateful for:

  • Ofsted not calling that week
  • no parental complaints to deal with
  • parents using the car park without causing a nuisance
  • the odd staff meeting being cancelled
  • children making the right choices
  • enough milk in the staffroom fridge
  • new resources arriving (especially the batteries for the torches we use in Science!)
  • an extra ten minute break-time
  • a free assembly to get on with the pressures of subject leader work
  • someone’s birthday so we could have cake…and a whole host of other aspects of school life that we just took for granted as part of our daily life in school.

DC

During Covid, our gratitude is there for different aspects of school life:

  • We are so grateful that the majority of parents are keeping their children safe and well in their own homes
  • We are grateful they are a place where they will not be exposed to coronavirus.
  • The staff are grateful to those people who are running the staff rota for the childcare.
  • The most vulnerable staff, or those with families, are being protected by their work family and staying at home and we are grateful they can do that.
  • We are looking out for each other and, like all good tribes, protecting ourselves.
  • We are grateful to our lunch provider for delivering packed lunches everyday so children are fed.
  • All this week we have been grateful for the good weather that has been a constant, thus ensuring our children can get outside to bask in sunshine and play on the field.

And, today, I was grateful for the technology that enabled me to talk to various teams throughout the day. This culminated in a Zoom call at 14:30 for a staff meeting with the teachers.

We checked in with each other and gratitude was clearly abundant as people were celebrating reaching the end of this first week. There were tales of frustration from people trying to connect to the school intranet. Some of our teachers, who are also parents of school age children, were able to share their dismay at being overloaded with such high expectations from the schools their children attend. They received plenty of sympathy. People were clearly happy to be spending time with loved ones, but also sad they were away from the children in their classes. For me, I was just grateful to have my whole team of teachers beaming at me through a medium we have been forced to use; we liked it and will continue to use our virtual platforms to meet with each other throughout this time of social disconnect.

We are still a school family, despite the miles apart and the love we share is abundantly clear.

For that I am grateful. [ITL]

Julie Rees is an Independent Thinking Associate and leads a values-based primary school.

For more writing by Julie, check out her Independent Thinking Press page here.

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