School's out for... (who knows?)(thought I'd posted this yesterday but Boris distracted me!)
So today was the weirdest day ever in school. I've been a teacher since 96-97 and I clearly recall my first last day of summer term. The summer holidays stretched before me in a gleaming expanse of pristine, untouched, leisure filled days. The first weeks were long and then there was a pause and just like that, it was September. This is different and different to the power of, well - who knows.
For a start, I left school today knowing I wouldn't be in for a while. That happens every last day of term. There's always a feeling of frazzled joy attached to it. I'm exhausted but I've achieved it. I've done the term, I'm done in every sense of the word but it's over and there are holidays. But today, there is no holiday beckoning. Just my sitting room and my laptop and a new skill to learn of teaching remotely.
I'm aware that I will learn things. I just hope my students will too. Because so much is left to chance and we are having to make it up as we go along. No one knew this was coming and now it's here we don't know how long it's going to stay.
And that's the rub. Uncertainty. It's open ended. And that's where so many of us are and I'm aware I'm lucky. I know I'm being paid at the end of the month. I have a job. I'm likely (if not certain) to have it next year. That puts me in a minority in the world just at the moment.
So, we'll crack on. That's work.
In other news there's home. There's my aged p, who doesn't want to admit he's aged and won't self isolate. He won't be told and insists social distancing is enough, and actually, I checked after our conversation and officially, it should be enough. Would be enough for someone else's dad. But I can't bear to think of him touching something with a bug on it, touching his face, getting the virus. And every single time he goes out, he's more likely to find it. If he hasn't already. And maybe, I tell myself he has. Maybe he's found it, has it, recovered without noticing. Maybe. More uncertainty.
So I am self isolating which means I can visit him without worrying about what I'm carrying to him. If he catches it from anyone it won't be from me. I suppose I could maybe buy a mask, lots of gloves, go up masked, keep my distance but is that enough? More questions and no answers. I give up. I've made a decision and I''ll stick to it, though I feel guilty at not volunteering for the rota of attending school to mind the pupils who are still coming in.
I'm strangely exhausted. I'm logging on and registering with school tomorrow morning for my first day as a remote teacher. It's going to be interesting.
Today's picture is the magnolia tree at work. It's glorious this year and will blossom untroubled by the year sevens who usually cluster beneath it at break times. Nature, given a break: dolphins in Venice canals, unbothered magnolia blossoms, clearer skies. Might we learn something from all this, perhaps.
That would be more uncertainty...