As the term ends, or approaches its end, for many of our followers, now is an ideal time to reflect on the strangest of years. What began as a ‘normal’ academic year (whatever that means!),morphed seemingly overnight into one that was unrecognisable. There are many articles currently flying around claiming to be able to tell you ‘what you should have learned from teaching in lockdown’ and ‘how education must change in September 2020’, but this assured language isn’t always helpful when so much remains uncertain. The experience of each individual school, pupil, teacher and parent has been so vast and varied that any attempts to make broad generalisations can feel arbitrary.
As an organisation, we subscribe to the coaching method of reflection and development (you can learn more about coaching on our website). So instead of offering bold statements about what we think your experience has been, we suggest instead some questions which may assist you in making some sense of this strange educational experience from which you are emerging.
Which pupils have amazed you and why? How did they exceed or even defy your expectations?
What have you learned about certain pupils (and potentially their home lives) that needs to be passed on to their new teachers?
What do pupils gain from being in your classroom that just couldn’t be replicated outside of it? How will you harness this knowledge in September?
Which colleagues really supported you when you needed it? Were they the ones you expected, or did anyone surprise you?
Which leaders modelled excellent leadership to you? Why and how?
Which colleagues struggled and may continue to need support in September?
What were your strengths whilst you were working from home?
Out of the many elements that impacted your ability to do your job, which were within your control and which outside of it?
How do you feel about returning to school in September? Do you need any support to make it easier? Where can you access such support?
These are simply a handful of questions which may help as you begin to unwind and unravel the last few terms. Remember that you have come through an unprecedented time, not just in the history of education, but for the whole world. There are no definitive answers at this stage regarding how to proceed, no matter what the internet may tell you! Take some time this summer to reflect, realign and recharge - you’ve done an incredible job.
All of us at Fulcrum Learning wish you a happy, healthy and restful summer. Thank you to you all for everything you have done, and continue to do, for the children in your care.
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