We are in a very different world to the one that we occupied simply a week ago. How suddenly the world can change yet some things remain constant and that is the professionalism of staff in schools.
Within a week, up and down Wales and other countries, schools have made a switch to distant learning. In normal times, this would have taken many months to organise with trials to check how everything is working. Yet in a matter of days, teachers, teaching assistants and all support staff have come together to create a virtual school. I’m sure each one is different but familiar to the pupils. It reminds me of an 80’s song,
A massive thank you has to be given to the Welsh Government for having the vision to develop a platform, HWB, which gives children and staff free access to Office 365, Google Classroom, J2E, Minecraft, to name just a few examples available. It is simply fantastic. We can often knock our politicians but I believe praise should aslo be given when it is deserved.
We know as a professional workforce, we will not only be expected to provide daily, weekly lessons but also provide support to pupils from a distance. It is also fair to say that we will be asked to support during this crisis in other ways, whether childcare provision to key workers or through different means.
I would like to make a plea to my colleagues, if possible, let us continue our Career Professional Development. Use this period, for an hour a week, to do your own research. To learn how others work, to be as good as you can be. An easy way of doing this is through TED talks. They have an archive of discussions that will make you ponder, agree and rightly disagree. An opinion is a persons personal view and therefore your view is as relevant as anyone else.
Here is an opening gambit incase you feel like listening,
Ken Robinson has made a number of Ted Talk videos. The focus in the one I’ve chosen is pedagogy.
It would be remiss if I didn’t say that it is crucial that you look afer yourselves during this period. Keep as safe as you can and always remember that as a profession you are a dedicated team that, even at a distance, continue to make an impact on the lives of pupils.
Finally I would like to share a Welsh song with you that quite simply says, ‘Be Brilliant’ or in Welsh, ‘Bydd Wych’.