Teacher/Key Worker Dilemma #CoronaVirus

Hi!

Teacher from the UK here, reporting for comment.

It is a truly tough situation for everyone involved. A couple of days ago this Tweet went out… and there has been some interesting debates about it. Are we, as teachers, being FORCED to go into schools, with a higher chance of getting ill? How dare we be made to put our lives at risk?

I thought I’d respond in my own Ritu-style.

Yes, we are being asked to come into school to help with the care of key worker children. Key workers have been asked to try and arrange care at home, if they can, but the option is there for them to bring their child into school so they can go about the essential jobs, such as the medical profession, grocery and provision shop workers, delivery drivers, the emergency services, postal workers, pharmacists etc, all of whom have to keep going to try and keep this country running on a skeleton level at least.

Yes, it is childcare, rather than teaching – some may say glorified babysitting. But I’d rather do that and know that there are enough nurses and doctors out there to help with the huge influxes. I’d rather do that, than see people fighting for even less food because the delivery driver called in to say he or she couldn’t drive today because no one could look after their kids. I’d rather do my bit to allow these other key workers to do these things, so we still function, at some level, as normal (the new normal).

We have been told that the curriculum should not be being taught, at primary at least, as where is the fairness in a handful of children getting that education, when their peers are at home, not getting it? We have been asked to send home age appropriate learning, so the children can reinforce what they should already know and challenge them. We have been told to give parents ideas for other ways they can help their children still learn, while at home. The older ones are getting Google Classroom treatments, with regular lessons and activities posted online.

In school we are embracing the creative curriculum. Lots of arts, crafts, PE, music, reading, story time. (I’m still aching from joining in with t he kids. to. do the daily Joe Wicks work outs!)

No, we haven’t been forced into germ-ridden conditions, or at least, I know my school hasn’t ‘forced’ us to come in.

On the day of lockdown, it was requested that everyone come in on the Monday as no one knew exactly what would be happening. How many children would we be dealing with? Did we need to provide meals for those on the Free School Meal schemes?

During the course of that day, my head, and her Senior Leadership Team, who are doing amazing things in such a tough time, approached any members of staff with either old, vulnerable or young dependents. They were told they could go home and not come back until schools officially reopened. I could have been classed in this bracket but my kids are a little older, and more self-sufficient, and they have their dad at home as well.

The rest of us were put on a rota to be with the children that have been coming in.

No one is being forced to come in. Those of us who do, all want to do our bit to keep things going for all. My Head is in every day, regardless.

On Monday, I will be on duty with the kids who are coming in. This is probably the riskiest thing to be asked to do, as a teacher, as young children do not understand social distancing, as we have been told we need to maintain. How do you stop a four-year-old from wanting to hug you? How do you keep children two metres apart? The other days I have been in. I have been accessing and completing paperwork that I can’t do at home because of GDPR.

I am a mum too.

This is a tough decision for anyone to make.

The fear that you might just bring that virus back into your own home because you might be mixing with the child of a key worker who has been exposed to the virus.

My family know that when I come home, after a day at school at the moment, I will have been washing my hands constantly, and anti-baccing myself before coming into the house. I will shout a “Hello!” then head to the shower, wash and change into fresh clothes before seeing them.

I am a Key Worker, as a teacher, and as much as I can, I want to do what I can to help out, in this crisis, too.

Thank you, and good night.

Bitmoji Image

88 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. englishwithkirsty
    Apr 25, 2020 @ 18:15:56

    Thank you for everything you are doing. I know it must be scary some days, but thank you for making it possible for others to carry on doing their jobs.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. zita666479
    Apr 07, 2020 @ 17:16:51

    Canada has closed all schools, May they will review the situation to see if it is safe for children and teachers to go back to the schools.
    I was sent by my daughter’s teachers ways to keep educating the girls. I have chosen to adjust their education, yet stay parallel to the school system.
    This means I have little time to blog and post, but I would rather do this then endanger the life of my children, other children, teachers, nurses and doctors.
    We all know how fast a common cold can spread; this virus is worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Apr 07, 2020 @ 17:23:37

      It is amazing how many people still don’t get that though. Like they think they’re invincible…still gathering in parks because the sun is out… We are lucky here to still have the option to go out once a day for exercise. Only by yourself or with your household. But some think it’s okay to make plans to meet friends and gather as normal… That is not making good decisions, at all…

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

      • zita666479
        Apr 07, 2020 @ 17:50:47

        It is mind boggling how so many don’t care!
        I cleaned up my deck so the kids can get fresh air and play, propped up the training wheels to a bike to make it an exercising bicycle. Once a week, I go to the grocery store. I am not willing to put anyone at risk!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritu
        Apr 07, 2020 @ 18:35:41

        We are blessed with a garden. Apart from if I have to go.
        into school, I go grocery shopping once a week. We take one walk daily, in a big field, away from anyone else.
        That’s it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jennie
    Apr 06, 2020 @ 12:20:36

    Well said, Ritu!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. annadusseau
    Apr 02, 2020 @ 13:36:27

    Fabulous post which really captures what everyone in education has been going through. I hope you’re all okay now and not going in too often for resources and planning.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Brandon
    Mar 31, 2020 @ 19:27:26

    I call times like these “shake up events”. I think they are incredibly valuable for growth of any kind.

    Because of this we will be better prepared for what worse might come in the future.

    Health organizations were beginning to be shut down and funded less, this is a fine example as to why that is a bad idea.

    I’ve dived into a lot of the benefits of such an event. There are plenty!

    Wonderful post, well structured.
    Thanks for sharing! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 31, 2020 @ 19:52:17

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Brandon.
      There will be a silver lining. But it is just hard to make out yet, as we are too close to the cloud right now…
      Stay safe 🙏🏽

      Like

      Reply

  6. nmartinez1938
    Mar 31, 2020 @ 19:24:25

    When citizens are on lockdown; but it’s not really all citizens is it? After all, teachers are citizens. Just wondering here.

    I’m a senior citizen of 81 years 10 months 12 days . My blog name speaks to what I share online for the past 8 years; Viruses Dead End Here And Much More. To counter the high volume of panic news, I’ve posted a most encouraging video explaining; “People don’t die of influenza, they die of chronic vitamin C deficiency – view and save lives now https://wp.me/p2VBZ8-35X

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. Trackback: Teacher/Key Worker Dilemma #CoronaVirus — But I Smile Anyway… – Sarah's Attic Of Treasures
  8. Lorna
    Mar 30, 2020 @ 09:47:20

    Is it a full week? Do you get some time away from the frontlines? I guess the doctors don’t, so. Is there counseling in place for you? My teacher friends in the US are doing video sessions and then car parades to see the kids. Goes without saying, take extra care of yourself. And thank you. xox

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 30, 2020 @ 16:30:31

      We are rota-ed to work with the children, and come in to do other admin tasks as and when. I think I have done all I can for now, before the EAster break, and I had my full day with the children today. I deserve a total rest now!!!
      You take care too xxx

      Like

      Reply

  9. thereluctantpoet
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 22:51:44

    Oh God, Ritu!! Please, please do not expose yourself to Covid-19 because of ignorance, irrational thinking on the part of those in charge!! Please, My Dear Do NOT do it!! You are not a medical worker and there should be a stay at home order like there is here in the States!! Please, don’t – for yourself, your hubby and children, your family and friends and ALL of us here on WP who LOVE YOU!!
    xoxoxo 💖💖🌹🌹😢😢

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  10. Rebecca Moon Ruark
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 20:49:18

    Good for you, Ritu! It is so tough. As far as I know, all the teachers at my guys’ school are now working from their homes, as we are from ours. Nurses, doctors, etc., whose small children would ordinarily be at preschool are cared for by family or friends, I guess. The poor little kiddos who just want to hug and cuddle their teachers need extra care right now–not old enough to understand what exactly is going on, but certainly old enough to know something’s wrong with the world. Thank you for being there for them!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 29, 2020 @ 21:16:52

      That is the added dilemma we have been thrown. Grandparents, who would normally look after children may be in the vulnerable category, so people aren’t allowed to take kids to them, and now, with lockdown, you can’t go to one another’s house, so, unless you have the family living with you, these keyworkers need us to be there for their kids… ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  11. robbiesinspiration
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 17:57:04

    It is a real dilemma, Ritu. We are in strict lock-down because of Michael. We have been warned not to let him have contact with this virus. I understand your decision and, if I had normal children, I think I would do the same.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 29, 2020 @ 18:05:01

      Some of my colleagues have had to make that tough decision with their own vulnerable family members too. Its tough on all, Robbie.
      Stay safe xxx

      Like

      Reply

  12. Losing the Plot
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 16:06:08

    Yeah, my sis is a teacher. She pretty much has a full timetable, though working mostly from home. They are going into school on rotation, but doing classes in zoom from home.
    Tough enough gig, but at least she doesn’t have the commute.

    All key workers have my deepest respect

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  13. Judy E Martin
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 15:22:20

    Well said, Ritu. You are truly doing such an important job which is highly appreciated. We could not do this without us all pulling together. I would hate yo think that anyone was being forced to ‘babysit’ key worker’s children and hope that all Heads are as thoughtful and sensible as yours. A heartfelt THANK YOU for all that you and your colleagues do. Xx

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  14. The Tea Chest ♥
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 14:55:33

    Such an interesting and trying time in our lives. I feel like I am living a very surreal existence, my home country is in total lock down and I am unable to return there. The country I am currently in has some distancing in place but hasn’t locked down anything yet. Lots of waiting and watching, taking it all day by day.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  15. gemmaorton
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 14:49:30

    We are all making so many decisions right now that could never even have imagined last year. Thank you for doing your bit as a Teacher, Key Worker and Mum. Stay safe Ritu.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  16. Rachael Stray | https://rachaelstray.com/
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 14:28:03

    Thank you Ritu. My husband and I are key workers (police and fire service) so we’re hoping Elsie’s nursery can reopen after the Easter hols so she can go otherwise we will both be working from home and juggling caring for her. My parents both work for the NHS and we are all grateful for all the key workers including teachers. Just keep washing your hands and doing all the things your doing that’s all you can do. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  17. johncoyote
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:27:11

    I agree dear Ritu. For the safety of the teachers and the children. Please stay at home. My Detroit area will have more deaths than any city soon. It will get worst in April. I am a over night pharmacy manager. I go to work nightly because people need their medicine. I must work. Teachers and the children should not be put in danger, we need to use the modern tools. Computers and tablets. Teachers can still teach and children can still learn at home.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:31:33

      Those that can should, you are right, John.
      But we still need to help those that need childcare so they can go to work. All working together.
      Stay safe 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

      • johncoyote
        Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:38:41

        No-one working in my area unless life support. Childcare workers are closed down. I must carry documents to go to work. Time for our world to stop. If we don’t stop moving this world. April could be very terrible. All hospitals in the Detroit metro are filled. Soon, military will need to set-up medical hospitals. Please stay home and be safe dear Ritu.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ritu
        Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:41:15

        We are supporting the medical staff, all of whom are needed, and the people operating the store that provide supplies for the nation.
        It might not be long before total shutdown happens, but right now, at least with our emergency childcare, the relevant resources are able to get to work, for the greater good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • johncoyote
        Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:43:49

        Need a team effort. Whole world to become one to fix this problem dear friend. I hope the new world. We learn to be kinder to each other. I hope we are helping the struggling countries.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ritu
        Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:45:10

        I really hope so, John. I hope people remember, after this us all over… Humanity, humility, it almvrelies upon us learning from things like this, not just getting through… Then going back to what things were like before….

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Ritu
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:16:40

    Thank you 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  19. MarinaSofia
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:13:41

    You are such a wonderful voice of reason, Ritu. I know it can’t be easy and people should be very grateful to teachers everywhere.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:30:04

      Thank you, Marina.
      There are many people we should all be grateful to, many whose roles get forgotten, and they don’t get rememnered in these times.
      Us school staff are just trying, like the rest, to support the nation while it’s on its knees, to get it back up to standing 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  20. Marje @ Kyrosmagica
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:01:51

    I’m so proud of you Ritu, it’s tough but you’re doing an amazing job. One of my besties back home here in Cambridge is also a key worker. Feel for you all. Take care my lovely. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:28:22

      Thank you, Marje. I think we all are doing what we can to support the nation and the world, on a wider scale, be it staying in, or going out to do essential jobs xxx
      Stay safe 🥰

      Like

      Reply

  21. Erika
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 10:34:19

    In my eyes, teachers everywhere are part of those groups who are more challenged these days. Of course, the younger the students are the more. And at that young age, it is more daycare in order that their parents can go to work and the economy doesn’t break down completely. It is a special situation which is new to everyone and it seems that many countries don’t have ready-to-use emergency plans regarding this specific situation. Stay safe, sis 💖

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:25:20

      A totally new situation, Sis. Who would have honestly thought a health pandemic would sweep the globe like this? Of course no one is prepared.
      I wish that some people would understand this.
      It’s a totally unknown situation for us all. Leaders and laypeople alike.
      No one knows what to do for the best. No plans would have been thought up prior to this.
      It’s war in a totally different scale!
      The most important thing is to work together 💜💜💜💜

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

      • Erika
        Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:42:25

        Everybody needs to be patient with everybody. All are confused and those organizing everything and keeping the wheel turning are working like machines. It is definitely an unexpected (and so quickly developing) happening which most of the people had never expected.
        Yes, we need to work together and be patient and understanding. There are some idiots out there who think it is funny to scare people in coughing at them or doing other stupid things. Really, I am glad the police is strict about them!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ritu
        Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:43:54

        I’ve seen some horrific videos, including people licking things and putting them down for others to touch, … It is crazy…

        Liked by 2 people

      • Erika
        Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:45:24

        Yes, right, I remember. I don’t know what they are thinking!!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ritu
        Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:58:56

        Disgusting!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Erika
        Mar 29, 2020 @ 16:10:06

        Disgusting and highest reckless and disrespectul.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. potatosandwich
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 08:02:36

    There’s too much of trying to provoke the general public going on. We are all doing something for the good of the public. Key workers are doing a fantastic job to keep the wheels turning. Those are home are trying to lessen the risk of further spread. If everyone just shuts up and work together we’ll get out of this human made mess sooner rather then later.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 29, 2020 @ 11:21:59

      Precisely. As long as we are all doing what is asked if he, and taking the necessary precautions, things will get back to normal, sooner…

      Like

      Reply

  23. Army of Angels
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 06:41:22

    Our school system set up something similar for children of healthcare workers. They asked for teacher volunteers to staff it. They will get additional pay. I am glad they are doing this, but I couldn’t do it because I have my medically fragile parents living with me. Stay safe and well❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  24. John Holton
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 02:10:02

    Hang in there!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  25. D. Avery @shiftnshake
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 02:00:49

    I admire you for being indispensable to the indispensable. Good on ya for helping these other families. I know that you know to be as careful as can be, and can only hope and assume that the families of these young students are also being extra careful as far as countering contamination. Be safe, be well. Make the best decisions for yourself and your family as we go.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  26. Maria Mocha
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 00:33:09

    Oh my. I cannot imagine being asked to go back and teach kids during this particular time. Stay safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Mar 29, 2020 @ 00:42:09

      It is a trying time for all. I do want to stay at home, cocooned with my children, but equally, I know that, like many other teachers feel, if we do not make this small sacrifice of our time, then we could be letting many more people down, as childcare becomes an issue. I watched a clip on the news yesterday about medical students, whose lectures have been cancelled, that are offering to baby sit these same children during the evenings, weekends and even Easter holidays, as they know that schools don’t open in those times. Selfless volunteering for a much much bigger cause. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply

  27. Susanne Swanson
    Mar 28, 2020 @ 23:02:40

    Aw bless you! Stay safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  28. willowdot21
    Mar 28, 2020 @ 22:54:28

    You are a heroine Sis! As are all Keyworkers

    THANK YOU!

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  29. pensitivity101
    Mar 28, 2020 @ 22:45:01

    Keep safe Ritu.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  30. Midnightlion
    Mar 28, 2020 @ 22:35:15

    Well said Ritu and Jodie Cooper! Thank you for sharing Ritu.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

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