Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 305 – Pessimistically Optimistic


“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill

Thank you, Spidey, as always, for finding a quote that resonates.

Right now, we are in a situation which breeds pessimism. It’s sometimes easier to look towards the negative, when we’re hurtling downwards, instead of trying to turn our heads upwards, to try and catch a glipmse of the positive.

I was very much finding myself doing the former, this week, after our first week of home learning.

We’ve been battling so hard, what with the Government, and DfE ‘tweaking’ guidance at the drop of a haat, often daily, towarads the end of a day.

Not only does Gaaving Williamson keep using the wrong words to discuss the subject of education, it’s like he’s trying to incite the powers that be, like Ofsted, and parents against schools.

Firstly, when discussing education, he keeps saying schools are ‘closed’ to all except Critical Worker, and Vulnerable children.


Yes, the majority of children are not in the building, but we are working our arses off (mind my language, sorry!) trying to find a way to teach children, online, as well as delivering the same learning to children who are in school.

And the requirements for getting a place in school keep changing, in a way that they might as well have just kept schools open in some areas. Meaning some teachers are running themselves ragged, trying to teach in class, as well as remotely. Thing is, the guidance does actually say that if you can keep your child at home, Critical Worker or not, you should try to. After all, we are trying to stop the spread, not encourage it!

And, secondly, the demand for the amount of remote learning.

Last lockdown was different. We were told to not try and teach lots of new things, but use the opportunity to consolidate previous learning, until June, when some classes did open up again for 6 weeks. This time, they want quality learning, (obviously), in small incremental steps, so children miss minimal learning.

This is the amount we have been told to aim for daily.

  • Three hours, minimum, for Primary KS 1 (but in brackets in the guidance, adjusted to slightly less for the younger ones.)
  • Four hours, minimum, for Primary KS2
  • Five hours minimum for Secondary

Again, woolly advice.

As I read it, set work, including either pre-recorded videos, or live lessons, or links to good quality inputs, created especially for this reason, and activities that will keep a child busy for the times above, and include the reading, creative and physical aspects of the curriculum, too. This is what I explained to the parents I spoke to.

Some schools are especting staff to either be online for the above times, live teaching, or recording and uploading videos, as well as teaching in class. It’s driving school staff crazy!

I spent the whole week calling parents, planning work for the following week, and marking the online work handed in, recording voice notes for all the children’s work, because they are four and five, and can’t read my comments, which I also add, for the parents. Oh, and answering emails from parents, too.

Also, as the team phase leader, I have been organising staff rotas, and work for those who are home, to ensure no staff are in the building, unnecessarily. We are in lockdown, after all.

It stripped me of energy like nothing else I have ever experienced.

And this was without any children in my class. Last week, there were no applications for CWV kids to come in.

Next week, though, I do have some. And I will have to do all of the above, as well…

I’ve said it before, though, online learning for children this age, is almost impossible.

But then, the optimist in me kicked in.

I get to see at least some of my class on Monday. I took great joy in seeing how much some parents did with their children, and how they are using this time to really get to know their kids, and how they learn.

I’ve enjoyed guiding the parents I spoke to, giving them ideas of things they could do, but also ensuring they are aware that a huge part of our curriculum is learning through PLAY.

And on Saturday, as I dragged myself around the supermarket to buy sustenance for the following week, I bumped into a parent and one of my children. The conversation left me with a feeling of warmth. They enquired after my health, and whether I was coping. They said how much the little boy missed school, and thanked me for all the guidance and support provided so far. I was sent on my way with a metaphorical pat on the back!

So, I’ll start another sure-to-be exhausting week, with a bit more of a spring in my step!

So… tell me, are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Bitmoji Image

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps.   

41 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennie
    Jan 17, 2021 @ 13:43:51

    It’s the optimists like you who keep things going. Honestly, I don’t know how you did it last week, especially when you know remote learning doesn’t work for young children. There are way too many balls to juggle. That parent was a bright star in your week, for sure.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. thereluctantpoet
    Jan 11, 2021 @ 11:33:14

    Reblogged this on The Reluctant Poet.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. thereluctantpoet
    Jan 11, 2021 @ 11:32:51

    Really loved this post, Ritu! Happy to read of your encounter at the end how very heartwarming! Reminds me of the saying/quote. If you ask 100 people who is the person that has had the biggest impact in your life? The overwhelming answer comes back, My Teacher _____ in ____ grade! I want you to be thrilled to know that next to a parent and sometimes even more than a parent – a teacher like you – is the most important person in a child whole life! You are a blessing for life, My Dear Ritu!

    Love the glass half full, half empty type of example at the top. Reminds me of this –
    a Psychologist was talking with a client and put a glass of water on the table that was half full. He asked the client – which is it? Half full or half empty. The client looked at the glass for a moment and then reached out and drank the water and set the glass down. He said, “I’m a problem solver, it’s empty now!”
    Have a great day and week, My Dear Ritu!
    xoxox 😘💕😊🌹✨

    Liked by 1 person


  4. OIKOS™-Editorial
    Jan 11, 2021 @ 06:28:21

    Thank you Spidey! Never before got knowledge about this wonderful quote of Winsto Churchill. I always had thought he only was a pessimistic one.
    Oh Sis, the news we got from the aisles are sounding horrible. Good to know, you and yours are save, and the pupils in a save home too. Have a wonderful week, and dont try fighting alone against the virus. Michael

    Liked by 1 person


  5. novecentomilaepiu
    Jan 10, 2021 @ 17:49:48

    “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”: it’s very true! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  6. johnrieber
    Jan 10, 2021 @ 17:26:23

    I begin as a pessimist until the situation turns dire, then I become an optimist because what is the option? I feel sorry for what you are going through but I do believe we will get this under control. As the US finally changes leadership and becomes a more stable member of the world order, it will help – here int eh US, we must bring our crisis under control and work with other countries to have a focused, coordinated effort….our current “every person for themselves” approach is shameful…

    Liked by 1 person


  7. CarolCooks2
    Jan 10, 2021 @ 13:23:18

    Just wow…I am so pleased I don’t have school age children and that the grndchildren here are at school…I marvel at how teachers are coping…You all deserve a pat on the back , Ritu as do the parents who are home schooling through this pandemic…Well done everyone xx

    Liked by 1 person


  8. willowdot21
    Jan 10, 2021 @ 12:56:43

    It’s such a hard job sis and you and every teacher on the planet is doing their best! As is no doubt every parent. Your beautiful disposition will carry you through.
    In the my mean time I hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person


  9. April Munday
    Jan 10, 2021 @ 10:21:45

    I’m a pessimist, but I can still turn some of life’s lemons into lemonade. I was running before the first lockdown, but not being able to go out and do what I normally do, means that I have more time to run. I’ve gone farther and faster than I would have thought possible a year ago.

    I think of you every time I run past my old infant school and I’m sure many more parents appreciate what you’re doing than the ones that express it.

    Liked by 1 person


  10. Erika
    Jan 10, 2021 @ 10:18:18

    You can imagine how much I love that quote. I think being an optimist or a pessimist is a basic inner concept. But still, it depends on what you encounter, how important it is, or how afraid you are to go there. Like Wayne Dyer said,” If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t work out, you’ll see obstacles.”

    Liked by 1 person


  11. tidalscribe
    Jan 10, 2021 @ 08:08:53

    Well done for staying optomistic – children are resilient and for lots of families there will be good times. My son-in-law is a teacher and cringes everything time he hears that word Closed. Increasing which children can come to school could end up with most of them being there! How many families with more than one child or parents working from home are going to have enough on line access for everyone?

    Liked by 1 person


    • Ritu
      Jan 10, 2021 @ 10:56:17

      It baffles me. They should take the pressure off schools, telling them how to do their jobs, and trust them.
      No school wants to see their children slide backwards.
      We know our children, and our family demographic better than the govt.
      Our system, as a primary school, seems to be working, and we are not putting pressure on the parents with timetable online lessons, because we know many of them are trying to work from home too, as well as some who have secondary age kids, for whom live lessons work better.
      They still have the same amount of work, and we check in with them regularly, but they can access the learning when it is convenient for them 💜🙏🏽

      Liked by 1 person


  12. robbiesinspiration
    Jan 10, 2021 @ 07:08:03

    I believe that I am an optimist on the whole, Ritu. I am a bit stressed out with our start back to school being pushed out 1 week for Greg [its his final year] and 10 days for Michael [who is remedial and doesn’t cope with compacted learning. However, I have made a plan and I have a maths teacher coming in twice a week to give Michael Maths lessons and an Afrikaans tutor giving the boys 1 hour of on-line tuition per week. I am also reading with Michael every day. Action helps me stay positive.

    Liked by 2 people


    • Ritu
      Jan 10, 2021 @ 10:52:08

      I think we have to find those ways to stay optimistic, Robbie, definitely.
      My two have online Maths and my son has online English tuition too, to complement any school online learning.
      Stay safe 💜

      Liked by 1 person


  13. pranabaxom
    Jan 10, 2021 @ 06:08:43

    We can’t lose hope Ritu. Keep up the good work.
    Take care and stay safe. Sending lots of love and good wishes your way.

    Liked by 1 person


  14. lssattitudeofgratitude
    Jan 10, 2021 @ 05:32:22

    I am glad I am not teaching in this new way. I miss the kids but not the chaos of trying to teach virtually.

    Liked by 1 person


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