Teacher Life – #TestingTimes

Well, hello there, Peeps!

It’s me, back again, musing on a Thursday abot the strange world we’re living in, especially the world of schools.

As you know, I’m not a huge fan of remote learning, and honestly, there are very few teachers worth their salt, who would honestly say they prefer the systems in place now, as opposed to face to face teaching.


I won’t wax lyrical again about the same thing, though.

A quick update. Week one was much smoother than I had imagined, and I embarked upon the calls for week two, as well as having students in the classroom, it being my turn this week. Aside from two parents who asked about the possibility of Zoom, or live lessons, everyone else was pretty happy. A few needed a little urging, again, to make sure they were helping their child to access learning, but there were at least a few who made a point of saying how happy they were with everything we were setting.

I’ve received photos of work, and even some wonderful videos of children demonstrating their learning. It warmed my heart!

Right. Update done.

What I was going to discuss today was the testing regime that has been suddenly flung into the picture today by the DfE for teachers in Primary School.

‘Apparently’, all Primary schools are going to be sent sets of Lateral Flow tests for school staff to utilise every day, if someone was to test positive, who was a possible close contact, I think, or maybe it’s a set of tests we are all to do every day? Still no clear guidance… surprised? I’m not!

So as long as you are getting negative tests, you keep coming in to work.

Though, these LF tests are around 50% accurate, so we may still end up in school, actually positive, but with a result that said negative…

Bitmoji Image

And if you test postive? You have to go and get a proper test, and isolate for 10 days.

Here’s hoping that doesn’t mean we end up shutting schools, if the ‘inaccurate’ tests tell a whole staff, or the majority, that they are positive!

Oh, well, onwards and upwards, eh!

One Liner Wednesday #1LinerWeds – Silver Linings

“More than ever before, I am seeing those silver linings, or at lesat I am trying very hard to look for them, and they are there, just a little hidden.”

Ritu Bhathal

For Linda’s #1LinerWeds Challenge.

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 340 Release and Simple

Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge:

Release and Simple

Watch a bud open
Releasing a bloom within
Pure and simple joy

Ritu 2021
fall haiku challenge badge japanese maple with black and white background

Chai And A Chat #118 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 42

Well, what a week, that has been! I sit here, on Sunday night, writing this, and feel exhausted just thinking back… and when considering the future, too…

Right, got your drink?

  • If we were having chai I’d begin by telling you how the first week of remote learning at school went. As most of you know, especially if you read my Spidey post yesterday, and the the other one on Thursday, it’s ben a tough week. You wouldn’t think that having no children in the classroom could be more exhausting that having a whole class full, would you? Well, let me tell you, it is. Aside from my management responsibilities, I was on the computer all day, either responding to and commenting on learning, researching other ways to engage our pupils remotely, planning for next week, with my team, or answering emails from parents and SLT, (Senior Leadership Team). On top of that, we were phoning each family, to make sure they were okay, and giving them support and advice on how to help their children. And making rotas, and trying to be prepared for situations of any eventuality. I was shattered. And I still am, to be honest. IT is very hard to switch off, too. I have, even though I said I wouldn’t, been on our online learning platform, to see if there is anything I need to mark, or handle, urgently. But it will make tomorrow a little easier. that’s what I tell myself, anyway!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that one way I have helped myself to relax is, is to continue my #journalingjanuary challenge, and I have really enjoyed it!
  • If we were having chai I’d say that my reading goal for this month was to read all the Bridgerton series, after bingeing the series on Netflix on Boxing day, and out of eight books, I am now on number seven! All in January. #Bridgertonuary I may just finish them before January is up. Don’t fear, though, I have plenty of other books to read!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that life outside of school continues, and we had someone come aand view our house on Saturday. Apparently there may be another viewing, too. And we went to see another prospective forever home, but, alas, it wasn’t the one to make our hearts tingle. Onwards and upwards. It’ll come forward, soon enough…
  • If we were having chai I’d have to give you some HUGE, wonderful news, though. Lil Man, after three years of trying has been selected for the North West Kent Cricket Squad! He is over the moon, as are we, but, obviously, until the lockdown ends, there can’t be any face to face training, so they will be having thrice weekly Zoom meetings, and a once a week squad training session, online too, focusing on fitness, so they are all in a good place, once things get back to some normality. Happy mummy, here!
  • If we were having chai I’d leave you with a photo of my gorgeous Sonu Singh, who tried very hard to get my attention, and to stop me from reading… but it didn’t last long!
Bitmoji Image

This week, I’ll be trying to juggle all of the above at school, along with a couple of my pupils in, as well, under the Key Worker or Vulnerable status. It will be interesting to see how things pan out. Obviously, I have to still plan, and respond to everything online, as well as be there for the children in front of me. Let’s see how this works. And we have another house to go and view, as well as getting feedback on the viewing of our property. Honestly, I can’t think much further than all that!

And while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

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.   

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

My interactive peeps!

Peeps are reading in…

Flag Counter
%d bloggers like this: