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Son’s school should be closed but not.

(104 Posts)
Bluebellwould Tue 20-Oct-20 08:39:08

My son works in a primary school where his children go. Four teachers and the caretaker (who wonders round the school like a lost cat apparently) have got corona. It started with one case of corona and that class being sent home but the rest of the school continued. Now we have four classes sent home but the rest continue. Surely the sensible thing would have been to send the whole school home for two weeks isolation when the first case occurred. It’s all just so demoralising when things aren’t being done to halt infection rates. To make matters worse the weather’s gloomy and wet! I feel like having a temper tantrum and stamping my feet and shouting and rolling on the floor thumping my fists and going red in the face. Well perhaps not. 😳

Franbern Thu 22-Oct-20 09:29:15

quizqueen

Who will pay the teachers wages if they are sent home for weeks? I didn't see any of them furloughed last time either. I don't believe they all worked full time last lockdown.

quizqueen, the teachers that I know (covering all ages and sections of education), were all working very many more hours than normal during lockdown. Trying to attend zoom staff meetings, run their usual lessons on line, doing special classes for those that required it, lesson preparing for new system, but still having to lesson plan for usual system, - many of them at the same time as trying desperately to find time to home school their own children,.

FannyCornforth Thu 22-Oct-20 06:39:21

Wishing you and your families all the best BlueBelleWould and Sar53.
Very worrying times. It's kicking off big style in schools.
Several of my colleagues have tested positive.
Years 9 and 10 are to stay at home.
So much for "bubbles'. Just wishful thinking.
I'm so bloody angry about this.

Sar53 Wed 21-Oct-20 22:02:06

I have just heard from my daughter, that all students at granddaughter's school have been told to isolate for two weeks from last Friday, as many more positive cases since the weekend. School is shut til at least 2nd November.

Bluebellwould Wed 21-Oct-20 21:09:30

Well the school is now closed.
Apparently large percentage of pupils, parents and staff have been infected.
Hoping son and grandchildren have escaped.

WOODMOUSE49 Wed 21-Oct-20 11:59:18

Lovelylady
Many children in our local academy primary school had head lice three weeks after returning to school after lockdown. If the school successfully implemented distancing this integration would not have been rife in the school.

Have you ever been in a primary school for any length of time? (One whole day should do it). You would clearly see that children that age thrive on social interaction, on collaborative play and being with others meaning that pushing the boundaries and breaking the norm was them just being normal (in an abnormal world).

Read this article that shows what one school did when it reopened to ALL the children and just how it was to maintain social distancing.

www.tes.com/news/coronavirus-social-distancing-long-term-classroom-behaviour

trisher Wed 21-Oct-20 11:05:13

Twowolves I tlke it then that you were at the school everyday during lockdown from 7am to 7pm (but shouldn't you have been at home?). Are there really no essential workers in your area? Did you folow every teacher?
And what sort of an educational expert are you (actually BBC bitesize was designed by professional on-line educators-which most teachers aren't)

Chardy Wed 21-Oct-20 11:03:19

Am always concerned when one example of 'poor' behaviour is used to generalise about several hundred thousand people.

There are people (probably on every site) who when it's explained, to justify why that's not 'poor' behaviour then moan about some groups being 'so defensive'.

Some schools in March were all ready to liaise with home regarding home learning. They had the system set up, teachers had had the training, had practised and had the expertise. By the same token, there were schools where this was not the case. Remember that schools were told on the Thursday that they'd be shutting on the Monday.

If some pupils haven't received work, complain the school, the head of dept, the head, the chair of governors, someone who can do something about it.

Finally my BiL was a trainer in the banking industry. He used to get a week to prepare for a one-day course. I used to get an evening to prep my following day's lessons. One PowerPoint can take a whole evening to produce.

maddyone Wed 21-Oct-20 10:58:12

Well said GagaJo for telling it how it is. I worked in an infant school but during the time I was there (17 years, it was my final job before retirement, although I worked in other schools before) we had a knife brought into school, chairs thrown around, a dinner lady was bitten, I was kicked and punched, although thankfully these assaults were rare. Our headteacher was assaulted by a parent. But teachers aren’t the only ones who get slated at times on Gransnet. My daughter is a GP and GPs are regularly slated and I have regularly pointed out how hard she works and the stresses she was under during lockdown. Unfortunately because everyone went to school and everyone goes to the doctor, they are seen as fair game by many of the public. I’d like to see how well society would function without teachers or General Practitioners.

GagaJo Wed 21-Oct-20 10:38:27

Ellianne, all of the following are fairly snide.

'This is actually the 3rd thread this week that has been hijacked along the lines of teachers deserve no criticism.' (hijacked is very emotive language. You imply that you are free to say what you want with no comeback)

'most of whom don't come close to being real heroes.' Really? When was the last time someone threw a chair at you, came into your office with a weapon or had an illegal allegation made against you that could end your career? All of those have happened to me as a teacher.

'I just wish it were allowed on GN to occasionally publicly criticise a teacher' But it isn't occasional OR about a single teacher. It is able teachers as a group.

Why do you feel the need to criticise teachers? We are currently in school, among people who are frequently asymptomatic super spreaders. We do it for not great pay and rather than facing occasional criticism, actually face a barrage.

Frankly, teaching is near enough an impossible job in the UK. Rather than criticising teachers, why don't all of those who think we are lazy or do s**t jobs, go to the people who make it an impossible job and get the working conditions changed, so we can do what we signed up for and actually spend the majority of our time educating, rather than data entry, report writing and other assorted administration that never benefits children?

I don't need to be called a hero. But I would like those that think it is possible to be a teacher and be lazy stand in front of 35 difficult teenagers, to meet all of their individual needs, manage at times violent and aggressive behaviour and actually impart some actual learning.

Even the worst teacher will be working in excess of 45 hours a week. By the time you've factored in all of the face-to-face teaching time, mandatory box ticking, meetings, duties etc. Missing any of those would result in being put on a disciplinary within a month. I am of course ignoring planning and marking, because those are the things that ARE able to be neglected in the short term.

No, not all teachers are super-teachers. But any teacher not meeting the basic requirements of the job would be out. It might not be possible to sack a teacher, but there are many underhand ways of getting them out. I have witnessed bullying, victimisation, unmanageable working conditions. All of which result in the teacher eventually going.

As my parting salvo, I would say that UK teachers are regarded as being among the best in the world. You only have to look in the TES teaching jobs section. The whole world aims to recruit us. I currently work for three times a UK teaching salary overseas and do approx. half the work.

TwoWolves Wed 21-Oct-20 10:37:36

Well, Trisher, if telling the truth about my granddaughter's experience is dismissed as just a snide remark, then my point is made.

trisher Wed 21-Oct-20 10:32:42

Will this do Ellianne
Teachers went in just one morning per week to stick 'lessons' online that were, quite frankly, no better than BBC Bitesize. The efforts of the children weren't marked - the answers were given to be marked by the children themselves or their parents.
And that after it has been consistently said that schools were open to the children of essential workers and that setting up lessons on-line was a learning curve for all. Learning that was done with the spotlight of critical parents and GPs turned up to full.

Ellianne Wed 21-Oct-20 10:17:29

What constitutes a snide remark? I'm going to get teacher-like and ask for an example please.

Hetty58 Wed 21-Oct-20 10:09:57

As a retired (thank God) teacher I'd like to ask a question:

What other professions are subject to so much scrutiny, dislike, criticism, anger (even hatred) etc.?

Doctors maybe?

Why?

Nobody slags off librarians, gardeners, postmen or window cleaners do they?

Of course, those making snide remarks have absolutely no idea of the work involved - yet believe they could do so much better. They'd never cope. They're worse than back seat drivers!

Ellianne Wed 21-Oct-20 09:54:02

TwoWolves sorry to hear about your GD. But I am equally sorry to read your comment below.
"It was awful. Then, to come on here and have disbelief and anger poured on me just because I told what happened was quite an eye-opener."
Criticism should be allowed. As I said before, it is different from disrespect.

Ellianne Wed 21-Oct-20 09:49:25

I agree FannyCornforth it is the wording that is wrong for any group of workers, and many an individual might seek to remove it.

GagaJo I think you misunderstand me. The way you jumped in with the "criticise "us" comment proves my point.
I know a teacher or two will criticise a parent or two, and the other way round, but it shouldn't be en masse. And sometimes it is rightly deserved.

TwoWolves Wed 21-Oct-20 09:46:28

Quizqueen: Who will pay the teachers wages if they are sent home for weeks? I didn't see any of them furloughed last time either. I don't believe they all worked full time last lockdown.

Oh, quizqueen, you have stuck your head above the parapet, haven't you? So did I last spring, when I complained about the appalling virtual education my granddaughter received. Teachers went in just one morning per week to stick 'lessons' online that were, quite frankly, no better than BBC Bitesize. The efforts of the children weren't marked - the answers were given to be marked by the children themselves or their parents.

For this, they were paid 100% wages throughout.

Do you know how many times the school contacted my granddaughter? Just once - and that was an end of school year tickbox exercise. She could have moved or died for all they knew or cared.

Almost as soon as they got back to school in September, year 1 had to be sent home as a teacher was confirmed to have Covid!!! And this when all the teachers nationwide had been moaning about catching it from the children!

It was awful. Then, to come on here and have disbelief and anger poured on me just because I told what happened was quite an eye-opener.

I do realise that this did not happen all over the country - there were examples of excellent and inspiring teaching. But in my area (just an ordinary suburban area) I felt let down and disappointed and can see why some teachers give the entire profession a bad name.

FannyCornforth Wed 21-Oct-20 09:39:04

YesGagaJo I'm sure that we could tell a tale or two!
Personally, I'm not keen on the 'hero' narrative for any group of people.

GagaJo Wed 21-Oct-20 09:34:41

I wonder how parents / grandparents on here would feel if we teachers criticized parents? Which frankly, as a teacher would be SO easy to do. Particularly during the pandemic when lots of parents criticized schools for not supporting students enough, while teachers were offering zoom lessons/providing emailed work packs/contacting parents and students. While a lot of the time, little or no work was being overseen or completed at home.

If you want to criticize us Ellianne, feel free. It is however, a two way street.

Alittlemadam Wed 21-Oct-20 09:22:51

You really only need to isolate if you have symptoms, if you don't you can carry on. The school have been given guidance from public health england as to what they can and can't do.

Ellianne Wed 21-Oct-20 09:19:24

I hope you get to Germany safely jocork and enjoy your retirement.

Your comment about teachers being "heroes" is problematic for me, though I think you were possibly only applying it to pandemic times. This is actually the 3rd thread this week that has been hijacked along the lines of teachers deserve no criticism. And there have been many more.
However, as I see it, if teachers are regarded as heroes collectively, then it becomes almost impossible for us to criticise any single one of them. That in turn will become counter productive. If all teachers are "heroes", then it’s much harder to admit the laziness of an individual teacher like some individual GNs have tried to explain. I too have been guilty of saying "teachers this, teachers that" when in truth we only ever meet a mere handful, most of whom don't come close to being real heroes.
I just wish it were allowed on GN to occasionally publicly criticise a teacher without it being seen by one or two in education as an insult to teachers everywhere.

FannyCornforth Wed 21-Oct-20 08:07:37

Wishing you a very happy retirement jocork.

I'd be fascinated to know how many teaching and support staff hand their notice in to leave at Christmas.

I imagine there were lots of folk who in September thought, 'I'll give it a go for the first half term and see how it goes'.

jocork Wed 21-Oct-20 08:01:54

I work in a secondary school as a learning support assistant. I reached retirement age in September and will retire this Friday. I had originally planned to retire in July but decided to return for the first autumn half term as I wanted to retire from 'normal working' if you can call it that at the moment. I shall be so glad to leave this week as I feel very unsafe in school. The students don't distance and can regularly be seen hugging each other and shaking hands etc. I spend much of the day reminding them that a mask worn on the chin is neither use nor ornament and am often verbally abused for pointing it out!

Next week I'll be travelling to germany with my DiL and baby grandson to join my DS who started work there last week. I'm just trying to stay safe for another 3 days!

It's true that most teachers worked hard throughout lockdown, not only providing online work, but keeping in touch with their students as well as working in school on a rota with the Key Workers' children and vulnerable children who were attending. I was left off the rota as the school considered me vulnerable as a diabetic and over 60. In the end I asked to be put on it as I wasn't shielding, and felt guilty sitting at home doing very restricted duties remotely but being paid in full.

There has always been a number of people who criticise teachers for working 'short hours' and having 'long holidays' yet know nothing of the actual facts. Most teachers do not leave school when the pupils go home, and any that do will be going home to an evening of marking and lesson preparation after dealing with the needs of their own families. Many come into school for a significant part of their 'long holidays'. I trained as a teacher but ended up working in the NHS for many years before returning to work in schools after a number of years as a stay-at-home mum. I considered working as a teacher but realised that as a single mum of teenagers I just didn't have what it takes to do the job properly and still have enough left for my own family. I am full of admiration for those teachers who do such an amazing job! I chose to do a job in education where I could leave my work at the end of the day and not think about it until the next day at work. Obviously that choice means I earn a fraction of what I could have earned as a teacher, and they are hardly well paid, but for me 'work life balance was the important thing! Teachers deserve our gratitude not our criticism. As someone upthread said they are heroes!

LovelyLady Wed 21-Oct-20 00:13:47

Many children in our local academy primary school had head lice three weeks after returning to school after lockdown. If the school successfully implemented distancing this integration would not have been rife in the school.
Parents at the school gate are persistently NOT distancing from other parents with many not even wearing face masks. They can't all have health reasons.
I asked the Head if a notice could be on view stating something like - No Mask = no entry. She said that the Academy couldn't discriminate!!
Total madness from parents.

maddyone Tue 20-Oct-20 19:54:40

GagaJo that’s a question I’d like to hear the answer to as well.

maddyone Tue 20-Oct-20 19:53:48

Some very accurate and knowledgeable comments here from some posters including lynnenana, Golden age, and aonk.

On the other hand grandetante is spouting misinformation. Why on earth she thinks unions will pay teacher’s wages I’ll never know, but it’s complete rubbish.

And Kathy is correct, children need to be in school wherever possible, they have already lost so much.