It’s been a long winter. Christmas was cancelled. School was out. Instead we had to buckle up for cold, dark months of lockdown; online lessons, face coverings, no real sport, definitely no singing, missing family and friends, lateral flow tests, exams being off, on then off again. And the constant worry in the back of our minds about running out of loo roll!
There is no getting away from it, it has been tough. Particularly for some. Families cramped up in tiny flats with little or no internet. Academic, mental, social, emotional, physical and financial pressures and strains. Teachers having to teach on line and mark on line; Learning Support Assistants working up close and personal with vulnerable pupils and children of key workers; admin staff going above and beyond, even to the point of sticking long cotton buds up people’s noses and touching their tonsils. Not to mention the unsung heroes: parents who have had to juggle their own jobs and all this schooling from home!
But we did it. And while there will be lots of gaps in knowledge and skills, work to assess, millions of pieces to pick up, fitness levels to raise, emotional and social issues to take care of, schools are back. And of course, there is still so much uncertainty and things to get frustrated and anxious about, but in some ways, we have come back stronger and better. Over the last few months, pupils have shown resilience, teachers have been creative and parents have been patient! These are things we cannot learn from textbooks or test tubes. Yes, this generation has suffered but they will hopefully be more gritty, gutsy, resilient and determined as a result. Choppy waters make skilful sailors. So instead of focussing on the negatives and all the mistakes which we cannot change, let’s take courage from all of this and learn. Learn to be more decisive. Better prepared if/when something like this should happen again. Braver. Kinder. More appreciative of what we have. Make the most of our time and opportunities. Put things in perspective. Really think about it all.
The long winter is over. Spring is here.