Suddenly parents realise what an incredible job teacher do!
During lockdown how difficult has it been to home educate your children?
How are we going to get on? What you should realise is that one of the biggest concerns of Primary school teachers was the ‘loss of learning’ of their pupils during the Summer holiday. 6 weeks away from the classroom, in some case without any intellectual stimulation which resulted in a complete step back. To teachers in some cases it meant-‘start again’! Now we come back to work, not after 6 weeks but more than 15 weeks! During these 15 weeks or more what have these children been doing? We hope they have been home educated with interested parents and loving relatives. Oh, come on! Educating kids at home is nearly impossible. There are too many distractions and we have too much else to do. Parents have suddenly realized that teachers are worth their money. We love you now! Please come back!
Having observed the lockdown religiously I see the difficulty of lots of families with little outside space and nothing but frustration. Home education is very hard. It makes the ordinary work of most people look easy. Suddenly parents realise what an incredible job teacher do. Let’s face it, however much you love your kids and we all love them, educating them is different!
So, we now come to the most difficult part of the new situation. We are sending our kids back to school in September and the differences between all the children we have in our charge will now be stretched beyond belief.
Come on, tell me- which families will have followed government advice and spent time with their kids? Who will arrange bug hunts in their gardens and made sure reading went on every night in their house? I don’t need to tell you that the net result of the shutdown, of furlough and any associated issue with Covid19 will be the widening of the gap between the different classes in schools. I will talk more about this when I deal with online learning.
Let us just think about this. What does home learning mean? Are you organized? Do you have time? Do you have the equipment? Do you have a place to teach and learn? Most of us do not and more than that we are competing with Xbox and whatever else.
Many kids will have no chance of catching up unless the Government invests a lot in the 1 to 1 tuition programme and this will allow those who have fallen behind to have any chance of catching up.
This is the best example of compensatory education. It is expensive but just as the Government has invested in the economy surely it should put money into the process which allows our weakest to potentially catch up with their peers?
We are waiting for guidance and leadership on this. I am telling you now, having spoken to loads of kids who have been away from school for such a long time and their parents I am concerned that we are in danger of ending up with an even bigger divide between children in our schools. It might be unrecoverable unless we invest now.
Produced by Michael Mckeever, 01/08/2020