Skolan och covid-19: del 5

Vi har samlat ett antal exempel och reflexioner från människor som arbetar i skolan, ett försök att spegla den här tiden om än i begränsad omfattning – från när och fjärran, högt och lågt, negativt men också positivt ibland – och vi publicerar några i taget och detta är del 5. (red)

På det stora hela har det fungerat väldigt bra …

Många elever borta första veckorna men ingen hetsade upp sig för det. Personligen är jag inte ett dugg orolig över hälsoaspekter men jag förstår om andra är oroliga (kanske får äta upp det), så jag tycker att det var ett bra beslut att hålla skolorna öppna. 

Med en rimlig huvudman kan politikers tokigheter om samma kvalitet hanteras.

Marcus Larsson

Mellanstadielärare

Kungälv

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Testing should be easy; but not for the UK Government!

Tonight on Twitter, the actor Richard E Grant commented that he had landed at the airport in Rome and had taken a mandatory Covid test with the results provided 30 minutes later. Yet in England, we seem unable to offer tests in the places that people live or to give them the results for up to 72 hours. 

Seven teachers and over 100 students have missed two, three, four or more days of school already as they log on for up to 8 hours to try to book a test near to where they live. 

Many fail. My business manager had a 4 hour drive to be tested. 

All that lost learning. The UK Government has only one policy when it comes to schools; we must open. But their lack of foresight, planning and basic competence means that this policy will fall at the first hurdle. No tests, no staff, no teaching, no school. They have wasted each and every day since lockdown in March. 

Andy Byers

Headteacher, Large Secondary School (11-18 years)

Durham, England

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What happens when we stop pushing

My lesson from remote teaching is quite simple, it’s the answer to one of the most profound questions I’ve ever heard asked about education. That question is, ‘what happens when we stop pushing?’ 

Within schools, we have in place many measures to help regulate students, we have bells that tell them when to stand up, sit down and move classes. We have diaries that we instruct them to fill out when we set them homework, and we have detentions, calls home, and many other measures to keep moving them along the instructional pathway, constantly reminding them of what they forgotten, or even physically sitting them in a room to finish work that they’ve failed to attend to. 

But with remote learning, all of that structure falls away. Suddenly, students can choose whether or not to do their homework, whether or not to come to class, and even if they do come to class, whether or not to actually pay attention, or to just have Zoom open and play games in the background! So in response to this important question, ‘What happens when we stop pushing?’ The answer on the part of many students became clear, ‘Not much at all!’

This has pushed me even further along a path that I began some time ago. That is an exploration of the idea of supporting students to learn how to learn, coupled with support for them to develop the skills of metacognition and self regulation. These are the tools that students need for independent learning more broadly, and they’re a big part of what they need to lead fulfilling and successful lives. 

In this space, I’ve been most excited recently by the work of James Mannion, and Kate McAllister, who ran an incredibly inspiring Learning Skills curriculum in their school in the UK. They focus on metacognition, self-regulation, and oracy. James and Kate, share these ideas in their forthcoming book Fear is the Mind Killer, which I absolutely loved. 

In summary, remote learning has reinforced for me the crucial importance of that vital question within education. ‘What happens when we stop pushing?’

Ollie Lovell

Head of Senior Maths

Australia

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Difficult!

A part of me was worried about how the return to school would be. Thankfully it hasn’t been as bad as I thought. I regret not going on runs everyday but I’m pretty proud of learning more during the lockdown.  This was the ideal time to learn about statistics and things I forgot from university.

D.

Teacher, London

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