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Back to Work Reports

Discussion in 'News' started by PeterQuint, Sep 3, 2020.

  1. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    After weeks, if not months of uncertainty and speculation, many of you returned to work yesterday I’m not back until Monday.

    Post your reports here; experiences, observations, etc.
  2. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    Have been in this week but wasn't teaching Tues/Weds due to our phased return which meant not all year groups have been in.

    I saw my tutor group yesterday. They seem OK. It was hard to remember to stay at the front of the room at all times but other than one brief slip-up near the start I managed it.

    Today I taught Y7 and Y11 (we now have double lessons to reduce movement around the site). Y7 are based in a block which has very small classrooms. I definitely wasn't 2m away from students on the front row, despite staying fixed to the front of the classroom. Ventilation not great either - had to prop the fire door open with a chair. Swapping round with other staff arriving to teach in the same room was also tricky as not everyone seems as concerned about maintaining social distancing.

    Taught Y11 in a very spacious Science classroom. Was probably more like 3-4m away from the front row when standing by the computer to control my powerpoint! And there's even space for me to move down the side of the classroom whilst maintaining a sensible distance, so I can talk to more students although I can't get close enough to see their work. If all classrooms were like this I would feel much happier with the situation.

    I think given the difficulty of social distancing in some of the classrooms I work in (and even if I could stay 2m away, how much benefit does that have in a packed room of 32 kids all breathing the same air?) I should wear a mask. But no other staff member seems to be doing so, which makes it feel awkward.
    stonerose, PeterQuint and jonnymarr like this.
  3. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Senior commenter

    Wear a mask if it makes you feel safer. I don’t care what others are doing or thinking, it makes me feel safer to wear a mask and I am also going to maintain 2m at all times.
    stonerose and Happyregardless like this.
  4. forum725

    forum725 New commenter

    We’ve been told absolutely no masks allowed in classrooms only visors which doesn’t sit well with me
    stonerose likes this.
  5. agathamorse

    agathamorse Senior commenter

    We teach in our classrooms and the classes come to us. Bubbles all mixing when queuing in the corridors. 32 in a class as normal. Got a taped off area at the front of the class. If I leave my zone, need to wear a visor. No morning break. Classes eat lunch in form room, which is then used as classroom for all year groups.
  6. jonnymarr

    jonnymarr Occasional commenter

    11-18 school, large VI Form...

    We're doing everything we can to keep year groups apart - KS3 in form groups + fixed rooms, only KS4/5 move, three ( longer ) lessons per day rather than the usual five + staggered breaks and lunches etc.

    Transport + siblings in different year groups + social mixing ( at times right outside the school gates ) is, as predicted, making a mockery of our exhausitve efforts to keep year groups in different bubbles during school hours.

    For the pupils it's new and ok for now, but major concerns about the sustainability of the situation in terms of learning ( stir crazy, in spite of our best efforts ) and safety ( small, overcrowded, poorly ventilated rooms + social mixing beyond our control ).

    Wet lunchtimes are going to be fun when the weather inevitably makes a turn for the worse.

    Our clientele are better behaved and more biddable than most. I pity those who work in truly challenging schools and have tricky individual classes. It's not going to be easy.

    I also feel for the staff with underlying health conditions & those with vulnerable close family members ( with whom they have to mix outside of school hours ) - those staff are all back at work now, putting on a brave face, but clearly some anxiety there if you scratch below the surface.
  7. reflective_pedant

    reflective_pedant New commenter

  8. TheHeadteachersOffice

    TheHeadteachersOffice Occasional commenter

    I am pleased to report that the return to school went well at my place. Staff and students were all raring to go and the procedures we have in place were all effective.

    We have particularly chosen to focus on minimising the number of people in the building at once, so teachers are all asked to go elsewhere when not teaching. PPA time is now taken in staff cars or nearby coffee shops and restaurants.

    Given that the biggest risk in terms of transmission is large adult gatherings, all staff departmental offices and based have been locked to prevent staff from meeting. Many staff, including office employees and SMT, will also be working from home for the foreseeable future.
  9. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    So the staff can catch Covid 19 in staff rooms, but not in nearby coffee shops? o_O
  10. oranginao

    oranginao New commenter

    Not impressed and positively underwhelmed by my school handling the situation.

    been told no more than a dozen people in the staff room, yet many more staff coming in and hanging around the coffee machine, without face masks. Some staff who work in the staff room consistently did not wear a mask. Staff room no ventilation, windows barely been able to open, and only woth an ac unit for regulating temperature.

    A colleague coughing loudly and clearing throat in his hands in the staff room, no mask at any point, no coughing in elbow, basically zero respiratory hygiene. Another colleague commenting, “it came back negative did it, John.” , accompanied by laughter. (?!?) My workplace is in the staff room, there is nowhere else to go, to escape from inconsiderate people like this. Some staff have offices, they hide there, but there is a number of us with no other working space.

    Face masks are compulsory at all times for staff and students in corridors and common areas, how many staff did I see wear a mask? Hardly anyone on day one and two. Following day a few more masks, and then on day with new kids, a colleague wearing his mask under his chin.

    have been instructed to stay away 2 m from the kids at all times, and definitely not go around students, yet pretty much in the same breath been also advised to put a face mask on, go around students checking work, Without talking, and then return to the front and explain stuff from the front.

    No lunchtime detentions due to bubbles mixing up yet after school clubs allowed and even pushed on staff, despite students from different bubbles attending.

    very small classrooms, hideously poor ventilation in classrooms, and all this before we have started even one single lesson!!!

    It is shambles, frankly, it on national level and in my bloody school.

    BTW, I’ll be grateful for any and every advice on how to keep myself self. My partner has sever asthma so I’m worried.
    In particular, can anyone suggest some acceptable and respectful wording to challenge colleagues who do not wear masks or exhibit no respiratory hygiene.
    Catgirl1964, ACOYEAR8 and PeterQuint like this.
  11. TheHeadteachersOffice

    TheHeadteachersOffice Occasional commenter

    Coffee shops all have safety and distancing measures in place, so any risk is minimal. As the post from @oranginao shoes however, staff rooms are huge risks as many teachers cannot be trusted to socially distance properly.

    The Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries has actually identified staff rooms and teachers’ coffee breaks as the most dangerous places for transmission due to teachers not socially distancing.

    In my opinion all heads should ensure staff rooms and other communal staff areas are locked.
  12. wemble

    wemble New commenter

    Year 12s back yesterday - no social distancing, no hand washing by pupils (despite this allegedly being my school's main act of defence), no masks being worn. My new tutor group (28 students) and I spent the day in a tiny classroom which has ridiculously poor ventilation. Even standing still at the front of the classroom (which i found very difficult to do) I still ended up being within a meter of those at the front.
    I had the virus in March (i think... the government were only testing those who were admitted to hospital back then) and am just hoping I have some sort of immunity to it now...
    Catgirl1964 and agathamorse like this.
  13. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    I must admit, I’ve not got your comedy character up to now, but now I see it.

    You’re TES Forums’ version of The Pub Landlord, spouting bigoted nonsense, not because you believe it, but because you believe the opposite, and you want to show how risible the ‘side’ you pretend to support actually is.

    My many thanks for the humour, and apologies for not getting it sooner.
    AmandaFW, IanG and agathamorse like this.
  14. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Lead commenter

    where are they changing though? They will need to change their clothes before coming back onto school premises. How are you managing that?
  15. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Lead commenter

    you need to email the head, and keep the email. This is life and death. It isn't a moment to worry about acceptable and respectful wording
    sue061165 and oranginao like this.
  16. oranginao

    oranginao New commenter

    The problem is, @Corvuscorax - that not a lot of people believe it is a matter of life and death, including some colleagues.

    one said for instance that it is far likelier to die of other causes than Covid.

    I ll probably follow your advice - last thing I want is turn into a statistics.
    In addition, why aren’t enough people concerned about the long term health consequences - we are only six months or so Into this pandemic - the scars on your lung may remain for life, they say, once you got the virus, not to mention the horrific accounts of the “long-haulers” who struggle to have a shower or tie their shoelaces without getting breathless, people losing their jobs, having to move in with their parents because they need almost 24 hour care. Why is this not taken into account - Reading the posts here - why are SLT so blind and not taking this seriously?!?
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  17. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Why are the union reps not challenging this situation?
    Any and all concerned members need to contact their reps and get things changed.

    But then again if the vast majority don't care, then nothing will change.
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  18. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    Stay home until something is done. Write to the HR and explain that the situation is awful. You are right to put it on this forum but you should tell the people in your school how you feel too.
    sue061165 and Catgirl1964 like this.
  19. Newidentity

    Newidentity Occasional commenter

    Unfortunately, I think that the biggest challenge we face is colleagues who "don't get it". During inset, I ate my lunch away from the (small) room where 8-10 colleagues were eating and wandering round exactly as they did pre-lockdown.
    Sally006, Catgirl1964 and ACOYEAR8 like this.
  20. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    I agree. Line managers are going to earn their money this term.

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