Some reflections on living through a pandemic in EYE ….

‘Living through a pandemic’

Saying goodbye to a class you love is never easy, saying goodbye to your class and not knowing when you will see them again is even harder. On Friday 20th March 2020 our school gates were locked, not for a pleasant Easter break, but as a matter of life and death. Coronavirus is currently threatening our existence, crippling the NHS and rendering many of us isolated in our own homes. Many schools and nurseries were shut in a bid to limit the spread of this fatal disease which has left many of us pining for the times when we used to moan about having to get up early. My school has remained open for a relative few, children of key workers and those children who thrive from the familiarity of routine. At first when our head teacher asked if anyone would like to volunteer to work during the Easter holidays, I selfishly grimaced at the thought of giving up my 2 weeks off to come into school, however as time went on it became apparent that this would be a selfless act I could do in order to be of some assistance during this helpless time.

I cannot praise my head teacher enough for the stability and support he has provided for not only the staff but the families and children who we so dearly miss spending time with. Every day the children who are still in school take part in Joe Wicks P.E lesson in the hall, sit down with a familiar face for breakfast and enjoy the freedom of having picnics outdoors for lunch. These are the children who need supporting the most and it is a pleasure to look after them in this time of need. One of my 3 year old boys speaks confidently about his mummy ‘helping to make those poorly people feel better’. He enjoys role playing as a nurse, walking around with his Drs kit and asking to take my temperature. Social distancing is hard with 3 year olds and sometimes I think a cuddle with a small child is a human right. I hope when he’s old enough to understand, he appreciates the role his mum has played in helping to rewrite history in the face of adversity.

The teachers in my school have gone above and beyond in suggesting ideas to remain connected with families. One teacher has sent a personal postcard to all his students, another is encouraging her students to write a journal of this time to share with their grandchildren when they are older and we have all been encouraged to telephone the families whose children aren’t in school just to have a chat. These are the foundations upon which our school is built upon and I am proud to be a part of it.

4 thoughts on “Some reflections on living through a pandemic in EYE ….

  1. Thank you so much for writing this. I think your honesty about supporting the children when you could have been at home is something that many key workers can relate to. Your attitude is completely selfless and is to be applauded.

    It is good to read of the lovely activities that you are doing with the children. Keeping a routine is so important to children when other areas of their lives are chaotic and challenging as things are at the moment. As for doing the Jo Wick’s workout I applaud you all. I have tried it and it is hard!!!!!

    Also the fact that you are using play as a therapeutic tool for children is so important. For the children of NHS workers this is especially important as they may have a real sense of pride that their parents are doing something important but also a real sense of worry and anxiety. It also is so helpful for all children to be able to use play as a way of understanding what is going on at the moment.

    Once again thank you for taking the trouble to share your experiences.

  2. Children often make sense of the world through play and, as Penny said, it’s beautiful to hear the pride this little boy has in what his mother is doing being expressed in this way.
    What you are doing should be a source of pride to you too. This Easter probably wont feel like much of a holiday to a great many people but in the years to come, I am sure that the little boy you mentioned and all the other children in your setting will remember the time they have spent with you and realise the sacrifices you and all our key workers have made.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

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