Staff Tips for Distance Learning

In my last blog, I shared with you some advice about distance learning from a parent who also happens to be a teacher. The staff here at Freddies have been keen to share how they are getting on, juggling working from home with managing the learning of their own children.

Are there any nuggets of wisdom? Maybe, but the overall theme from the responses is that there is no right or wrong way to approach this – it very much depends on the needs of individual children. In fact, it’s sometimes the case that children within an individual family differ wildly in the way they are coping with this very strange set of circumstances. The important thing to note is that some members of staff are finding the challenge more difficult than you might have expected. So, as stated in the previous blog, if you don’t feel normal and in control, it’s normal!

Some nuggets of wisdom from our staff:

Flexible Routines:

 “As a parent the best piece of advice I could give thus far is to keep routines flexible. Spent the first few days beating myself up about not getting the balance right between my own work and that of the children. It was only when we ‘let go’ of this a bit that things have started to click into place. Routines are extremely important but a case in point has been this week’s decent weather and saying “Forget it, let’s play in the garden while it’s nice” and not feeling too guilty about it.

The whole ordeal has been a study in the art of ‘letting go’ full stop, I think. As teachers and parents we become obsessed with control and structure and so much of what’s happening is beyond us. I’ve learned quite a bit about myself as a teacher and as a Dad this week and I think that’s healthy.”

Keep calm and carry on…

 “As someone who is working from home and trying to home school an 8 year old at the same time I would encourage parents and students not to stress (easier said than done!). Whatever they get done during this period is a bonus and if they don’t fully complete every piece of work, I think that is acceptable.”

Do what you can:

“As a parent I have just told my daughter to keep routine going and stick to her timetable. We are all on our laptops by 9am. I have told her to try not to worry or stress about the workload, just do what she can. It is good to see she is researching areas in Maths that she is unsure of which is showing off her independence.

To be honest she has been coping with it really well, she’s very independent and does not like me helping her?  I break up the day with an active work out session ‘keeping active’ then check her work at the end of the day.”

Hopefully, these comments will help you to worry a little less and feel a little less overwhelmed. The good thing that I think will come from this awful situation is that students will certainly be more independent in their learning and this will stand them in good stead when it comes to their GCSEs and beyond.

We have asked staff to be mindful of this approach and want to reassure students that, as long as they are doing their best, they will be fine. We are fully aware that different circumstances apply in different families, including where there is self  isolation or even the virus itself. Remember also that your child can contact their teachers via email during school hours if they meet with problems.