#DailyWritingChallenge Day 42 "Unity"
What an important word at the moment. Apart from the odd few… individuals… that seem to have ulterior motives, the current crisis seems to have brought us all together. There will always be people who seek to take advantage of times like this but on the most part my experience is one of drawing together. It’s interesting that it takes such an extreme situation for our true ambitions to be revealed. Every school leader I have spoken to, or read about has one clear focus: pupils and staff. The mention of academic success, lost learning and the like has been few and far between. The concern has been on the individuals.
The word Unity is an interesting one. Within unity is the unit, which as a Primary teacher makes me think of the Dienes equipment that we use sometimes in Maths. A small, white cube which is easily lost and often turns up in the wrong places. The unit seems unimportant, but without it the larger groups can’t be made. Each unit adds up to a ten, which adds up to a hundred… you get the drift. Perhaps, even though this situation has been dreadful, there might be some green shoots. Whereas the focus has been on academic success, test results, league tables, our focus for the past few weeks has been solely on the individual. How to ensure that staff and pupils are safe whilst still providing a small amount of the education they need. How to ensure that vulnerable children are fed, even if it means hand-delivering food. How to ensure that any return to school is managed safely. Our role has boiled down to the key purpose of society or community- making sure everyone is safe. As a community on Twitter there has been less of the negativity which often occurs when we have more time on our hands. The issue has given us a common purpose, a common drive to work for the greater good of our schools and society as a whole. Whilst the media often portrays teachers as lazy, selfish or feckless, we have proven ourselves to be the opposite. Regardless of what is written in certain papers, teachers have been in schools to ensure that the children of keyworkers are looked after so their parents can carry on vital work. We have been ensuring a high level of education for our pupils, to the best of our abilities. And we are willing to return to work, if that return is managed sensibly and doesn’t put us, our colleagues or, more importantly, our pupils at risk.
Each of us is a vital unit in this current situation and we are playing our part.