We clapped for the NHS, we ate out to help out, we ate in. We have washed our hands, worn the masks, and made space. We have done what has been asked of us, some more compliant than others. I too have had mask rage, and questioned whether my cough would once again, only be a cough.
What has been missed in the wave of anxiety during such uncertainty, apathy, and then anxiety again, is who picks up the emotional slack? This absence has been heavily weighted in schools.
These large establishments of thousands of children, carried by a team of education professionals with little idea on how to carry the government's pandemic experiment on their shoulders. These extremely competent and experienced people who are tasked with educating our next generation have become negotiators, mediators, counsellors, advocates, nurses, policy advisors, and IT specialists all before the next government announcement has ended. Whilst these roles are not new to the job, they support children, families, and their colleagues whilst trying to navigate their own mental and physical health.
Now that the first term of 'schools through a pandemic' comes to an end, it is time to reflect on how much do we take care of our teachers, and how much does the education system imbed a culture of caring for the mental health of our teachers.