My final observation on teaching from home before return to school on Monday. As you will remember, schools were reassured several times about the need for consistency and an ability to plan ahead. So in good faith that's what we did. Executive staff put in ridiculous hours...
planning what school would look like based on dates that shifted several times. So every time that happened, everything had to be re-organised. The new Premier's unilateral decision to bring us back a week early, released to the media first, of course, less than 24 hours
after the DoE's Secretary released a video to staff assuring us that nothing would change, so thereby putting her in the doghouse along with all our carefully laid plans... For my school, this meant we were now coming back to school in the middle of our two week exam period.
Our initial plan was that during those two weeks, the students would do their exams online (and so all the exams had to be written to be delivered online, with all the implications of that) and we would post no new work, instead we would mark said exams, write reports, and
prepare work for the rest of the term. The term has now been extended in terms of face-to-face teaching by, I can't remember now, 2-3 weeks? Which meant rewriting those units of work, perhaps even ditching what we had already prepared and starting from scratch.
So next week, we have to juggle kids being all over the place with subject exams outside of their usual timetable, a completely unknown situation of how we are going to maintain the required health strategies in classrooms that are unfit for purpose, and also start teaching
new units of work. And we've lost the week we could have spent on marking and reports and planning. So how am I spending my last weekend before I go back to work? Marking 100 Year 9 English exam papers.

It's not that teachers aren't flexible (it's effectively a job requirement)
or begrudge doing the basics of our job. It's the lack of interest in the impact all these changing political decisions have on us, and therefore on the kids, that is so demoralising. And then we have the likes of Tudge spewing out his ideologically-driven agenda
(again, via media release), just to pop some icing on the cake.

We're exhausted. Schools are highly complex places, and the fact we have had to keep turning on a dime everytime a new decision has been handed down without consultation, we just feel unseen and disrespected.
I can't wait to see my kids again, but I am dreading having to teach from behind a mask in an inadequately cooled classroom. I will do it, because I believe the science and the necessity of masks, but it's going to be horrible. None of us are rested. But we will front up,
cheer up, and do our best for our students. Because that's the job.


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More from @msmisrule

17 Oct
Saw my sister, niece and niece’s partner for the first time today in months. Lovely vegan lunch, wonderful to catch up, then sister and I went for a long walk. Now feet are killing me. Orthotic walking shoes hurting more than helping. 😭
We went to the local dog park and watched the shenanigans, although it got a bit too serious at one point and a poor, anxious corgi got picked up and shook by a big dog who smelt its fear. I like dogs but things can go very bad very quickly.
The big dog’s owners were clearly shocked and got him out of there. Little corgi was OK but still very fearful.

We had a long chat with a couple with an Irish wolfhound called Kat (their 8th!) and there was also a glossy black 14 week old Irish Mastiff who has feet
Read 7 tweets
14 Aug
I thought people might appreciate a bit of an insight into how things are for teachers during lockdown. Please note this is just my personal experience, and is not a whinge or a plea for sympathy. I am fine, but it's hard, and all kinds of things are out of our control.
My load this year is 3 days English, 2 days library. At the start of lockdown, I had just one class (Year 8) that I didn't share at least one period with other teachers. My HT and I share a Year 9 and a Year 10 class, and I had one or two periods of other people's Year 8 classes.
Once lockdown started, this is how responsibility for posting work went: obviously, I'm 100% responsible for my own Year 8 class, and I took on the main responsibility for another Year 8 class where the split was 4/3 and the other teacher has young kids at home.
Read 24 tweets
16 Mar 20
All day I have been listening to experts talk about the pros and cons of closing schools. Not a SINGLE ONE has mentioned the health and well-being of the teachers and admin and other adult staff who keep schools open every day.
They talk about how children are not at risk, but neglect to consider the risk to the adults who work in schools who may be pregnant, immune-compromised, diabetic, asthmatic, with any number of health issues that allow them to work, but make them vulnerable to COVID-19.
I mean, I’ve known since I was an undergraduate how badly people disrespect teachers, but I didn’t realise until this week that we were considered so utterly dispensable.
Read 10 tweets
19 Feb 20
Following this thread from earlier in the term, I'm continuing to do book talks to promote wide reading with English classes from various grades. (3 in one day on Monday! Phew!) Talking one-on-one to the kids about their reading habits (or lack thereof) is proving very revealing.
I'm really explicit with the kids about why reading for pleasure is important, but also with the Year 10s I really hammer home that if they do not start right now building up their focus and attention soan, their reading muscles, then they are going to be at a huge disadvantage.
Of course, the non-readers already are, and they have a real battle ahead to make new habits and lost ground.

Anyway, here's what the non-readers seem to be consistently suggesting to me: they have this idea that to read a book, you have to READ THE BOOK:
Read 21 tweets
31 Dec 19
I am spending the last few hours of the decade/year/whatever it is watching Springsteen on Broadway and listening to my Twitter notifications go off. My mum is home from hospital; a friend has lost her house. I am depressed and worried but I go forth into 2020...
with a determination to be the best teacher, daughter, sister, friend, feminist and advocate I can be. Also mother of cats, carer of a dying garden and reader and writer. Let us come together and work for better times. Let’s follow Bruce’s advice and take care of our own.
And let’s burn down fascism and evangelical fervour for end days (and let’s also,incidentally, teach people to recognise hyperbole and rhetoric) and let’s do our best to love, but not unconditionally. Read more. Listen more.
Read 7 tweets
1 Sep 19
I'm still working on the section of my thesis dedicated to Nan Chauncy's 1960 time slip novel, Tangara, and have am writing about a scene in which she explicitly marks Whiteness as dangerous to Aboriginal people.
Chauncy describes the white faces of two convicts looking down on a group of Aboriginal people in a gully. Chauncy explicitly contrasts their white faces with the "terrified brown faces" of the Aboriginal people who the convicts will shortly slaughter for food.
Now, the choice of the perpetrators of massacre being escaped convicts as opposed to the nice white family who live on the stolen Aboriginal land where its people are about to be murdered is not incidental, & yet it's striking how Chauncy explicitly describes their skin colour...
Read 9 tweets

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