Experiences of 2020

Nuzhat - Primary School Teacher

My name is Nuzhat and I’m a primary school teacher, mother of 2 children and living in Glasgow. It’s fair to say going on lockdown has had an impact on both roles.

Lockdown as teacher…

I came to teaching later in life and have to admit, my passion to keep learning has never died down. Teacher training however, never prepared any of us for remote learning, but one of the most important skills of any teacher is our ability to adapt quickly. I have been providing blocks of work to my students allowing me the flexibility of organising the rest of my timetable around opportunities for professional development. I have used this to invest in myself as a professional, network with and learn from others and develop new skill sets to better my own practice. Not only this, but I have been able to move a little out of my comfort zone and write blogs, develop a couple of websites and present at an online conference. While I have been very fortunate, I have been dismayed to read that women in academia have fallen behind their male peers in publishing articles during lockdown. Even in 2020 it appears there is still a long way to go for women to gain equality in the home and workplace to allow them to achieve their full potential.

Lockdown as a mum…

Being a parent is not an easy task at the best of times but now add the guilt of being a working mum. My children, aged 14 and 9, were given a strict timetable to adhere to while they worked through their work and I mine. This meant waking up early, having a break and lunch times during the working week. This was really more for my benefit though, as at the start of lockdown I felt overwhelmed with the task that lay ahead of us – responsibility for the learning of 32 pupils, the home schooling of my own children, as well as keeping my household happy, safe and healthy. Setting expectations of everyone’s role in the home has been vital.

The worry as a teacher and a mum…

I’m hugely grateful that as a family we adjusted very well to lockdown and have not faced the kind of difficulties that others have. However, not being at home while my kids are at home part time, as is the plan for the new term, is a worry. Learners are about to face a rapid learning curve, in which they will need to take a lot more responsibility for their learning and become independent in a way they haven’t been planning for. For adults to support the youngsters, we will all need to be supporting each other too.