Every school year starts with a deep intake of breath and a feeling of here we go again. This year, as I sit in the train, the intake of breath is through my mask that covers my nose and mouth. The display boards outside on the platform remind us to keep our distance from one another.
Today isn’t a lesson day, it is for me a morning of meetings and a chance to look at the classrooms and judge if they are appropriately set up for the maximum safety and in such a way that the lessons themselves will actually function with at least some sense of normality. In the Netherlands we are starting the year with schools that plan and hope to operate to a level that is close to how they start every August. 1500+ pupils, 120+ personnel on one location in our case. Is this realistic? Is it sustainable? My heart says I hope so, my head says probably not, or at least not for very long. Time will tell of course, but while I was preparing my lessons last week I did catch myself looking forward to doing some proper teaching. I love my subject and I have so much material that I like using with the pupils I teach. The online lessons back in the spring were to a degree functional and served a purpose, but they simply didn’t have either the fun or the fizz of the real classroom.
There are so many questions and uncertainties as we start the year. I suspect that there might be quite a bit to write about as we go along!