Optimism 12 05 20

I like to think of myself as an optimistic person. My approach to everything is, ‘What is causing the worry?’ ‘Okay, now you know, what can you do to make it better?’ And, after I have tried my best and done all I can, if I can do nothing more, then I decide to not worry about it and to focus instead upon the positives.

I’m extremely fortunate that I am able to do that, I know, and the trait definitely comes from my parents, particularly my mother, who modelled it at every opportunity whilst I was growing up and, who as a nurse, is still modelling it now. I hope that I demonstrate those same traits to my pupils each day: to see some good in everything, to find the fun and to smile… because they help me to, incredibly so and often.

Unsurprisingly, I have been able to find plenty of chinks of sunshine in the cloud which Covid has cast which I will now, indulgently in my first ever blog, share…

On a personal level, the commute from bedroom to spare room/makeshift office is proving very doable; my Sunday evening ritual of ironing shirts for the week has been replaced with reading a book or quizzes over Zoom with friends (thanks to creases being a lot less visible on webcams -THANK YOU filters!); I am settling in with my new co-workers well, though my 3 year old line manager can be a bit of a diva at times and the plastic, pretend food she serves up when it her turn to do the cakes leave me yearning for Fridays back in the staffroom and Ms.Lloyd’s baking; the walks on the beach, in the surrounding countryside and nearby open spaces each evening with my incredible partner have really made me pause and appreciate where I live and how lucky I am; I speak to relatives, daily, as being apart physically has made the need to feel connected somehow oh so much more vital; as something of a technophobe, I have embraced the changes presented by the crisis surprisingly well: I have learnt a plethora of new skills in operating the VLE and TEAMS and am learning alongside those I teach in this unfamiliar new landscape - I have even enjoyed it (no more calls to IT when we return, there’s a new Bill Gates in town - well, not quite but you get the picture!); my final piece of sunshine and thing to be thankful for is that I feel so, so privileged that I am in a profession and at a school where the most amazing sense of community is shining brightly through and where most amazing individuals, entertain, dazzle and work: the children who attend Lancing Prep Worthing.

The speed at which they have adapted, the enthusiasm which they have shown and the quality of the work which they have produced, under the most challenging of circumstances, has inspired, and continues to inspire me, each day: I leave every live lesson with a huge grin and laugh and smile as I mark their work and hear their voices in their writing.

Thank you to every parent and guardian who has supported them in their work and who, like me has had to adapt and learn new skills; thank you for the photographs of you all smiling, of you trying new things and of spending time together, thank you for keeping me updated and sharing when I cannot be there myself because I miss it - a lot!

Each day which passes is one day closer to this all being over; I can’t wait to be back greeting families at the gates, seeing excited faces light up as they run to their friends and tell me about their weekends, telling corny jokes in my lessons and seeing a sea of eyes roll, fist-bumping them as they leave, telling them what they have done well… and so much more besides!

Its not perfect, being away from school, but together, with them, with their families, I think we’re doing a pretty good job: Long live LPW!