Compare and contrast the images above? Who has such a tidy workspace? Admittedly, I’m fairly new to homeworking in this job and I still need to organise all my paperwork in this new setting. Although I’ve worked at home in the past, this time it has been unplanned and very much thrust upon us. As everyone says, “these are unprecedented times”!
After today, my daughter will be joining my husband and me in ‘working from home’. My husband is in the study and I’m in the dining room and she wants to keep me company, which is sweet and warms this mama’s heart, but I’m not sure how long it will last! She has kindly created a great sign for our joint-working space! I wanted to add a picture of it to this blog, but I wasn’t allowed! She’s in P7 after all and everything that parents do is so embarrassing ;-)!!
I’ve just read John Swinney’s statement to the Scottish Parliament yesterday and I’m relieved to hear, as many parents will be, that he’s not expecting us to be educators while we work from home: “We know that a lot of parents will be thinking about how they balance working from home with looking after children. You are not expected to be a teacher or to recreate the school day. But we want you to feel supported to help your child, and your school will be giving you some resources and suggestions as your first port of call.”
As an organisation, we’ve tried to embrace technology wherever we can, with the help and encouragement from the wonderful staff at CALL Scotland. However, quickly having to revive our Skype account; learn how to use online meeting apps and change our working practices has been quite overwhelming for many of us this week!
And from a personal perspective, as I said earlier, my daughter is in P7 and there are a lot of transition plans in place for May. I’m worried that these won’t go ahead and our current P7s won’t have a proper and planned ending to their primary school years. And how will starting high school be for them? There are so many unknowns at this point in time!
I drove past my daughter’s school at lunchtime yesterday (after a final trip to my office to collect further paperwork) and all the children were playing outside and having fun. The tears came from nowhere – I was so sad that this will be harder for them to do in the coming weeks/months. How do we support their mental health and well-being when we as parents are floundering?!
I am hopeful that many of the answers will be found online and that in the future we’ll use our fledgling online skills and knowledge in new and creative ways. This situation will be a learning experience for us all and I’m hopeful that we’ll all come through this stronger and more resilient. Also, we’ll hopefully know our neighbours better than before – let’s work together in our communities to help one another in these uncertain times.
My next blog will be about ‘volunteering in the time of coronavirus’.
Helen Fleming, Volunteers Manager