Hello, my name is Steph and I have been working in Red Boots School for nearly 3 years! When I write this, it is around 300 days since the first lockdown started. For 300 days, my job and life has been quite different and there have been lots of changes.

Firstly, I think everyone has done and is doing brilliantly! The kids, the parents, the staff. During the outbreak, due to the nature of the services we offer and those we work alongside, we have stayed open and running throughout. In school, we originally did 1 day in school, 4 online. Then increased to 3 days in school, 2 online for the second half of the summer term. We have had all our children back in school since September full-time up until the recent lockdown, with some children returning to online. It has been lovely having them all back together!

Since March, I have been learning on the job, as I guess most people have! Learning to do virtual lessons and sessions, wearing new PPE (got to say though I do love my frog visor), and working with the parents a lot more! I love working alongside parents and other professionals and I think that has just become even more evident over this period.

Before the pandemic we often offered workshops, where parents, or aunts and uncles, carers or grandparents had the chance to come in and work with their child, with us teaching them how we move around with them in the school setting. I essentially had the opportunity to do this most days with parents and I found that so rewarding! An important part of Conductive Education is looking at the whole person, we think about their abilities and potential and I hope that my role, my hour spent with them on Zoom, or emails or top tips could help them bring this into their home environment too!

I think communication became a big part of our role, and that isn’t to say we didn’t do it before. I found that as a team we talked a lot more about what we were planning, collating ideas, drawing on each other’s contributions and I think this is something that has continued to benefit my practice both when teaching online and when in the classroom setting too.

For me, I have tried to see as much of the last 300 days as a learning opportunity. Learning to plan but also how to improvise, how to think on my feet and become more flexible in my practice.

This season has also given me lots of opportunities to share with others what I do, sharing experiences from my version of working from home compared to theirs. I bet their version didn’t include making an actual Mr Potato Head with your class over Zoom, did it? 

I wonder how it has affected your job? Your working week? It can feel like the constant changes can have such an impact, but are you thinking about a positive impact or a negative one?

I would encourage you to see changes as an opportunity, even when we are 10 months in!

Steph Annan