Schoolzone | Secondary school teachers' reflections on the first month of lockdown

Secondary school teachers' reflections on the first month of lockdown

Date: 29.05.2020

Secondary teachers

Here's what secondary school teachers told us, via our May survey of over 3,000 teachers:

  • A feeling of never being fulfilled. Always having another task, another hour at the computer
  • A feeling of pressure because I am not in the classroom teaching and guilt that I'm not doing enough to help the children and my colleagues. Frustrations with technology leading to feelings of inadequacy and disconnection at times. I have felt a strong need to step away from screens, PC time in order to de-stress myself.
  • A good opportunity to get quite a bit of research done.
  • A lot of fluctuation. We have had a fairly intensive work experience as we are using iPads to deliver live lessons. Looking at a screen all day has made me feel almost travel sick. Sometimes there has been new expectations on us without anyone checking if we are happy/capable of doing so. The live lessons have been particularly difficult for those with young children. I have however felt less stressed and have a lot more time for hobbies, cooking, spending time with my husband. The weather has been a big help, I wonder how this would have been different during the winter with short days, cold weather, breaking boilers, cancelled Christmas etc. Reading the news can be stressful, but that is true for anyone. This is actually the first survey I have received asking me how I am, I wish it could have come from my own school/academy trust first. Being an independent school I do have concerns whether the financial crisis will affect pupil numbers and hence staff numbers next year. I am very thankful to have employment and a wage coming in at the moment. Sometimes I look at my school work and wonder if I am really making a difference. There is a monumental international disaster taking place and in many ways I wish I was out there doing my part in the world, helping people who can't afford food or their bills right now. I have to trust the government and local authorities are doing everything they can already.
  • A lot of meetings and communications have been perfectly adequate online and it has been easy to use this method of communication but the social communication has been a challenge. The lack of meeting round a coffee table to chat and share things that work or don't has been severely missing and it's a struggle to do those little bits of professional learning that aren't quantified. In addition, spending my time replying to emails of 'how do I access xxxxx again?' and sorting out silly little problems is ultimately quite soul destroying. Every word has to be scrutinised in communications and explanations are a real struggle to do well, especially for Maths, over emails. My time is taken up with a lot of small things.
  • A nasty email and subsequent phone call with a parent was upsetting and not adequately dealt with by SLT
  • After the initial shock how being asked to stay at home to work I feel that I have created a routine to get the work done. However, I feel my work/ personal life is affected. This is due to the fact that my work colleagues and I work at different times to fit around family demands. We communicate via apps on mobile phone at all different times, some in the morning, some in the afternoon or evening which means it is hard to switch off from thinking of work relating issues.
  • Agoraphobic
  • Already suffering depression, this has become a,nightmare
  • Although it took me by shock , I soon settled down to make the best use of the way I was delivering lessons to my students and coping with work at home and soon found it more relaxing and helped me find a variety of ways to engage students. As a family we fell ill and that was traumatising but after our healing, we were grateful for each moment of life.
  • Especially in the last week since reopening of schools has been announced and an aggressive campaign has been run against teachers by certain newspapers
  • Anxiety about what I should be doing and if I am not doing enough. Anxiety about Y11 and Y13 grades
  • Anxious
  • Anxious about catching the virus. Concerned for the well-being of others including pupils and other staff members. Concerned that we may have to return to face to face teaching in the classroom before it is really safe to. My school is using zoom to good effect, most pupils are engaged with the work and seem to be coping.
  • ANXIOUS ABOUT RETURNING TO THE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT
  • Anxious about returning to work
  • Anxious about the future.
  • Anxious and frustrated
  • anxious and worried mostly. Anxious about well being of my family especially parents and grand paperents. Worried about the learners and how much work they are accessing, especially the well being of the learners who have made no/very little contact. Worried about returning to school and whether or not it is safe to do so.
  • anxious when there is no news about returning to work
  • Anxious, unappreciated, not enough
  • Apprehensive about what happens next. Will it be safe to return to the classroom?
  • As a single parent I have found it very difficult juggling work around my 2 year old daughter and very often complete resources outside of working hours.
  • As a vulnerable I feel very guilty at the additional restrictions that I have caused my family and am very apprehensive about what the school will put in place to support my return to the classroom.
  • As long as I've stayed away from the news, I have felt reasonably hopeful and positive. The thought of never finding a vaccine and therefore having to live like this forever plunges me in despair.
  • As relates to remote learning, I feel I am putting an awful lot in. In many ways, this can be more stressful than face to face learning, because doing a good job of setting, feedback and marking is really time consuming and a lot of students are not doing the work.
  • At a very low ebb for over a week in late April early May but have come through that now that I am exercising more. I'm an very worried about the future though.
  • At times incredibly emotional (to the pint of tears) about getting work done and hometutoring my own child. Frustrated and stressed about IT issues. Unable to switch off from work - i am sat on my laptop from 8.15 - 6.30/7 most days unless working with my stepson.
  • Because two weeks in a long term ill teacher became 'well' I lost online contact with classes had for 6 months and put on supply furlough
  • Blessed
  • bored and not motivated
  • Calm at home. A bit overwhelmed by marking load (BTEC assignments and online mocks done during lockdown-harder to mark online)
  • Can't switch off from worry at all.
  • Cast adrift, although communication is good I feel unable to speak to other teachers more often than not. Seeing people face to face is not substituted well by video call.
  • Cautious and fearful,
  • Completely floored, unmotivated and pathetic. Quite honestly suicidal but I couldn’t do that to my family. Everything is pointless.
  • Confused
  • Confused and quite frightened about the future. Stressed as workload is just as intense.
  • Confused, ill informed, tired, frustrated
  • Connectivity with colleagues in teh same department is very varied , I have ha dno contcat witha couple of my dept.
  • constantly anxious as my wife and son are NHS front line workers.
  • Controlled
  • cynical
  • depressed, lonely, angry that people are not sticking to the lockdown rules
  • Desperate to help my students, powerless, privileged, anxious about student mental health, the need to take a broader view and change the system of education to encompass climate change, less testing, developing life skills and access learning about food, health and fitness. They need to learn how to grow food and about environmental costs. We need to find a new way to teach children how to live in this world.
  • Despite the media back lash. I just want to return to work without worrying about others
  • Devastated, I really miss real students in real classroom environment, and my colleagues!
  • Difficult in lack of face to face relations and freedoms.
  • Difficult to monitor students work and engage in their learning and knowledge gathering
  • Disconnected from the teaching process. Unable to access some students so progression is all over the place. Not proper feedback from department. Feel that my GSCE results are going to be taken out of my hands. Year 10s should be starting their GCSE coursework and I do not know what face-to-face will consist of.
  • Distanced from everything
  • Due to my workload, I feel I haven't given my own children enough time and support (particularly with their remote learning)
  • Emotional for many reasons, including knowing some of my students are struggling with lockdown. Tired with the workload of producing online lessons. Worried as I work in an independent school and jobs may be lost. Worried about the attainment gap widening between those students engaged with online learning and those not (and those able to access and those not able to access).
  • Emotions, energy, health and stress levels have been more polarised. I am mostly fine, enjoying time with family and having time to go out for a walk, as well as trying to keep up with work. Some pressure points have occurred and these have led to some dark days. In addition, I am struggling with the intensive computer work, especially as I suffer from vertigo at times and this is exacerbated by long stints at the computer and especially flicking from one thing to another, such as between emails and maybe two or three other things when required.
  • Excellent!
  • Exhausted from working to produce lessons. Demoralised by the teacher bashing in the press. Let down by the Government in its decision to return to school. Deeply concerned about how children who are not doing the work will catch up, as i will be held accountable for their results when they sit their GCSE's.
  • Far less stressed. Really enjoying being able to have time to focus on ways of delivering content rather than being bogged down with lots of paperwork
  • Feel as if I am working really hard but that most people think that I am on holiday.
  • Feel less anxious than I usually am
  • Feel very worried about the number of students who are not engaging with the work I am setting them to do remotely. Very few low ability students doing any work.
  • Feelings of pressure meeting parents and school expectations whilst managing own family concerns and issues. Missing 'real' contact with students, colleagues and family.
  • Felt concerned lately that decisions about going back in june are made for me, so i have to go back regardless of my opinions about whether it is safe yet.
  • Felt Quite pressured to home school my son and teach, although I am only a part time teacher. So I have it easier than most. Teaching has continued via zoom lessons. Zoom has been great but I miss school.
  • Felt very negative due to bereavement - hard to be energised about work
  • Fine - just get on with it. The GCSE and A Levels results process has been stressful. Plans to go back to school are also proving stressful.
  • Found teaching a practical subject hard and the tech involved in delivery high;y stressful
  • Frustrated about the criticism teachers are feeling when we're working hard
  • Frustrated and under pressure with daily deadlines. For example, today I got an email that said I must do a 3 page resource that must be emailed back to my manager by 3pm. Too much pressure and unreasonable in the lockdown.
  • Frustrated at having to use technology for all my work and not being able to see my students/colleagues
  • frustrated at having to work in the dark - without feedback.
  • Frustrated at times and under pressure at times.
  • Frustrated when i) the internet disconnects and ii) when I'm not quite sure how to use the laptop I have been given effectively.
  • Frustrated, particularly with IT and overwhelmed with the amount of work that has to be set and marked online and concerned with the amount of time that is spent looking at a computer and its value as the student engagement is inconsistent in some cases less than 20,% if the class
  • Frustration as difficult to do school work and look after two very young children.
  • frustration that what I think is best for the pupils may not be what I will be judged on - basic teaching can be more effective than bells and whistles - but bells and whistles seem to be what is rated highly.
  • Fundamentally sorrowful about the circumstances of millions of people but very thankful that our family and friends are weathering the situation with minimal negative effects.
  • Generally stressed and anxious.
  • Generally things are emotionally easier, but work wise I've started to feel very bored of this way of working, really missing student interactions and struggling to stay motivated, particularly as the gaps between students who are and aren't able to engage with school work continues to widen, I worry about how we will come back in a way that fully supports all of them. I'm also feeling frustrated with the government's approach to schools, suggesting opening without any clear consultation with teachers, and therefore without a clear plan of how these things will work. It is confusing for us to have no idea about opening in the near future, the indecision must be even harder on students.
  • good days and bad!
  • Good days, bad days. Optimistic and pessimistic. Hard to see a world beyond this sometimes.
  • Had more time to spend with family, without work getting on way. Less marking and planning have meant I feel Lees under pressure and more like I can have the evenings. To myself and family.
  • Happy that I can go into school and I am not to isolated.
  • Hard to keep in touch and on track
  • Having been inside for so long, mixing in the outside world feels scary - really disorientating being outside. Acutely aware of people's distance around me.
  • highly anxious - concerned that I'm not doing enough and the guilty because I am neglecting the well-being of my family/support with my own children's homelearning because I am working for school
  • Hopelessness and a definite increase in workload
  • I actually feel less stressed, more relaxed and I think mentally almost in a better place. The one big downside is not having contact with my colleagues.
  • I am embracing the time with people around me and working hard to support children with online lessons. I look to teach lessons of engagement and 'fun'
  • I am enjoying the peace. My skin and hair have healed and I am eating and sleeping better than in a usual term time- my brain is less chaotic and I am better at looking after myself and taking time to enjoy my own art. I have pangs of whether or not I want to go back but I do feel grateful, so very grateful, for this job and its security. I enjoy planning for the future and have had meaningful exchange with colleagues and students alike. I have managed not to feel overwhelmed or stressed. I think because I am older and I can prioritise, I get up early and do everything on my 'to do' list. I don't have children at home and my husband is at work so I think that helps.
  • I am extremely worried about possibly and almost certainly dying if I return to school.I am 66yrs old and have had 5 3 day fevers since November and been seriously ill when at school but feeling I could be forced to go back.had a talk with my Deputy Head and she was saying we will be likely expected to return with 10perclass .I am petrified as thought I was so ill prior to leaving school I could die and even made my will.This is not something to be taken lightly wit us older teachers but we could be threateed by school to return she said.
  • I am finding it very difficult attempting to teach my timetabled classes remotely, home school a 6 year old and look after a 3 year old. At the moment I am working from 6am till 10pm 5 days a week which is affecting my mental health.
  • I am frustrated by the uptake of work from my students. Otherwise I just keep working away trying to stay positive.
  • I am full of anxiety and suffering from insomnia. I am terrified of being forced to return to work before I feel it is safe to do so. I am close to retirement and do not want to risk not ever getting my pension. I don’t feel I can trust this government.
  • I am happy and cheerful at home and working well as a mum. I feel like I am failing my pupils, don't feel optimistic about their learning and am finding setting and marking work remotely a struggle.
  • I am setting work for my students but I am having very little returned to me which is causing me an inordinate amount of anxiety and worry. I am petrified about the progress my students are not making and am dreading the thought of trying to get them back on track and achieving their target grades. This worry does impact on my personal life and unfortunately is conveyed to my own children and partner although I try not to let it. I feel very concerned about returning to work and have been in to work to look after keyworkers' children. My students aged 11-15 were fairly inept at social distancing in their break times and in the afternoon's more relaxed activity seemed to completely forget as did we as staff. My eldest son is due to return to school and I am extremely worried about his safety although as a teacher I will of course do as is required.
  • I am struggling with the technology involved in teaching on line and it is stressing me. I feel disconnected from my colleagues and students.
  • I am upset by the way teachers are vilified by some parrts of the media
  • I am very sociable and living alone, means that I have missed that aspect of work. I have found that the remote learning work has taken longer and this can be frustrating especially when technology has a well earned break!
  • I am very worried about what the future brings
  • I am working extremely long hours, and learning many new skills. I am not achieving perfection, but am doing a good job in arough situation. I am struggling to be the token optimist in a house of depressed cynics
  • I am working much longer hours than normal and at times I have felt resentful, however, I feel that unless I put these hours in I am not going to be able to provide the best education for my students. I am worried about the return to work so I don't tend think about it because it will make me anxious.
  • I can also go from happy to see very quickl y. From focussed to panicky just the same.
  • I do not like the fact that my home is now an office. A classroom/office.
  • I dread returning to school. But I have complete trust and belief in the decisions my headteacher will make.
  • I feel a bit useless as a teacher as I haven’t been aboe to control what work my students complete. But I have loved homeschooling my two children.
  • I feel abandoned as I have to organise online teaching alone without training, although I have managed adequately. My student numbers are down and so is income, which are added stresses as I now I am very sure there will be a great deal to make up next year. I also recognise that there will be deficits for those who go into further education and they will have to cope with them in due course.
  • I feel agitated as I don't think the senior leadership team believe I am doing enough work for the salary I am taking home. Lots of filling in forms to say what we have been doing
  • I feel as though I have a lot of time and a lot to do as we work from home, but I am not that productive and I find it very hard to concentrate. I jump from one task to another.
  • I feel frustrated by not being able to do anything 'normally' and guilty that I am not in school helping
  • I feel frustrated quite a lot of the time - especially at video meetings.
  • I feel i have had to neglect my own children in order to teach my full timetable live during lockdown. that has been a big ask!
  • I feel like my Head of Department hasn't kept me in the loop much. I feel very low and my sleep has been affected greatly.
  • I feel much more relaxed than when at school as there is no evening marking.
  • I feel people could use the phone more (colleagues and friends) to many emails and messages which feels isolating
  • I feel that I am doing twice the amount of work to make all resources suitable for online learning but for less than half the amount of pupils as engagement is low. I feel I do not have time for self care as I am doing my full time teaching job, looking after two toddlers and keeping my house as well as delivering shopping for my elderly aunt who is shielding. I am regularly working into the early hours and I’ve been getting messages from pupils at all hours. It’s very difficult to find a balance at the moment.
  • I feel that I do not have to work with disaffected students, fighting a battle with discipline. The technology is fairly straightforward and I am less stressed at home.
  • I feel that I have zero energy and trying to complete 'live lessons' is streesful when I have three children of my own to deal with.
  • I felt supported and quite valued until quite recently when the tabloid newspapers decided once again that education should be the focus of all their ramblings.
  • I find the pupils are learning much more, as all our lessons are streamed and the pupils cannot be late/distracted/ badly behaved. This leads to a great sense of achievement and well-being for me. and greatly reduced stress levels. As almost no pupils are doing exams, we have much more time to cover material properly and in depth and to get ahead, even without homework.
  • I had originally thought that teaching at home would be easier but the hours have been far worse. Juggling the expectations from my work alongside my child's lessons at home has been a struggle and my son has also been asked to do far too much work. He is not getting time to bake, play or relax due to the amount and time of tasks. I've been working into the early hours of the morning preparing, marking and dealing with SQA results. I however am finding myself getting into a routine and finding the students are also engaging more now which makes it all worth while As time has gone on I feel that more are embracing the change and I feel positive moving forward with remote learning. I have regular lessons with my students and chat to them regarding problems with ICT or questions they are having. I feel far more confident delivering lessons remotely. This can work but only if the child has access to ICT and is safe at home.
  • I have a 14-month old so being at home with him and his dad is a positive thing personally. As a teacher I'm managing the workload well, and have been in school once a fortnight. This has been manageable at this point.
  • I have a 20 month old that I have ended up being the sole carer of as Dad is 'in the office' working from home all day every day. I end up setting work for students for the week at the weekend when Dad can relieve me of baby duties which saves time during the week I have certainly struggled not knowing what other teachers are doing and knowing if what I do is enough or good enough. I manage to rush through marking and checking up on students at lunchtime when the little one is having a nap, but it leaves me with very little 'down time'. When he is asleep for the night I end up doing more some days, and I have switched off at 9:30 exhausted, ready for the 5:30 am wake up the following day. It's been hard but luckily everyone I know is healthy and well which is a welcome relief
  • I have actually enjoyed it although it has been challenging working form home and learning new methods of working. It has been stressful at times usually technology related.
  • I have been doing a good deal of on-line teaching. Sitting in front of and focussing on a screen make both my eyes and back sore.
  • I have been doing very well, the past few days have been more difficult since the announcement that secondary schools will not be retuning on the 1st june. I am very keen to return, I am totally against remaining away - I am beginning to be distressed about my students - so whilst I have been feeling absolutely brilliant and enjoying the work and working very hard - I feel it is becoming increasingly damaging and am becoming less happy with my situation - a week ago it would have all been 10s because I love my job and I work really hard. But continuing to try to motivate students with no return in sight is very bad for all of us. Especially as the statistics show that there is so little risk to us. We are sacrificing the many for the few.
  • I have been having telephone counselling for the last 6 weeks and I take anti-depressants and medication for anxiety. I have preexisting mental health problems. Without the support I have in place my scores would have been very different.
  • I have been ill so anxious, scared, thoughtful, positive, hopeful.
  • I have been quite happy working from home, I feel well connected to my colleagues and there are students who are doing great work. My anxiety comes over waiting for decisions by the government that are beyond my control and not knowing exactly how they will impact me. I also worry about the students who are not engaging in their work.
  • i have enjoyed the chance to exercise more (walking) as my teaching time is more flexible.
  • I have felt stressed, when we have been asked to do things that I don't have the technology skills for.
  • I have felt very lonely and have a real lack of motivation.
  • I have had really low days where I have felt isolated and alone. I have cried because I feel like I am failing as a teacher.
  • I have kind of felt abandoned by my school if I'm honest, no welfare checks of any kind. There has been lots of communication via email but always tasks and jobs that need doing and that has ticked me off a little. It feels as though the leaders have forgotten we are human too and need checking on occasionally at such a scary time and simply only see us as assets. Sad really.
  • I have noticed that simply distibuting lessons bears NO resemblance to teaching. I feel it is a futile exercise when not teaching face to face. I have also decided to take retirement 18 months earlier than planned. I have enjoyed spending time with husband and not having to attend meetings, complete excel spreadsheet
  • I have suffered with depression and anxiety in the past and feel like being in lockdown has brought this back. I live alone and would like to see my family.
  • I miss seeing people face to face but I can't lie and say that I haven't enjoyed setting my own schedule for doing work and feeling much less exhausted.
  • I miss the social aspects of work and find that the electronic alternatives are not quite fulfilling the need for social contact.
  • I started giving Year 12 online Zoom lessons with excellent attendance and feedback. I chose Zoom for the facility to record for 2-way safeguarding. Then I was stopped by senior leaders mainly for reasons of parity. What I am able to do for the pupils now takes far longer, lacks interactivity and is far less effective.
  • I started teaching to engage with children and now seem to spend all my time marking and filling in paper work. I am getting headaches and backache regularly from too much screen time and no suitable desk.
  • I think some of these comments are rather unrealistic. I don't know that many people sit and actively think 'hey, I like myself a lot'.
  • I tried to keep in touch with my students and colleague but I am sometimes anxious about future and uncertain regarding school reopening.
  • I unfortunately fell ill and I lost a close friend.
  • I work as a Teaching support staff and had never used google classroom, therefore it took me a few week before I could work that out and how to support this new way of teaching and supporting student in class and how to keep them engaged in class. It was like a whole different world. But now I feel I have mastered some of it and student are engaging a lot more now and notice students and staff who were not noticed in class are getting more one to one attention. Therefore are progress well to they work and improving they mental well-being. However, feel it is equally important to have face to face contact with students and staff for everyone mental health. But in limits and small does to start with as everyone has been isolation and to open up school so quickly will not be helpful for everyone and learning to keep distance in school is going to be challenging.
  • If anything I feel slightly less pressured. My views of myself and my worth have not changed.
  • if I haven't accomplished enough in the day I get a bit annoyed with myself
  • Iinitially relaxed and focused but it is getting harder to remain so without a routine I feel my hours have increased and the negative impact on my work life balance is marked.
  • I'm finding it so difficult to balance my kids lessons and my workload.
  • I'm in a stage position: I was stuck at home for two months with pain and reduced mobility after an accident in the winter, returned to work for a month before lockdown. I am busy and pain free and the weather is good, ...
  • In some ways my levels of stress have gone down significantly!
  • Initially due to poor training in the use of VLE and virtual teaching systems ( staff received half an hour on the last day of term and students received no training) I was very tired. Remember that lockdown commenced in the penultimate week of term when staff were exhausted anyway. Due to poor remote training the first week was chaos for both staff and students as they negotiated virtual learning systems. Things began to stabilise post Easter. However, I remain concerned that vulnerable students (inc special needs) are not making or maintaining contact via the VLE. We have and excellent safeguarding team so staff understood immediately which students could not engage eg no laptop; moving homes; in care etc. We are at the stage where these students are now being hunted down, tracked and monitored. I am now adjusting to working online and in a virtual environment which I know is evolving. I do not think the answer is to return children of any age to school without appropriate tracking measures. The second spike is on the way. The virus mutates. I do not want children to be Government guinea pigs.
  • Initially it was hugely isolating, felt terrible at the start, especially for my exam classes, but I'm now uploading video clips of me reading out loud to my students or introducing the tasks I'm setting and that has helped make me feel more connected. Also, now that students are getting used to it, there is more two way communication and a sense of how they're doing too.
  • Initially overwhelmed by the number of new online tools to master and use as well as being very unclear of the expectations on me. These things have slowly resolved through the period of lockdown so that I now have a higher level of confidence in what I am doing to provide remote learning.
  • Isolated
  • Isolated, stressed and not able to reach out. Wellbeing at work asks us to complete tasks for wellbeing purposes that add to our daily tasks. Feedback from SLT is that they want more staff to participate but adds pressure to do so increasing stress levels.
  • it has become the new norm I am now more anxious about returning to school
  • It has been challenging both personally & professionally but supportive friends & colleagues have really helped. We are all pulling together.
  • It has been hard and it is easy to let the negative press coverage of teachers get you down. I know how much I am doing and the long hours we are all working, but it is depressing when you see and hear so many negative things about us in the media.
  • It has been hard as you do not get the feedback and energy from the students while remote teaching, even when on video calls with them. Its hard to keep a track of how all students are getting on and progress without spending hours going through each student's work and OneNote and giving feedback. This, along with the anxiety and uncertaintyof the whole pandemic, had made me feel less motivated.
  • It has been really difficult juggling home schooling my own childern and keeping up with expectations in my job role. I never feel like I dedicate the appropriate amount of time or space to anything as I get pulled from one thing to the next all day long. I am a part time member of staff but am currently working 5 days a week responding to students and staff
  • It has changed gradually, I became less happy, more tense and irritable and work load had added the stress.
  • It has given me time to process a lot of my thoughts and feelings though I feel very disconnected from my job. I feel guilty for enjoying this time/space
  • It is a welcome break to the crippling workload and stress we normally endure.
  • It is difficult to answer as one of my daughters who has a severe epilepsy syndrome has been in hospital for nearly six weeks in that period. On a very positive not she has had COVId and survived. However I am used to her having medical problems, but even for her this has been quite bad!!
  • It is hard to balance family and working from home. Both myself and my Husband are Key workers and have 2 children. The teaching mixed with my job are not compatible. stress flares up as one child is Yr 3 and the other is Yr 8. There are days where I am firefighting and get overwhelmed with the live balancing act. Hubby is a great help with this. My school is 136 miles from my home address so I feel guilty as my colleagues are covering Keyworker children and I can't help from this distance. I offer my time and support knowing it is financially unviable to travel the distance for 3 hours work and cross contaminate across county boundaries.
  • It is satisfying to get feedback from students who are working from home, but at the same time frustrating that so few are accessing the online lessons.
  • It's crazy. The sooner we get back to work the better. You didn't ask any questions specific to social distancing, which would have altered my score considerably.
  • It's great! I'm a full-time mum to my young son.
  • It's like I lost all the bits of my job that I enjoy (direct working with students, sharing with colleagues) and was left with all the bits I hate (marking, working on the computer, assessment).
  • It's sad to see pleasures taken away BUT one has to keep a sense of perspective on these things; far worse if ti was 1914 or 1940 or many parts of teh world in 2019!
  • I've had ups and downs. The downs are definitely less than ever. I feel more relaxed into my routine as I am doing online tutorials with my students and teaching some online lessons.
  • Juggling working from home with my own 2 young children at home with me has been proving to be very stressful. I think Heads of Departments and their Assistant Heads should be responsible for uploading generic work for the students and that teachers should be there to assist students in their understanding of it and then mark work and give feedback. It is too much to handle having to create and send work and then also somehow mark for every class.
  • Just worried about the children that are not engaging and whether the work that I put online for my students is adequate.
  • keep hitting down sides, but manage to get myself out of a trough
  • Lack of engagement from students makes me feel like I’m wasting my time. Very anxious about going back and how things will work - I and my children are medically higher risk
  • Less stressed and fearful. I've had difficult classes this year in terms of behaviour and it's been less stressful and fearful because I'm not teaching them physically wondering if a chair is going to be thrown today, or am I going to face verbal abuse or is there going to be another fight so that stress and feeling of fear has been removed temporarily. I feel less tired from commuting and being stuck in traffic as there have been major motorway delays the last year and also getting up later as I don't have to commute. I feel sorry for Yr 11 and I didn't necessarily agree with the final grades allocated to my GCSE students. I felt more could be given for teacher judgement and less focus on mock grades where students don't bother with studying for them but would revise for the real one so those students grades are lower than I would normally predict but the decision was out of my hands. I have liked getting daily walks with the dog where normally I am too tired in the evenings from work. So all in all I am pretty content in lockdown. My A level students are doing what they would be doing anyway in class so not worried about them. Bit more concerned about GCSE students as they find exam questions difficult without a teacher present so we had to simplify the work so they are learning key terms but not how to apply them in answers. KS3 are learning theory they probably wouldn't learn normally as our timetable is tight on learning the software skills rather than theoretical knowledge so they are gaining different knowledge. I am bored with the feedback I give on a daily basis on the smhw quizzes and try to find new ways of saying the same thing but I am enjoying the time I have to create sow on imedia which is new course to us and I'm the only teacher. Also been having fun recording myself to make prerecorded lessons and looking forward to a virtual meeting online with my Yr 12 after half term. So on the whole lock-down has been fine for me and better in some ways.
  • Life is far less frenetic, I feel more on top of my work, the students are coping well with distance learning and I am not as exhausted as when at school as I can get all my work done in to my own timescales
  • Life very uncertain, hard to plan, hard to know what to do
  • like I'm fighting and losing battle. Worried about whether or not all my effort is worhtwhile
  • Lonely - wish I had more people to talk to about both work and everyday life.
  • Lonely, fed up, stressed, anxious
  • Lots of stress and anxiety from trying to juggle family life and work at the same time.
  • love the slower pace of life, like the time at home, time to pursue hobbies
  • Loved the peace and quiet; chance to potter in the sunshine between virtual lessons. Enjoyed the need to learn new habits and systems to deliver effective practical lessons remotely.
  • Loving the sunshine
  • Luckily I have a good group of supportive neighbours and friends - as well as supportive parents !!
  • Maybe finding it slightly harder to stay fully motivated the longer this goes on.
  • Missing my family
  • Moods go up and down. if I mange to focus on the present I usually feel well and grateful. If I think of the future and the bleak news we hear all the time I veer towards pessimism and worry for my students as well as the people who are suffering in the world.
  • More at ease. More able to take a break. More able to do worthwhile and enjoyable activities in my own time.
  • More rested..
  • More work for teachers. Some pupils dont have access to laptops and even if they do their microphone does not work. It is harder to teach when some pupils are not present.
  • Much less stressed
  • Much less stressed!
  • Much less stressed, fitter and happier. Life is a slower pace, calmer and I have more time to read, enjoy my pets, go for walks in nature and spend time with my partner.
  • My annoyance and anxiety have been the result of problems with technology. Virgin media and Sky have let me or colleagues down. Zoom and Teams have failed to work on occasions. Remote access to the school site has also failed at times. This has made me feel isolated from students and colleagues at times.
  • My energy and feelings yoyo so find it hard to get a routine at home
  • My mental health has seriously deteriorated and my anxiety and OCD have become much worse.
  • My mood changed totally to what I have indicated above as soon as the announcement to reopen schools came on Sunday 10th May. For the first 4 days I was totally paralysed with fear. I became anxious and tearful.
  • My online workload has increased significantly and is affecting my health
  • My only anxiety has come from the government suggestion that schools in England may go back far to soon and under unsafe conditions.
  • No change to how I feel about or see myself
  • No consideration given to staff wellbeing. Feel exhausted and low most of the time and that isn’t like me! Working harder now than I was before
  • Normally I work 50%. During lockdown I am working MANY more hours. But it is enjoyable because much of my time is spent emailing students with one-one issues and questions about the subject. Responding individually is not efficient, but it IS rewarding.
  • Not feeling very effective as a teacher. Zoom lessons are dispiriting.
  • Nothing feels quite real.
  • Nothing is ever discussed. Feel as if I am being Mushroom managed.
  • Numb and ineffective
  • Occasionally, dismayed and disappointed at the government's advice when my common sense suggested something else.
  • Once lockdown started I have been working hard to keep myself positive, before the lockdown I was much more worried
  • Our school has dealt with it pretty well, to be fair, so not overly run-down/similar.
  • over worked - SLT expecting too much from remote learning.
  • Over worked and stressed as safeguarding is busy and difficult at the moment
  • Overall I have felt very relaxed and in control. There has been the odd day when I have felt a little bit fed up - but apart from that it has all been good. I am fortunate, I have a house with plenty of space, a garden, walks nearby. I am getting paid, I have work to do. Really have very little to complain about. But am sure if my personal circumstances were different - then my scores above would reflect that
  • Overwhelmed
  • Overwhelmed about the amount of work and meetings specially because it seem to me that preparing work and marking is not enough but we are asked to do curricular planning despite the uncertainty of the situation we are living.
  • Overwhelmed by the amount of work needed to prepare great online lessons.
  • overwhelmed mostly
  • Overwhelmed with spending time with child, husband, doing school work and looking after the house. No doing anything well.
  • Overwhelmed with what is required and expected
  • Working online is taking 5 times longer. Missing being in the classroom with real students so much. Spending hours answering sometimes, unnecessary, questions via email. Concerned more than usual about certain students as can't gauge how they are coping.
  • Peaceful to work entirely on and with the pupils instead of having my time and energy wasted and consumed on ridiculous tick boxing exercises (nothing personal in this context! I think this could be useful) and pointless meetings led by management...
  • Personal circumstances have affected how I've felt
  • Personally it is much better as can be home with family and not in a dangerous environment Professionally I am doing more work but less stressed as it is from home and safe environment an fully engaged.
  • Physically exhausted due to workload
  • Pleased to have time with family and give more attention to my own child
  • Positive at the start but 8 weeks in and I now feel bored, frustrated and very keen to resume normal activity.
  • Possibly more negative as dad is over 100 miles away can't visit and has had multiple health scares over past month - covid; broke back; throwing up blood etc
  • Pressured and frustrated
  • Previously did not use social media so do not feel comfortable using it, even to keep in touch. This means I feel isolated at times for my colleagues. Also feelings of futility and fear for the future and the outcome of this pandemic from a educational and economical point of view.
  • quite enjoyed this way of working, set the work feedback to the children , no commute or workwear
  • Quite philosophical and have adapted, but am finding teaching remotely extremely stressful
  • Quite stressed about when schools will return and whether we are required to return to teaching earlier than is safe.
  • Rather isolated working with SEN pupils who don't engage with normal mainstream lessons. Very little contact with school SENCOs so I'm aware I'm the only teacher the students are talking to each week.
  • really enjoying all the extra free time in the garden
  • Really struggling
  • Reduced pressure from work - more pressure homeschooling 3 primary ages children.
  • relaxed and not stressed
  • Relaxed, happy
  • Relieved of daily pressure in school. Much more relaxed overall, (the only thing stopping me being completely happy now is my partners health)
  • Reluctant to return to teaching all day everyday in a class. Really enjoying more time at home as it is less stressful and I feel more effective at balancing life and work.
  • Rollercoaster! Some days better than others...
  • Scared and frustrated
  • Treated like sacrificed lambs to the slaughter based on Government 'advice'.
  • So much calmer and more relaxed
  • So much work, lots of marking, lots more planning to try & anticipate questions & problems with accessing relevant data. Have to answer lots of emails to maintain motivation. Very frustrated by students who 'turn in' work but when you look it's only the task.
  • Some days are better than others rising levels of anxiety tend to appear and take time to lessen
  • Sometimes I feel like I am doing nothing.
  • Sometimes really happy and then overwhelmed due to professional responsibilities but also with home life not allowing me to fully fulfill my duties
  • Sometimes tearful, apprehensive, unsure about what is going to happen next in school. Spent sometime too much time on my school laptop and we have had zoom meetings and extra planning/year 11 grades to worry about. Also we have had to lower our initial estimates as they were not in line with slight progress from last year. Lots of number crunching which feels so negative when we are giving students their GCSE grades. We also have all the coursework moderated which seems to count for nothing. I do feel lucky that I am at home mostly with my family
  • Sore eyes and neck!
  • Still busy. Work is different and can be interesting. Sometimes we have to follow instructions about lesson structure that create more work and don't help
  • stressed
  • Stressed and as though I am ‘on call’ 24/7
  • Stressed and overwhelmed at the quality of IT and the content we are suddenly supposed to acquire. Remote learning sessions are impossibly stressful making me feel completely inadequate compared to how others seem to be coping with this unusual demand.
  • Stressed trying to homeschool own children as well as teach for the students at my work
  • Stressed with deadlines for schemes of work. All ks3 and ks4 schemes being rewritten in anticipation for ofsted.
  • Struggling at times with technology and my incompetence. Concern for pupils who are not engaging or coping. Missing real contact with people. Working with pupils face to face is draining at times but also energising. Screens are not energising. Appreciating all the small things and going for a walk every day in particular. My Christian faith has been very important and made a real difference.
  • Taken for granted/undervalued by many pupils/parents.
  • Teaching remotely has been really difficult and the work load has definitely not eased.
  • The announcement that schools will open on June 1 fills me with an acute fear. I am a teacher, have a husband who is a teacher and is shielding, and a son in Year 12. Because 'the science' behind the return to work has not been revealed I feel that I don't have evidence on which to base a variety of decisions related to lockdown and the health of my family. I woke up screaming in the night last night. I don't know what to do for the best.
  • The lack of commuting has given me back 15 hours plus each week. That's made a massive difference to my well-being. I'm enjoying learning how to teach on-line, and have supportive colleagues. I live alone, and have virtual social contact every day. However, I've missed real contact going through bereavements ( two) and the first birthday for my mum since she died. I try not to think about the future, because I have an elderly father who is 12 000 miles away, and I have no current prospects of seeing him. Keeping busy with work has been a blessing under the circumstances.
  • The lockdown has been quite isolating and a steep learning curve with mixed messages and lots of new ways of being and working to get used to
  • The reading of this all over because work and home life balance is all weaved together but have been separate and its uncertain time. So its hard to read this. Before lock down I would have been super positive with both aspects of my life.
  • the sense of unease, and restlessness. no knowing what to believe or react to.
  • The uncertainty bothers me and the fairness of job distribution among teachers.
  • The work load has been outrageous. (Special school head)
  • The workload is constantly increasing and the pressure is getting unmanageable. The uncertainty causes me great anxiety and I worry that the work I do is never enough
  • There have been high and lows. It has been stressful keeping up with the changes and managing working and childcare. However generally my mood as been fine.
  • this has deteriorated since the press has been accusing us being militant and I felt belittled and down after Michael Go.ves comments its very hard and we are now taking on the students and their parents stress at times
  • Thwarted in attempts to provide quality distance learning by GPDR concerns restricting use of video conferencing to audio only.
  • Tired, every day
  • to much information from to many sources
  • Too much chasing kids work. Asked to do video lessons without any experience
  • Too much of my time is spent chasing students work and I feel this has shifted my focus and therefore my mood to a more negative one. There is not a lot of positive focus in teaching at the moment.
  • unable to function effectively because of expectations and lack of IT skills
  • Uncertain but hopeful
  • Unsure about the expectations with regard to delivering on line lessons with no training. Isolated. Bored with no interactions during the day. Living on my own so really on my own.
  • Unsure of myself and rather despondent as none of know the true scale of the pandemic.
  • Up and down at times. Personally, I feel ok but I feel helpless when considering how we will get some students back on track.
  • Up and down with moods. Bad news about a (distant) family member was worrying (corona related, on ventilation) but she is now recovering it seams. Unable to see people is far worse than I thought it would be.
  • Up and down. Productive, but when my productivity dips, I take it out on myself.
  • ups and downs highs and lows, the same as everyone else I think. The days feel long.
  • Upset by the unfair nature of the whole situation. Anxious about returning to 'normal'. Fed up of the monotony of most days, despite trying to mix things up... BUT very GRATEFUL for a lot of things: for friends, family and animals; for health; for the freedom to go wherever whenever usually.
  • Variable, but increasingly alienated by work, where managers seem to want us to do pointless planning tasks and fill in a tick list of hat we have done - contact home, time marking online work, emails to students, planning tasks, online CPD
  • Very Boring . Do not feel I am able to connect to my students as i would when taught face to face. A lot can be learnt and understood from a student's body language which is not possible in online teaching. Connectivity is missing totally. Every student has just become a number and a name in the cyber space.
  • Very chilled and happy to have the focus of setting work. Thoroughly enjoyed going into school once every three weeks. I feel that for me I was ready for a break from teaching or at least the level level of stress and constant tiredness. I had been considering taking a sabbatical but I don't feel I will need to now for another couple of years.
  • Very frustrated that I can’t do the job I love doing.
  • very lethargic and unmotivated sometimes
  • Very low
  • Very tired working on line all day-eyes suffering ---sometimes no outsid activity all day -missing fresh air.
  • Very tired, sick of working on a computer and looking at a screen all day. Apprehensive about the future.
  • very uncertain, undervalued and unappreciated by anyone outside of the education community, that I cannot keep to my own personal standards in the quality of teaching I want to give my students virtually, that I am obliged to do substantially more than others as I don't have children of my own,
  • We have a good support network and I have worked well at home, less stress but concerning that students are not always accessing the work I set. More so if they can't than by choice.
  • We have been asked to deliver the same materials because otherwise parents would complain about inconsistency. However, this is really frustrating as I would rather provide work I know my classes need. I am also feeling really drained by the amount of emails we're expected to send to students who don't meet deadlines. I feel the onus should be put on parents/guardians who can contact a teacher if there are reasons for students missing deadlines- this would save time. I have no idea how people work at computers all day- it is horrible!
  • Well, I have started to eat healthier and gotten into a basic exercise routine.
  • With the death of a close family member and the death of an ex student's mother both due to the dam virus I have felt angry, sad, frustrated and lonely
  • Wondering what life is going to be like, what is going to be the new normal.
  • Work has felt a lot more tiring, probably because of increased screentime
  • Work is taking longer to complete remotely. I am p/t but feel like school are treating me like f/t without the extra pay! I have learned a lot. I don't feel safe about returning to work.
  • work life balance is wonderful
  • Working around the clock and permanently in front of a screen while most other enjoyable pursuits have been removed.
  • Working from home has actually resulted in my school becoming more flexible and has taken off a lot of the strains of daily school life, leaving me feeling free to invest more time in my students and teaching them.
  • working intensely - but only for the sake of working ( targets set by my employers) I know learning is NOT as effective as being in class
  • Workload has significantly increased. A lot of admin. Work life balance is worse.
  • Worried about myself and others health
  • Worried about the economy
  • Worried about the future financial situation of the UK; we have had a decade of austerity, 1 in 3 children are in poverty and now the government has an excuse to make it worse.
  • worried about the present and anxious about the future
  • Worried and concerned about the future; grateful for all the simple and good things in life, but tired and confused as well. A rollercoaster!
  • worried, anxious, stressed and depressed
  • Worry about my students
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