Claustrophobic in the Classroom

These are certainly interesting times to be a teacher. Standing at the front of the classroom and seeing 16 pairs of eyes staring back at you, while their faces are covered by a mask. It is a different look and one that has taken some getting used too. There have been certain challenges which have come with teaching during the Covid era, some of which I certainly could never have imagined.

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Post Lockdown: Summer Ends, Back to School

These have been strange times for everyone, and it’s going to be hard to get back to normal life. As a teacher it has been some time since life was completely normal. Teaching from home from March until June, then the summer holidays began. Now I am not complaining about that, believe me. But now it is back to work, and who knows how things will be, and what systems we will have to follow. One thing is for certain, it won’t quite be the return to normal that many people would have been hoping for.

Here, in the Czech Republic, things are fairly normal, but that is only when compared to other countries. Restrictions were lifted quite some time ago, but now there is uncertainty in the air. Children will return to school, as will face masks to our lives. So some rules will come back into force, but which ones? Seemingly, our government can’t decide. They say one thing one day, a few days later they seem to be having second thoughts. Perhaps they should have those second thoughts before they announce anything, at least if they don’t wish to appear foolish.

Luckily us teachers have a week in school before the students return, so there should be time to get everything ironed out. There will also be some time to get used to being back in an office again. Working from, and being at, home more often has become the norm and it may take some time to readjust. I know that returning to a normal life is important, both for me and my family, and I know that it will be a healthy thing for our lives. But, still, I can’t help but feel slightly nervous. We are, after all, entering the unknown.

Words © Neil Hayes and neilhayeswrites

Points of View

The world is full of myriad opinions at the moment. Everything from Covid to Black Lives Matter elicit different points of view. Some of which are articulated in an extremely hostile manner. Nobody seems to be considering the fact that both sides of any argument could be correct, at least about something.

Alas, we seem to be living in a world where if a person says something you disagree with, then they must be full of shit about everything else too. Sorry about the language, but only that truly expresses the rage which you often see. The problem is that when we take sides we seem to assume that there are only two. But this is not a war between countries, or a sport, and this is not a two-dimensional world. Would you want it to be?

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Race and Helplessness

How do you write about what has been happening in America as a white man? My helplessness and shock at what I have been witnessing are tiny feelings compared to the terror and anger which must be being felt by the black community there. I cannot even put myself into their place. It is simply an impossible proposition for any white person, and especially a man. You see, nobody judges me according to my skin colour. We are all judged in some way, but these verdicts come upon by others usually remain in their own minds. This has not been, and is still not, the experience for many people in the world.

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Appreciation

He lives in an apartment, which from the outside may look like a uniform grey block of uniformity. But he doesn’t spend a lot of time looking at the outside of the block, so it has never bothered him really.

Currently, he is alone. Well, except for the rabbit anyway. He loves that rabbit, but just like children it needs taking care of and to be taught the rudiments of good behaviour. At least the children eventually stopping peeing on the floor, but he is not so sure the rabbit will ever learn.

His wife is shopping and his children are with their grandparents, so he has a bit of time to himself. But, as ever, he has too many things which he would like to be doing with his time. Will he ever learn? He is currently spending part of his, supposed, relaxation time chasing that rabbit around the living room. It’s frustrating but it could be worse, he reminds himself.

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