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Farewell for now

Monday 23rd March

Dear Parents and Carers,

Re. Farewell for Now

As we come to the end of the first of what is likely to be many strange days in the weeks ahead for us as staff, we wanted to send a letter on behalf of our whole team to thank you all for your support, kind words and compassion in these unsettling times. Our staff have been overwhelmed by the lovely comments that they have received and will miss you and your children terribly whilst our school is closed.

We recognise that the upcoming weeks will be a challenge for us all and we know that there will be times when taking on the task of teaching your own children will feel exhausting (feel free to insert your own word here depending on your mood after day one!) We want to reassure you that we are all here every step of the way. We will be in touch every week to set new tasks for home learning, with as much guidance as we can give, but please rest assured – if you can’t get through what is set, or you feel it is unmanageable, there is no pressure to complete it, at all. These are unprecedented times and as a wise parent said last week, “the world just needs to go a little bit slower”. We will continue to provide enough work for those of you who get a good routine going and for others of you trying to balance parenting and your own work commitments, we hope you can dip in and out of what is sent to help your children stay focused on key aspects of their learning. Most importantly though, we want you all to stay safe and take care in these times. We will not be sending home learning packs out in what would have been our Easter holidays, because by then, you and your children will deserve a break from it all. Feel free to keep going with any outstanding work left over

We are only ever an email or phone call away should you have any problem or need anything – if you find you want to use our names plus a phone call to threaten your children when they refuse to tear themselves away from a TV break, please do! If a call from a stern teacher, Deputy Head or (gulp) Headteacher helps, just let us know. Equally, if your child is struggling or would appreciate a call from a friendly voice, we are absolutely here for that too. Just email our parent inbox email, or contact our school office via phone, and we will get messages through for you to the staff who you need.

We know how tough teaching is, so, to end on a high, we have pulled together our Brookburn staff top tips to support your initiation into the world of teaching children, which you can find on the next page. We hope you enjoy.

We want to finish by saying that this is not a “goodbye”, it is very much a “see you soon”.

Wishing you all the best. Please take care of yourselves and your family.

With much love,

The Brookburn Team

Parent-Teacher Initiation

  1. You aren’t going mad when you hear yourself saying the same thing a million times over.
  2. Counting and deep breaths will be your friend. If you get to 20 and still feel an urge to explode, be kind to yourself and leave the room for a bit! Perhaps scream at the end of the garden??
  3. No matter how simple the instruction, prepare yourself for the multitude of additional things your child will do to embellish completion of said instruction. If you find this tough, see tip 2.
  4. Your day will be wonderful when a child calls you beautiful/handsome. It will also be ruined when they point out a spot on your face.
  5. You know you’ve made it when they call you their teacher’s name (we are mums and dads a lot here!)
  6. Don’t be offended when your children corrects you – they do it to us lots J but at least we know they’ve learned something.
  7. Don’t resort to asking Alexa to home school your children … we’ve checked. She won’t.
  8. Neither will Siri.
  9. Or Cortana!  Sorry.
  10. NEVER, and we mean NEVER, underestimate the power of the sticker. A smelly sticker you say!? Worth its weight in gold. 
  11. Practise your ‘teacher eye glare’ in the bathroom mirror each morning before starting the day! This will show them you mean business.
  12. Your child will ask you questions like “should I go on to the next page?” a few thousand times even when you have made clear that if they reach the end of page of work, they have no alternative but to start a fresh one. This is ok. If this happens, see tip 2.
  13. Fire safety practice at home is fine – should anyone see your children locked outside your house, with you in it, at any point during this period, simply explain “We are having a fire drill”.
  14. It’s ok to be caught talking to yourself. You’re not losing your sanity, you’re having a chat with your child’s teacher! 
  15. Don’t feel guilty about letting children watch TV when you need a break. Just mute the sound and put the subtitles on. Boom! They’re reading! 
  16. Just learn to live with seeing ‘peepul/peopole’ or ‘becos/beacause’. There are only so many hours in the day you can spend correcting it (see tip 2)
  17. It’s perfectly acceptable when your child asks you the reason for learning the material to respond with the line ‘because I said so’. 
  18. Never hand out glue sticks and most importantly NEVER allow a child to use glitter in your own home. 
  19. Remember the lockdown can only go on for so long and then you can send them back to us!
  20. If you run out of things to do, try getting them to line up. That’s an easy way to lose half an hour. 
  21. Observational drawing is an easy way to pass the time, especially if this enables you (the subject) to lie on the sofa and nap as children draw you. Please don’t be offended by what they come up with!!
  22. And finally, perhaps most importantly, if it is not already, wine will be your new best friend!

Article posted: 25th March 2020