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How Will Covid-19 Impact Your 2020-21 Ski Vacation?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm always amazed at the acrimony the teaching profession attracts. I assume that, since (just about) everyone attended school for several years, they feel expert? I was once briefly in a birth canal, but I almost never second guess midwives.

But I was a teacher for 30 years and a head of 4 primary schools during the final 20. A few thoughts: you get the education system the politicians demand, and will fund. You don't get a reduction in standards because teachers want to work less hours or because of the unions, you get it because a polly demands that x% of 11 year olds get a Level 4 in the core subjects. To ensure this, they slide the curve for the norm based test distribution left or right to make it happen.

On Covid (from my comfy retirement chair- thank you, btw, for kindly funding my 'gold-plated' pension)... Schools are NOT geared for virtual teaching, so spinning up in a few months was always going to be a near impossible step. The people I know who have tried to make it work have made a clucking sight better effort than the government did with PPE and track and trace.

Finally, the detractors could always take the easy way out of working for a living... Good luck if you do.

CG


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sat 13-06-20 18:15; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@brianatab, thanks. No evidence, just assumptions and anecdote. Glad I haven’t missed any report on schools and teachers, not least because my anecdotal evidence is entirely different from yours.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I am a secondary school governor as mentioned above, and both my brother and sister are teachers.

For "my" school I have been kept in touch with what is being done by the headteacher, as well as playing my part in remote approval of new policies around managing the staged return of pupils. There has been a huge lot of work just in organising this, in the face of ever-changing government advice. That is on top of setting online work for students which has been ongoing since the start. For those teachers with GCSE and A level groups, they have spent many hours assembling carefully evidenced data for exam boards as part of the process of assigning grades for exams not taken.

My brother, a secondary teacher, found himself working more hours than ever as he struggled with the completely unfamiliar task of delivering teaching in a complex subject online in an effective way. I think that has settled to more of a pattern now. My sister, in a primary school, may indeed have been doing fewer hours per day on average than previously simply because there was a more modest online learning expectation for the youngest age groups; but she was also on a rota of teachers for vulnerable and key worker children that continued through normal holiday times. And then just recently she had the workload of planning how to manage a "bubble" while minimising infection risk.

Calling teachers "lazy whingers" is an unwarranted insult.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@j b, that’s similar to my experience, and I fully agree with your final point.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/jun/15/2m-children-in-uk-have-done-almost-no-school-work-in-lockdown

"The UCL research also shines light on the huge gap in provision between pupils in private education and those in the state sector during lockdown, with private school pupils found to be five times more likely to get near full-time teaching online as those in the state sector."
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Have to confess, that in addition to writting to my MP over the issue with the lack of education my children have received and the impact on them, I am now making enquiries with a local independent school.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Charliegolf wrote:
Schools are NOT geared for virtual teaching, so spinning up in a few months was always going to be a near impossible step. The people I know who have tried to make it work have made a clucking sight better effort than the government did with PPE and track and trace.


You are doing your former profession a huge disservice. Neither of my childrens' schools were geared up for virtual teaching yet over a weekend both of them implemented Zoom, and by the end of the first week my son's school (1,500 pupils) had completely rejigged the timetable to ensure the theoretical stuff from the practical subjects (like Food Tech, DT, sciences etc.) was moved to be taught in the current period, and practicals moved to next year when hopefully the facilities are available again. His school is running a complete 100% timetable virtually - lessons on Zoom, PE on Strava. Both are free resources available to all schools.

The provision from both schools has been so good that neither of my kids wants to go back to full time on-premise schooling - not least it would enable us to have a great ski season if the school retained full virtual learning!

It demonstrably IS possible, yet some other schools with similar resources have done a fraction of this. Why the huge divergence? Why does the profession accept this divergence? I'd be really embarrassed if my company had not implemented proper working-from-home, yet some of our competitors were able to do so.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I briefly tried running a virtual coding club for kids in my son's class Toofy Grin Anyone who thinks virtual learning can replace physical presence is deluded. With a maximum of 5 kids in my "class" I struggled to get a consistent feedback loop from them. Granted I am not a trained teacher, but good grief is it hard. I can imagine virtually teaching a 30 kids class Shocked
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
This seems to have gone from skiing next season to an education discussion.
My grandchildren in America appear to be doing very well with online teaching.
My grand daughters in Surrey go to the local school just over the border in Hampshire and that school has been highly organised for online teaching from Reception onwards. I understand the school were planning for quite some time before lockdown. The younger one is now back at school in reception, in her own little bubble or hub of 8.

And for skiing, we have three weeks booked in January in Austria so looking positively. The only thing we are doing differently with trips abroad at the moment is to not take the dog with us, as one less bit of bureaucracy to worry about.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
snowdave wrote:
It demonstrably IS possible, yet some other schools with similar resources have done a fraction of this. Why the huge divergence? Why does the profession accept this divergence? I'd be really embarrassed if my company had not implemented proper working-from-home, yet some of our competitors were able to do so.
No doubt there are major differences between schools, and I think within schools. My teenage nieces, at the same school, had different experiences in their subjects which I can only assume is due to the teachers and heads of departments involved rather than any other factor.

As for the divergence, I think that's largely down to the quality of leadership, at institution and subject level. There will be some schools which have provided an excellent service at short notice, such as your experience, and there will be other schools/departments which have been fairly hopeless (the IoE and NFER suggest this might be as high as 20%). I suspect the majority of schools will broadly have been between these two poles, doing an OK job but could do better, especially given a bit of time to learn from examples of excellent practice.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
rob@rar wrote:
As for the divergence, I think that's largely down to the quality of leadership, at institution and subject level.


Thanks - consistent with my own (amateur) perspective, and I think a broader realisation that would help the sector - it's all too easy to blame the Government, funding, lack of technology literacy etc.

Although Education might seem like a tangent to skiing, one very large variable for next season could be the state of education. If we're still/back in lockdown for whatever reason, and my kids are still receiving virtual schooling, then I'd imagine we might spend more of the winter in the Alps. Even planning a UK trip for a socially-distant visit to relatives in a couple of weeks, I realised that we weren't tied to weekends, we could visit on a Sunday, stay in a hotel Sunday night, school and work remotely on Monday, drive back Monday night.

This would potentially provide a good solution to the age-old "taking the kids out of school for skiing" problem - no need to take them out, they can do the virtual lessons and ski as well.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
snowdave wrote:
...This would potentially provide a good solution to the age-old "taking the kids out of school for skiing" problem - no need to take them out, they can do the virtual lessons and ski as well.
Silver linings and all that...
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