There follows a guest post from a teacher, who was moved to write after reading the recent article by teacher Fraser Krats on coping with Covid measures in school.
A friend recommended I read Fraser Krats’s article as I am also a teacher – I teach at a secondary grammar school in Kent. I wanted to write as I was struck by the tone in Mr. Krats’s last sentence where he says that “I just feel alone”.
I have felt like this the two years I have been teaching at this school (I started in September 2020). I wore a mask exempt badge and, when the mask mandates were removed and some started removing their masks, I made it a point to tell students how wonderful it was to see their faces again. I will never forget one moment at this school, when I was feeling desperately alone (this was when facemask-wearing was in full swing) and I walked past a student in the corridor who was also wearing a mask exempt badge – she gave me a lovely smile and it cheered me up right away. I will never forget this.
I left the union because I could not stand how they kept reinforcing mask wearing and when I told staff why I had left the union they just ignored what I said, like I hadn’t said it, and continued with their day.
Staff would sit in the department office and do tests in front of each other, one using his computer screen to make certain the cotton bud went up his nose far enough (I was hoping this would touch a nerve in his brain and stimulate some independent thought, but sadly it did not). Used testing strips were always left lying on the desks in this communal office – logic and reason apparently was not.
I have resigned from my position now and am leaving without a job to go to. I made this decision because I was asked by a member of the safeguarding team to delete emails about a child who was ‘changing her gender’ (it does seem like an awful lot of children have been affected by this recently) in case the parents did a GDPR call as they are unsupportive. I am not the only teacher who has been asked to delete emails – and for different children.
I do not want to teach in state schools anymore. I have felt very alone the last two years. I have no friends at work. I feel like I am fighting all the time and I am also tired.