It’s back to school and another change of the rules…
Bank Holiday Monday dawned and the first thing in my inbox was the familiar new Covid guidelines from the school. The kids are absolutely down with all the changes – indeed only son is only too keen to wear his mask all day – except the one about ventilation because, although they are allowed to wear a coat because the windows will be open, they can’t just wear any old coat. It has to be, like the mask, in regulation colours and only son doesn’t have a navy blue or black coat. So he will have to wear one of his siblings which will be several sizes too big, but will at least keep him warm, even if he won’t be able to write or draw very easily, but, hey, wearing the right colour coat is more important than writing or being warm enough to learn.
Before they go back, of course, come the tests – at different times of the day for different year groups, meaning lots of hanging around for parents since we live a half-hour drive from the school. But we’re used to all of this and it’s small beer really. Then there is a parents evening this week – virtual, of course. Daughter three’s begins at precisely 18.48. Each teacher has five minutes. That’s about enough time for them to talk through the letters and numbers on the “interim report” and perhaps, if you’re lucky, time for one question from the parent.
Given that this is daughter three’s second term at sixth form and that I am not sure all her teachers know about all she has been through I feel this is somewhat inadequate, but I know teachers are at rock bottom and probably half of them will be off with Omicron come the day. Last time we had a virtual parents evening the internet kept going down and I had about one minute with each teacher and they all spoke very, very fast before the session was up and it started a countdown from 10 to 1 and faded out. I’m not sure it was actually worth the stress on all sides, but it ticked the box.
There are worse things, though, and I’ve had enough of feeling permanently annoyed about irrelevant things so we are going back with a sense of positivity. This thing is on the way out, maybe, and even if it isn’t we know that some things are out of our control – such as what the government does or doesn’t do and what other people do or don’t do, even if they are close relatives – and that it goes up and down with periods of remission. My daughter’s favourite song of the moment is called All things must pass by the great George Harrison. The lyrics say All things must pass/None of life’s strings can last/So I must be on my way/And face another day.