Working from Home
At the start of another quite different working week, I would like to introduce my first blog as Headteacher of Ysgol Glan Clwyd. My intention, in a series of blogs, will be to keep in touch with the school community and beyond, share some information and try to offer some light to some in what is currently a very dark time. Obviously, much of the content will have an educational context, but there will also be general impressions, as well as an effort to share information and advice. There is no intention to trivialise or to devalue the severity of the situation in the country at the moment – I am well aware of the tremendous challenge facing us all – but my intention is to keep the contributions positive. I also want to emphasize that it is my personal views and opinions that will be expressed.
The idea of working from home is strange to me, as to millions of others at the moment. Schools are vibrant and social communities that offer comfort and support to everyone within that community, in so many different ways. It’s very strange to work as a head teacher from a home office, nearly an hour away from school. But I believe that society can eventually come through this crisis stronger, more resilient and more principled. A crisis affirms virtues and shows us the importance of society and family; and seeing society pulling together in order to overcome this crisis is a comfort and a hope to me.
As we now know this will be an extended period of anxiety, so it is important that we prepare for that – we should prepare for a marathon not a sprint. Yet it is important that we start positively and not let ourselves slip into bad and lazy habits.
On a personal level for pupils, as for adults working from home, it is as important to organize your day. We may not leave the house to go to work or school at this time, but it is important that we structure the working day. I would like to advise our pupils to follow an arranged timetable. We need to wake up and get out of bed promptly and follow a well-balanced programme to enable us all to be physically fit and mentally healthy. In fact, you will find that that will be a constant theme with me. Being physically and mentally healthy should always be our priority, but certainly in times of crisis like this we should ensure that we focus on these issues.
Within your daily programme ensure extended and appropriate times for school work. Make time for relaxation and socializing too, by contacting friends or family. Likewise make sure you turn off the digital appliances for periods every day. For some, living and constantly being on such devices is tempting – so again it’s important to have balance, and that means times without a screen. Make sure you also set aside a specific time to be physically active. One daily exercise is currently allowed outdoors, but there are other ways to guarantee fitness as well. Remember you can spend indefinite time in the garden if appropriate. Make sure you plan times during the school day for breaks and lunch – and make every effort to eat healthily at this time. Enjoy the company of the family at home with you – at a time like this the importance of family is clear to us all. Make sure you eat in each other’s company and don’t retreat to rooms alone all day.
But my simple message right now is to do the small things right. I intend to go into more detail in the next blog about the core idea of being physically and mentally healthy. But for now, from my distant office, I wish you all well. Be responsible – be safe.