Best of both worlds: Estelle’s journey in a pioneering role - February 21

Author: Estelle Ashman, Curriculum Content Developer

What I miss most

February 2021

For this month’s blog, I thought I’d write a little about what I am missing about teaching in normal times and how my hybrid role of teaching and working for Ukie is helping to keep me sane in these strange times.

Since the beginning of this most recent lockdown, I have been covering year 6 on my teaching days. This frees up the year 6 teachers to complete the extra planning and preparation that is needed to run virtual lessons alongside the in-person lessons for the keyworker and vulnerable children that are in school. It is not unusual for teachers to sometimes teach outside their subject area to make up time on their timetable or if there is a shortage of teachers in a particular subject area. There are also subjects that are commonly taught by all teachers even though they are not formally trained to teach them such as Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). Therefore, it is not uncommon for me to teach outside of my subject area but as time goes on, I find that I am missing it more and more.

Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying working with year 6 but I miss having my own autonomy in choosing what and how I teach my students. Prior to becoming a teacher, I worked as a cover supervisor. A cover supervisor is the modern term for a cover teacher. The difference is that they are normally employed by the school rather than an outside agency so they have the advantage (although some may say disadvantage!) of knowing the students better. As a cover supervisor I would be given the work for the classes I taught and that is much the same as what I am doing now. I understand the reasoning behind this - the school is working hard to ensure that the experience that students have in school is the same as the one students are having at home – therefore the resources that I am working with are the same as what is sent home for parents home schooling. As the novelty of teaching something different has worn off, I have become more and more thankful for my role with Digital Schoolhouse giving me the opportunity to continue designing creative computing resources even if I am not currently using them in my own classroom.

If you want to have a look at some of my most recent playful computing ideas, check out our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA8lfpEv0vOvSvPNgVOUv2mMqAByTl9nK 

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