Addison Brown, science teacher at Bedford High School in Leigh, shares his experience of juggling family life with the pressures of being a teacher during lockdown.
Like every teacher in the country my job has changed drastically over the past couple of months. Standing in front of 30 children to share my passion for science every day is what I love most about teaching. Dealing with not being able to do that has been a massive adjustment.
But, like everyone, I’ve got used to a ‘new normal’. I am at home with my 9-month-old son, Stevie, while my wife, an urgent care nurse, has gone back to work after maternity leave. It’s been amazing to spend so much more time with my son. At the same time, it has been hard to keep a family going while balancing the pressures of work.
Working from home I have to fit my job around my family - I try and find time to work whenever I can, while my son is napping or when my wife is back from her shifts. But my colleagues understand the difficulties of childcare and so they have been really great in helping me out during this time. I’m very grateful to have their support.
What I’ve really missed is talking to and interacting with the kids when I’m teaching. When you’re doing everything online during lockdown, it’s easy to forget that I’m doing a job that I enjoy so much. So when I’ve had the odd day in school it’s felt great to be back there with the children of key workers. Seeing them all reminds me how grateful and lucky I am to do a job that I love doing!
I’ve learnt a lot from all the ups and downs of this unusual time. Although there have been many challenges, there has also been a huge amount of positivity that has come out. For example, the appreciation for teachers and the way communities have come together. Now I’m really looking forward to going back to school and getting back into the classroom. But I hope we’ll all look back and take something from this time, which will shape the way we live our lives so that we all feel more grateful for what we have and what we do.
A week in the life of a teacher
I shared a glimpse of what life is like as a teacher during these unusual times by posting a video on the Department for Education’s Instagram page every day for a week. If you missed it, you can watch the combined compilation video below: