I don’t know if you’ve ever watched Moulin Rouge but there is a scene towards the end where Nicole Kidman is putting on her ‘face’ as she prepares to perform in front of a crowd. It is echoed with a beautiful operatic version of Queen’s The Show Must Go On. I was reminded of this recently when looking at how COVID-19 has impacted on the lives of teachers across the globe, and especially our teachers and teaching at Shrewsbury Riverside.
A lot of time has been spent recently rerouting our efforts and CPD into online learning and our usual CPD programme of learning lunches, training, and departmental work has been postponed in favour of getting to grips with online learning and the emerging trends in technology. Shrewsbury is certainly not behind in this respect, we use a range of platforms to engage pupils and there are many distinguished teachers who trial new technologies all the time, of course there have been others who have preferred a more traditional approach. Until now.
What a surprise and pleasure it has been to work alongside colleagues and see how much time they have invested in getting to grips with online and distance learning. It has also been delightful to see colleagues from a range of areas within the school working together to promote the best outcomes and ‘show must go on’ attitude. Not only have we seen a lot of humour and grace from our staff body, we have seen friendships flourish and work produced which is truly high quality. These powerful moments of bonding remind me of what a great community we have here at Riverside.
It might have been easier to put CPD on hold for a few weeks instead of taking it in a new direction but where is the challenge in that? It has been at times testing and trying for our systems and it has been interesting to ‘stress test’ them in advance of a potential school quarantine but we see that they work. We are ready to support our pupils - and each other.
Longstanding colleagues have seen a lot; floods, coups, protests and more in Bangkok, but it remains business as usual over here. After all, learning never stops … and with exams fast approaching, the show must indeed go on.