What do we want? Safety for all

These are fast changing and confusing times and the coming weeks will be a challenge for teachers, students and parents.

We entered the world of remote learning at the end of Term 1, which caused a certain amount of stress for all, but in most cases it seemed to work. Some students engaged and attended all sessions; however, some chose to do more important things like attend their part time work or gather with friends or just do their own thing.

It will be interesting to see how Term 2 operates with the decisions that have been handed down by Premiers, government and health officials. The proposed plans have raised some very important issues and many more for debate and consultation not declaration.

How will social distancing be maintained when students begin returning to school? Will hand sanitiser, wipes and soap be readily available and who is going to clean and wipe desks at the end of each lesson, along with toilet blocks and bubblers?

We as teachers and support staff in all schools and sectors must insist and demand that these steps are in place from day one of Term 2 and we must insist on the safety of all workers in all schools as paramount.

Teachers in secondary schools will be in contact with young adults in Years 11 and 12 who have been working for most of the holidays, therefore coming into contact with the general public. In my opinion they will be a huge risk to both staff and fellow students. If at any time you feel your health is being compromised, work from home until you feel it’s safe to return to your workplace.

Flu injections are a must and are provided by most schools now, so make sure you take up the offer or organise to visit your doctor to receive your dose.

If your staff have any issues on returning to school, do not hesitate to call a chapter meeting and invite your organiser to attend. We must all work together for our safety and that of our students during these challenging times.

On a brighter note, I hope you have all had a good break, catching up on some exercise and long walks, good novels and of course some Netflix and Stan programs. At least the weather has been in our favour with some glorious autumn days.

Good luck for Term 2. Keep an open mind. You all did a tremendous job at the end of Term 1 and should give yourself a pat on the back. We will get through this together and hopefully come out the other side proud of our achievements, happy and healthy, more patient, and experts at Zooming.

Chris Wilkinson