Resuming work in 2022

I had a very enjoyable summer break from ’21 to end of Jan ’22. I honestly never expected that I would’ve made the most of my time here in Sydney, but I did and I definitely cherished the mini adventures I ventured out myself. That’s right. Instead of travelling solo to foreign countries, I did it here in Sydney and it was quite relaxing.

That’s not to say I didn’t socialise with friends because I definitely did make some time to spend with them but a lot of them, including my bestie had contracted the darn virus. Even my family got it. I’m just glad they are all alright because I was still able to chat with them daily, thank goodness for smart phones.

In essence, this provided me time to work on myself and I lost 5kgs healthily! It’s funny how I lost more during the past few months than when I was at the gym for 5 years. Nutrition definitely plays an important role because I found myself eating and drinking out less. Cutting weekly alcohol definitely contributed to this.

Anyways, the premise of this post was to recount a few details of how resuming work face-face was like in 2022. It wasn’t too different from last term per se, but it is a new year which means new timetable and new classes, as well as new faces.

I have to say that the transition back to school was quite smooth as I think a lot of us was just wanting to have that normality again. I honestly enjoy teaching and missed being back in the classroom, especially since I finally have my own with air con! In my five years of teaching, this is the very first time (wait, probably second time), that I have my own classroom! It’s quite a hot commodity.

Further, I feel more comfortable starting out the new year at this school because I have already familiarised myself with the school processes as well as the school community. I love seeing my colleagues again and working with them again because it has been a while since I’ve worked in the office – holidays lol.

Plus, having familiar students coming up to you to say and wave hi is so nice, because it shows that they are also happy to be back into the ‘new normal’, albeit the surgical masks we have to wear at all times. I also love all my classes, though I did have my doubts about this one particular class. But so far, all good and I hope it does stay that way because I do want to help them achieve the very best they can.

ALSO, I have adopted a new role in which I am now a Year Advisor for a certain grade. This comes with more responsibilities but I am excited to get to know my cohort more because I do love this grade.

I’m still waiting for my silk mask to arrive because I plan to wear it under my surgical mask. This is in hopes to prevent dry skin under my nose and those horrid breakouts which took all holidays to recover. I honestly don’t want my skin to go through that again, so I’m trying to take care of it better.

While this was all positive, returning to school initial thoughts wasn’t this bubbly. This is mainly due to the government’s organisation (or lack thereof) to help us ease into this transition. Australia is a divided nation with each of the states having their own rules. And this sucks because I think it would be better if we all work together to combat the virus in order to help our people. So when the QLD Premier announced that their schools would delay the return by two weeks, we expected the rest of the states to adopt a similar approach due to the increasingly high numbers of people infected with the virus. But no, NSW and VIC pushed through and as a teacher living in NSW, I felt like a guinea pig who is worthless.

Even though they are providing us and the students with two free RATs every week for a month for now to test ourselves, they are also increasing our workload drastically. That is, making us PLAN for what may or may not happen. I hate that we have to plan for contingencies when we are already stressed and anxious about the return to school. I was definitely not in the right head space but I got through it because I am a resilient person at heart.

Currently, first week back…more than 50% of my Year 11 class is out because of the virus. It sucks because this provides a domino effect in which it affects their peers, other students, teachers and the school community. We can’t really social distance in schools so anyone can get the virus anytime and don’t know who they got it from. Anyone who has been affected is required to isolate at home for a week, which means there will always be absences. It’s messy and I feel like it would’ve been easier if we stuck with remote learning because then, we would be safer..

That’s my thought but I can’t make the decision because I’m not the Premier who has 7 kids.

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