Welcome to the second in a new series of weekly insights, delving into the lives and thoughts of college staff working from home. This week, we hear from Ceira Wyn, who is the Foundation and Pre-Vocational course co-ordinator at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor's Dolgellau campus.
As a mother, primary and secondary school teacher (I'd forgotten my algebra), lecturer, personal tutor, course coordinator and second-year PGCE student, I'm now wearing a few additional hats at home.
From the very start, we've had to structure our day by sitting down on the first Monday to write a timetable. If the weather is good, the three of us start by going out, with me walking and the children on their bikes.We still tend to get up early as the children still go to bed at the same time.Therefore, we are out by 7am to get our daily exercise and fresh air when it's still quiet. We then start our timetable by reading for half an hour while drinking tea or warm vimto.This gives me time to start on my work.The children can carry on until lunchtime without much input from me.
I'm very fortunate to be part of such a good team. Everyone works together and are extremely close and supportive of each other. There are always answers and words of wisdom to be had, as well as the occasional video shared on our group chat to make us all laugh. Thank you all. You really are worth your weight in gold.
This period has been challenging for everyone. The students on the pre-vocational course had completed nearly two terms in the college and had started producing excellent work. Many of them had to get used to being back in the classroom and to having a positive experience of education. All of them had achieved this. But despite this, they have now been sent home to work and have to contact us through e-mail or Google Hangouts which in itself has been a barrier for some.
On the whole, the contact with the students has been successful and the parents and carers have been extremely supportive. We have a Kahoot quiz three times a week and keep in contact through e-mail, text, phone and hangouts to discuss work or hold tutorials.
Like everyone else, we have up and down days. It has taken weeks to the new routine to fall into place and for the oldest, who is autistic, to become accustomed to the enormous changes that have happened in our lives.
Mum has a lot of responsibilities these days, especially with keeping to the new routine and supporting the children to the best of my ability. At times we've had to forget all about the timetable and spent the afternoon watching films on the sofa with the curtains closed.
I have even less time for my work as a student than I did before all this. But I only have two elements left, and I hope to finish them while the children are on FaceTime, TikTok or watching Netflix over the weekend.
I'm very lucky with the support I've been given by my PGCE tutors and the other students on the course. Our daily group chats are very useful. Everyone is so supportive and willing to help each other. Since our graduation ceremony has been cancelled, one important thing we will have to do when this is all over is celebrate the end of the course.
Better times will return but until then - keep on smiling!