Roath Park Primary has always been a place that seems to carry with it a special sense of belonging. Our pupils feel it, our visitors feel it, and those who have come and gone through its doors, remember our school as somewhere possessing its own unique sense of identity and warmth. If anyone is responsible for this caring and welcoming environment, it is us, the staff, colleagues, the friends who comprise the family that is Roath Park. We are a family in the truest sense, coming together when we need to, sometimes in sorrow, sometimes to moan and groan, but most often in times when collaboration and teamwork bring about a shared appreciation for our individual skills and talents.
Today is the first day of undoubtedly the most challenging period of our careers. Like the most experienced troops, we have mobilised and adapted in the space of a few days, responding to the call-to-arms with clarity, determination and utter professionalism. If you are like me you have probably already experienced a full spectrum of mood swings ranging from periods of energetic empowerment to downright despair. But today is only the beginning of this insanity we are forced to navigate. If we are to succeed professionally and emotionally in the hard times ahead, we stand a better chance at doing so if we stay in touch.
We need to keep each other in good spirits more than ever. We may no longer be physically in the building but we can ensure that those red brick walls stretch to encompass us all wherever we are. Some of us have families and friends to provide the safety net we so need. But let us not underestimate how our Roath Park family can support us whilst we are spending possibly months, working from our homes, in isolation. No one apart from a Roath Parker can appreciate the hilarity of a particularly vocal “Dear Diary” session. Fridays simply won’t be the same without the banter we secretly all look forward to!
But just because most of us can no longer sit around in our newly rechristened “Staff-Longue”, it is my intention to invite you all to collaborate in the formation of an online equivalent. Let’s use this shared space to bring together anything that helps us maintain the Roath Park principles of care, well-being and support, but crucially for one another. The emphasis here is on our shared well-being as practitioners, but also as people, who might at times feel vulnerable and in need of a helping hand. The scope is broad:
It might be a link to a website that provides tutorials on how to stay fit at this time of social isolation, or an aspect of mental health well-being
It might be a recipe that you’ve used and you’d like to recommend to others to try.
Perhaps a Youtube clip or a link to something visual that you have found particularly inspiring or enjoyable.
Those among us who like sharing their photos, artwork, writing, music, let’s use it as a platform for keeping one another up-to-date and most importantly connected with how we are feeling.
You might wish to upload an ebook and challenge others to discover its merits
We can also signpost any places where we can find outside support in the coming months.
Basically it is about having a place to come to where you can reach out to share, should you feel the need. Whatsapp is fantastic and can keep people in the loop. But if you want to post something that won’t get forgotten amongst the shared memes and comments, here is the place.
I know that we are just at the beginning of this uncharted road. None of us know what the next few months will throw into our paths. None of us have access to a time-machine or a crystal ball. But despite this overwhelming uncertainty, there is one thing that we can all predict: Roath Parkers will get through this!
Please feel free to add your comments and ideas freely and generously.