After a week away from the ‘chalk face’ we have been back at it again this week. It’s interesting what can happen and how events can move when we have a week away from college. In the 21st-century, news, information and events move so quickly. It’s not quite Wilson’s ‘a week is a long time in politics’, but the pace of change and information sharing is so rapid in the days of global news and global travel. We are fully signed up members of the global community.
Sometimes I can a little frivolous when I write these things. This week, after the events of the last two or three weeks, and in particular the outbreak of the coronavirus it would be inappropriate to be anything other than sombre.
Global events are not distant and dislocated; they are real and are a real and present danger.
Although, as yet, the UK does not have a surge in the virus / infections, it seems that it will only be a matter of time: when, not if. The potentially devastating impact of this virus will have a significant impact upon every community. At our college, we will respond appropriately and accordingly when the time is right. Until then we are watching very carefully the daily messages coming from the DfE and public-health England. We will reflect on and take on board all the advice that is shared and act in accordance with that advice. Until then it is incumbent upon us all to take all reasonable measures in ensuring good health and hygiene. We will be working with our young people to encourage them to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly; particularly after leaving the washroom. Good health and hygiene have a significant impact upon the spread of viruses at this time of year, in any event.
The last few weeks also bring home for me the clear message that in education, despite how we might feel and work on a daily basis, we do not work and operate in a vacuum. Our college is closely connected to this community, this community is closely connected into the region and nation, and our nation is inter-connected with all our neighbouring countries and that inter-continental landscape. Not only does news spread and can be distributed in an instant but global travel allows for the rapid distribution of, on the positive side knowledge, information, understanding and more negatively, messages of hate and poison, those dreaded viruses.
We can become consumed by what is in front of us what is immediate. But the recent events remind us is that we cannot detach ourselves from the wider world. We reflect that understanding in our work with young people.
‘A week is a long time in politics.’ Harold Wilson
‘I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.’ Walt Disney