As the government considers a phased reopening of schools, let’s hear it for parents who’ve toughed it out home-schooling their children. Well done, everyone, but you do realise that you’re not real teachers, don’t you?
Are you a real journalist, then, Barbara?
Whatever some of us may tell ourselves during these weeks, parents haven’t been doing what teachers do.
Well, that’s certainly true – I’m sure the incidences of forced diversity appreciation are way, way down! And they’ll be sticking to reading, writing and arithmetic, not horizon-scanning for the latest wild idea. They probably won’t be getting their inner De Niro on either.
The childcare aspect alone has hit home for parents during this period – the fact that schools enable them to do something as fundamental as go to work.
Except that under lockdown, no-one’s going to work.
Then there’s the extracurricular stuff: the shocking amount of often unrecognised (and unpaid) proto-social work that goes on all over the country in Britain’s poorer schools, with many teachers having to feed and clothe their most vulnerable pupils.
Those same teachers always pleading poverty and demanding pay rises so they can finally afford to feed and clothe themselves?
During lockdown, parents may been committed, patient, resourceful and lots of other great and admirable things, but they have not been teachers.
And the children will all turn out a lot better for that, I’m sure!