It’s the last weekend of this year’s holiday. On Wednesday, the new school year will begin across Poland in the fixed format. RMF FM journalist Michał Dobrołowicz visited Mikołaj Rej Secondary School No. 11 in Warsaw. Review what the preparations are, what the teachers’ mood is, and whether the next school year due to the pandemic and the prospect of a fourth wave will be very different, or perhaps similar to the previous one.
A few days before the start of the new school year, there were more than ten people in the school building. These are the school principals, the school secretary, the economic director, the cleaning team, the maintainer, but also the renovation team. Vaccination announcements are being prepared in the Secretariat, which will be completed by students and their parents at the beginning of September. The walls in the corridor are being painted and one of the last inspections is done before the 2021/2022 school year.
There is a lot of work to be done. We are in the process of renovating, cleaning, polishing, washing floors, cleaning windows and preparing things related to the epidemic. We have manual disinfection stations. There should be information about masks and distances everywhere. This information was already hanging here in the spring, before the summer holidays. We replace them regularly when damaged. Have to walk around every class, check if the panels are working, we are fresh after laying new internet cables. The ladies cleaners and their caretakers are the most important in the school – confirms in an interview with RMF FM Julita Fałek, Economic Director of Mikołaj Rej Secondary School No. 11 in Warsaw. Wall painting in the corridor must be completed before September 1. Next Tuesday is the absolute deadline – adds Małgorzata Wojtysiak, director of this school.
Pandemic responsibilities have a huge impact on how we prepare for the new school year. We provide hygiene measures that will be necessary to operate in accordance with health guidelines. We have a lot of sanitizer from the previous school year. We should have a reserve of masks in case one runs out. We also check the windows, make sure they are tilted so the rooms can be ventilated. By the end of August, we should prepare protocols confirming the inspection of premises, as well as in terms of epidemiology. We need to know that students will have clean, well-ventilated and regularly disinfected rooms at their disposal Małgorzata Wojtysiak admits in an interview with RMF FM.
The school staff responsible for preparing the building for September stress that they have a lot of responsibilities.
We want everything to be safe, so that the school can run stably, and so can we. Now we have so much work and so little time – I hear from the cleaning ladies.
For management and teachers, the most intense time in terms of work will begin after the weekend. An educational council is scheduled for Monday. Teachers will come to school with a question they want answered: What are the chances of keeping teaching in class and for how long? The answer, as always in a pandemic: We don’t know how long it will take. We expect an analogy from last year and a scenario where in October or November we will have to switch to hybrid learning or distance learning. Although my opinion is that post-primary schools should not be included in distance learning because all our students and teachers have the time and opportunity and will have more opportunities to get vaccinated – Małgorzata Wojtysiak convinces. The principal of Secondary School No. 11 in Warsaw does not know how many students have been vaccinated. I am at a loss when I ask about vaccinations. I realize that I am touching on an area of individual life that goes beyond the faculties of the school. As long as these vaccinations are not mandatory, we are moving on the land of uncertainty – He adds.
In September, in High School Building No. 11, vaccinations will also take place. The school has an agreement with the facility, thanks to the presence of a nurse on site. The setup will take place in an office, which is the school nurse’s office on a daily basis. Details have not yet been determined. For this, we need information about the size of the needs. I sincerely hope, like our teachers, who have been vaccinated by almost everyone, except individuals, that the same applies to our students. I want them to go back to school in September immune, the more the vast majority of them want to study stationery Małgorzata Wojtysiak confirms.
Teachers admit that the previous school year taught them that they must be prepared for any form of learning. We have learned many times that there is a sudden change ahead of us, moving from stationary learning to distance learning, hybrid or some other form. Certainly, this practical setup is that we will introduce our first year students to the remote platform so that they can take advantage of distance learning at any time. – Adds the principal of Secondary School No. 11 in Warsaw. In each of these high schools and in some other high schools in Warsaw, the start of the new school year will look different than in previous years.
The principal of Secondary School No. 11 in Warsaw acknowledges that there will not be a festive start of the school year for all students at the same time this year. We assume that in small groups the first rows will meet in the gymnasium, with the windows open, keeping the distance. We want these people to see what the inauguration looks like. For the second and third years, the new academic year will begin in the classroom. It’s a combination of what it was before. This year our school will celebrate its 115th birthday. It is difficult for us to plan in fixed conditions, and we do not know if we will be able to meet in larger groups and participate in the festivities. We should always be prepared for two copies. This was the case during educational fairs or open school days, when you can also participate in them online. We are ready to change the calendar from fixed to remote Małgorzata Wojtysiak admits.
The past few months have been surprising for the people organizing the schools’ work due to staff changes. Distance learning has proven to be a difficult challenge for many people. It’s not about technical issues that teachers quickly master. It has to do with the requirements of spending time at the computer, not writing on the board, without interacting. Unfortunately, teachers of so-called “blackboard” subjects, such as mathematics, quit their jobs for various reasons. Some of them suffered from health problems and developed problems with eyesight and spine. There was also fatigue. One of the professors said that she was very tired, both physically and mentally, despite the fact that she felt that she was a teacher by her calling, she had to change her profession, and she was going to work in the publishing house. This phenomenon mainly affects teachers of mathematics, physics and chemistry, who need accuracy, concentration, calculations and constant writing of notes. It was easier for the students to adapt to this – High school principal confirms No. 11.
The teachers I spoke with are very concerned that the next school year will be the same as the previous year. “We are aware of the fact that sooner or later hybrid science will be introduced,” “It is not a question of whether this will happen, but when such a decision will be announced.” When asked why they don’t want remote lessons, I usually hear teachers are tired of them. We note that online lessons are not good for students’ psyche in the long run. We want to be here at school for the students – They answer.
There is more and more traffic in the school: parents and students come to bring documents in order to get to the school, as part of the recruitment process. In conversations with them, you can feel that parents and students want the classes to be stable and not far away. I also prefer the tutorials here on the site. I like when something happens, and when there are students in school, there will be some things, it will be more complete and interesting – admits in an interview with RMF FM Dorota Radzikowska, Secretary of Secondary School No. 11 in Warsaw.
Teachers, principals, and other school staff recognize that the new school year, in their view, is an opportunity for a fresh start. The default pages in magazines are still blank. There is nothing on your account yet. In adulthood, we rarely have the opportunity to start something so clean – The principal of Eleventh Secondary School, Mikołaja Reja Małgorzata Wojtysiak, acknowledges. Perhaps this is an opportunity to appreciate the classroom study some people complained about before the pandemic? Maybe benefit from the new experiences we gained while learning from home? – asks a student who is participating in the supplementary recruitment for this school.
The new school year is expected to be a period of great uncertainty, vigilance and readiness to respond to the current situation. School staff expect their facilities to not be what they were before March 2020, and posters reminding masks, distance and hand sanitizing from walls won’t go away soon. Near the entrance doors to the rooms there will be containers with disinfectants at all times. They also add that common sense and experience gained in recent months add to all this. They make the students learn in different classrooms, and they will gather in the corridor, trying to keep as much distance between them as possible by taking breaks in masks. This school year promises to be a hybrid than it used to be when we go back to normal and what appeared last year. I think the mask will always be a school item, like a pen, book, lunch or bell – Says one of the students.
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