Can I come to school tomorrow? Is an arts-based observation project that explores the isolating effect of teaching without pupils, and a tribute to all of the dedicated, creative, and selfless teachers and schools of the ‘virtual frontline’. Read about it and find out how to get involved.
GIDEON LEVENTHALL-AIRLEY PROJECT
Things have changed a lot over the last 12 months.
“Can I come to school tomorrow?”
…… appealed a 12-year old girl to her teacher managing a group of key worker high school pupils. In that one moment encapsulated the ‘upside-down’ experience of lockdown-learning and the disjointed experience that [all] boys and girls from age 5 to 18 [and in university too] have been going through for these last 11 months – they want to be in school, with their friends and they want to learn. And while schools, classrooms, lunch halls, playgrounds, and corridors have emptied of their regular noise, chatter, and excitement that pupils bring, [many] teachers have remained in schools, broadcasting lessons from that same void, day after day. This is a unique moment in education and in visual history that will not be repeated.
This project presents the classroom look in the delivery of this new ‘virtual’ education, the isolating effects of teaching without pupils, the challenges for teachers enthusing and engaging with pupils, and a unique opportunity to show the variety of classrooms of the 21st century. Importantly, this is also a tribute to all the hardworking, dedicated, creative, and selfless teachers and schools on the ‘virtual’ front-line, demonstrating that for teachers, this is more than a job. The absence or void has also affected them too in profound deep-reaching ways.
This is an arts-based observation project and we fully expect it to change as time goes on. All the photos have been taken by teachers in their classrooms.
Moving Forward – Get Involved
We invite classroom teachers, lecturers, and other Education and Lifelong Learning professionals to share a few photographs of their experiences of “Teaching” in this time of “Locked Teaching” and social isolation. This is open for interpretation in any way that individuals understand the brief. A few photographs will be enough and no more than 20. There is no such thing as a bad picture and any photographic equipment at hand can be used. For most people, this will be their phone. Many people will already have these pictures on their phones as A personal record. We would love teachers to share them with each other.
We are actively creating a visual photographic record (archive) and are looking for submissions from teachers, tutors, schools, training centres, and education providers across the UK. This is an artistic photographic record, not a professional judgement space. No accompanying text of explanation is required. Submissions are entirely voluntary.
You can make a submission by email here.
“While we’ve all become accustomed to classes of 20-30 pupils accessing learning via Zoom and MS-Teams and GoogleClassroom, these photographs reveal what goes on behind the computer screen; the creative and dynamic effort made by teachers on the new ‘virtual frontline’, maintaining engagement and learning for all”
“This pandemic has impacted upon the world of teachers, too, and this observation project from teachers delivering lessons from 8 different [English] schools reflects the dedication and perseverance of all educators whether pupils are in the classroom or not.”
“This pandemic has seen teachers at King David High School, and across all schools, seek out new skills and techniques, exchange up to the minute methods for maintaining access to high-quality learning and engagement for all.”
This project aims to provide a legacy visual resource for teachers and pupils to discuss their experiences of Learning in Isolation, either during periods of isolation or as a memory going forward.