On the 6 January the UK entered its third national lockdown. With schools closing their doors to pupils, parents across the country were once again asked to pick up the chalks and set up makeshift classrooms on the dining room table.
“Parental pressure and guilt are difficult enough without this additional challenge of home-schooling. It is easier said than done but try to remind yourself that you are doing a great job and don’t be too hard on yourself” – Kate, Cadent employee and home-school teacher
Kate is a mother of two young children, Leo aged 6 and Joel aged 3. Normally based from our Hinkley depot, the Customer Interface Specialist is responsible for delivering quality customer service to customers and communities across the gas network.
“It didn’t come as a surprise as it had been much debated in the media however, I was concerned about the challenges this would present to us as a family and the juggle of full-time work and school commitments”
A recent email from Cadent CEO Steve Fraser to all 5,000 employees made it clear that the employer understood the importance of being flexible and to make sure that time was taken out of the day to support home learning and wellbeing.
Kate said: “Cadent have ensured staff feel supported and have provided regular guidance and updates. Everyone understands this is a challenging time for all, not just parents with children at home. I feel Cadent employees have demonstrated flexibility during this pandemic and productivity has not been impacted”
Kate has also learnt some valuable lessons this time round, including the importance of taking a break.
“It’s so important to step away from the ‘workplace’ and either moving to another room in the house, going for a walk or a short drive. The Summer was easier for this as it encouraged us to get outside but it is equally important in the Winter months.
Kate added: “It’s important to remember that we are not qualified teachers and are learning ourselves. Also speak up, ask the school for support and advice and equally speak to your colleagues and management if you are feeling overwhelmed”
When asked what she was most grateful for Kate said:
“I will never doubt my multitasking ability! Flipping from teacher mode, to Mum mode to professional work mode throughout the day. I try to remain positive, look forward and remember that in years to come we will look back and remind ourselves of the challenge we overcame. Whatever your situation, we should all feel a sense of pride”
With the recent announcement that school closures are set to continue until March, we’re giving the Cadent team a platform to share their experience of working and teaching. More case studies in this ‘home schooling’ series are available here.