Teacher’s Corner: About Home Office and Assorted People you Have to Deal With

Schools here were closed about two months ago on a Friday. Thursday night the powers that be proclaimed they would stay open, driving to work on Friday morning I heard that we were closing on the news. Nevermind that the official announcement only came at 12:00 o’clock, we spent the whole morning frantically trying to put together lesson plans, material, information etc., while halve our kids hadn’t even come that morning anyway.

Since then we’ve been trying with more or less success to teach our kids remotely (not easy when some of them don’t even have a smartphone) and keep in contact. Which means a lot of communication. Believe me, I’ve never been as busy and with normal school days disbanded, there seems to be no point at which your work actually stops. All of this requires effort on all sides. These are just a few tales of how not to.


Informing schools of your current phone number or even address is overrated. Complain loudly about not having been contacted once you bother to call school.

Call after two months of closure to inform us that your kid didn’t get the worksheets on the last day of classes (I do remember that I sent him home early. He’d threatened to beat me).

Calling back is overrated as well. Feel neglected at the same time.


Play dumb. If you’re lucky your parents will believe you. Like when you’re supposed to hand in your work via WhatsApp and your mum texts the teacher on WhatsApp, telling her that the poor lad couldn’t find the teacher on WhatsApp.

The worksheet that is uploaded for your group has a different class label. Claim you had no idea that you were supposed to do that, even though it was uploaded under “Lessons for class XYZ”


You’ve got quite some health conditions but you’d never say “can I please not have to come in for the risky work. Let your colleagues worry and arrange schedules around you.

Here I need to fill in a bit of background. A colleague, let’s call them L, has been on sick leave for quite a while now and they still will be for a time to come. They were the tutor of a very difficult class, a situation that wasn’t improved by the long absence of their main teacher. Said colleague was the German and English teacher and just before Corona hit we had finally put up a plan which colleagues were supposed to teach them for the rest of the year. I’m not one of them because I’m not a regular teacher, but with the colleagues not having met the class yet, I took over during the last weeks. It was little work for German because they’re doing a reading diary, and more for English. Now that we’re partially up again I have a lot on my plate already, and now the reading diaries have to be handed in and evaluated (there won’t be grades, but there should at east be feedback), so I called the colleague who was supposed to take over the class in German. They are still in home office with no actual class, because they are very vulnerable and have enough preexisting conditions for three more people to stay at home. If I bring them the diaries, could they please evaluate them? “Sure, of course”, they generously said. “Just drop them off”. “Oh, and by the way, who’s actually their German teacher?”

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