If T.S Eliot’s J. Alfred Prufrock has “measured out [his] life in coffee spoons”, then I’ve measured mine out in school bells. The digital chime of a pupil or colleague entering a Zoom meeting isn’t quite the same.
The current environment emphasises the absent sensory pleasures of a normal school day: the untucked shirt waving a cheery hello as it flashes past, inviting rebuke; the school standard cracking against the flagpole on the Sacred Sod; the identifiable footfall of certain colleagues scooting past my door; the heft of a satchel-full of marking being lugged homeward. We miss them all.
At some point, when we do return, perhaps we might acknowledge the intrinsic value of the sense-experience of a normal KES day: the smell of a freshly-polished parquet floor, pupils skittering across the Parade Ground at break time, a reassuring pat from a colleague at break time.
I hope that, in some small way, we’re able to replicate this digitally. Ultimately, when they leave, boys might not remember many lessons, but I hope they’re imbued with the sundry small things that, collectively, should have made their school days so special.