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The Pandemic and Me: Errin Connelly.

Happy Friday honeys! Can you believe we have reached our second-last installment of The Pandemic and Me?! This week we are chatting to the wonderful Errin Connelly, a newly qualified English teacher based in London who has worked incredibly hard during the past year to ensure her students have had as best an educational experience as possible, given the crazy circumstances. She chats to us about all the challenges she has faced within her profession and the ways she has dealt with stress during this (extremely) trying year.

NAME: Errin Connelly


JOB: Teacher of English

Hey there! Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do for work?

I work at a wonderful community school, located in leafy West London, where I teach English to secondary school students - ranging in ages 11-18. 

What have you found most challenging in the past year?

Definitely the 'all work, no play' approach to life that we've all had to channel- particularly as I have been going to work, for the most part of this academic year, as normal. That Friday feeling isn't quite the same without knowing I'll be sipping a pint in a pub come 3:30pm!

What’s your life motto?

After winter, must come spring (thank you, Ms Lauryn Hill). 

How has Covid-19 changed your outlook on life?

If I'm honest, my outlook on life hasn't necessarily changed; I've always tried to be someone who looks for the silver linings, no matter what shitty situation life throws at you, so I would argue Covid-19 has forced me to do that even more so. Accentuated, rather than changed, my outlook on life has this ol' Coronacoaster!

How have you been keeping upbeat and positive during this period?

I truly believe my headspace would have hit rock bottom without going into work. Being a teacher has allowed me to 'socialise' in terms of nattering on with colleagues, somewhere outside of my own house (albeit a classroom), which has, in turn, provided me with a platform for ironing out my thoughts and feelings at the worst of times. Even if I have been moaning about a student who has wound me up, being able to do this in the flesh with another human - not via a computer screen - has kept me sane. 
I'm also eternally grateful for all my kiddies, who genuinely crack me up on a daily basis in the classroom. In addition to their wit/low-level bullying - a northerner teaching English in the big smoke comes hand-in-hand with getting taken the mickey out of - students come to you when they need picking up, which has forced me to keep upbeat and positive throughout this crazy time. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in life and/or in the past year?

Do. Not. Take. Things. Lying. Down. 
That is all. 

What 3 things do you look forward to doing most once we are in a safe position to do so?

1. Drinking multiple Pina coladas for breakfast on a beach 
2. Listening to live music in a big field surrounding by my nearest and dearest 
3. Squeezing those I haven't been able to for over a year 🤯

How have you practiced self care/self love during this difficult time?

Lots of cooking! I have always loved knowing my way around the kitchen (shout out to my chef of a father), but this has really been my daily downtime during the pandemic. I genuinely look forward to getting in from work, popping on some tunes, and sipping a glass of vino whilst whipping up a storm for my housemates and I. I think they've been happy about it, too. 

If you were one of our soap bars, which would you be and why?

Coconut - trying to wish those Pina coladas into existence! 

Here’s your chance to give a shoutout to someone who has gotten you through the past few months! What is their name and how have they helped you?

My superhero of a mother, Clare Davey. She's battled chemotherapy and a multitude of other obstacles over the course of the pandemic, but has never failed to amaze me and everyone around her with utter strength and resilience. I am one lucky lady to have you as my mum, that's for sure.