Sue, you teach matrics?
I teach Grades 9 and 10
The kids have now been out of the classroom for…
About three weeks. At my school, we took a few days to prepare resources and then quickly transitioned to online teaching, using Google Classroom and Zoom. All of my notes and videos are available to access online at any time for my students.
I know you are very concerned about your students…
Online teaching is worlds apart from face-to-face teaching. I am not worried about the academic progress of my students but rather how they are coping with lockdown. In the school environment, it is easier to have these discussions, while in the virtual classroom, kids seem less eager to chat. I have the sense that parents and the greater community are seeing that school is not solely a place of learning: it is also a safe and nurturing place which cares for the emotional wellbeing of every student.
Has this been an adjustment, for you?
This has been a steep learning curve. It’s also been really exciting as we learn to use more programs and re-invent the way we teach. You have to be flexible and adapt the work accordingly. I am also part of an Israeli Partnership, and I have been fortunate enough to receive additional tips, training and resources. Their philosophy is to add in the fun aspect, and not stick as closely to the curriculum and standards that we may have in the classroom. Going forward, I hope to experiment more to make my online lessons creative and interactive.
And for them?
Yes. The kids are tech-savvy, but they miss their friends and the social aspect. I know that my boys are missing their daily volleyball tournaments!
How is it going?
It is going really well. Each Zoom lesson feels more polished as I gain confidence. The students have been gracious if I’ve fumbled and there’s only been a drop of naughtiness (more is encouraged!)
Is there a silver lining?
This is the way the world is moving – with a much heavier reliance on distance learning and online courses. Students have taken much more responsibility for their learning, and they can work at their own pace. Hopefully, our skillset as teachers will continue to develop, and we can utilise inventive strategies post-lockdown.
What about the Matrics of 2020?
I do feel for the Matrics of 2020 as this has proven to be a very disruptive year, and may continue to be. In the months ahead, they will need to adapt to weekend classes or tests to make up for lost time.