Most disastrous/hilarious session online?
Pretty much every session with 20 Grade 1 students has been a mixture of hilarious and disastrous. I would say asking the kids to come up with their own jokes was a huge mistake. None of the jokes made sense except some off colour ones, which some kids had overheard their parents tell.
What did you find most challenging about the new format?
The most challenging part of working from home has been the lack of connection to students, which is the core reason people would choose to become teachers. When people talk about working from home, they usually mean doing what they would normally do at work, from home. Teaching from home has meant sending a lot of emails, talking to parents, making videos and attending WebEx meetings. But very little teaching. At least not face-to-face teaching, which means that parents have had to take up the slack which has been a huge adjustment for teachers, students and parents.
Was there anything that worked really well remotely that you will try to integrate into the physical classroom?
I think that parents’ understanding of how teachers cover content is very useful. Parents are much more likely to help their children with homework and gaps in their knowledge if they have seen videos of teachers explaining lessons.
What are you most excited about for the return to school?
How happy the kids will be to see their friends and reconnect with normality. Actually, I think that is probably the same for me and everybody else in the world too.
What tips do you have for parents and students returning to school?
To relax and enjoy returning as much as possible. I think this whole experience has given us a lot of perspective and we should enjoy each other’s company for as long as possible. Only a month until holidays!