HELEN ATTRILL – VISUAL ARTS TEACHER
What are the biggest challenges for you teaching from home?
Domestic distractions and getting all my students to attend all classes!
What do you like about teaching from home? What has surprised you?
I love the flexibility of being able to duck out the back and visit my vegetable garden, or do a quick walk around the local cemetery and then make up for lost time with work at night. I have found that some students have really taken to the remote learning process and I can easily give them feedback on their uploaded images via Google Drive, something I hadn’t tried before.
Have you got a favourite place at home to work?
My ‘home office’ is also a spare room which I had painted in warm colours inspired by a trip to Spain in 2003. Behind me is a painting by Dr Karen Annett Thomas. I wish there was more natural light from the window however. My cat, Honey, has decided to adopt the spare bed as the location for both her morning and afternoon naps so I’m never alone.
What’s your ISO exercise of choice?
I have made an effort to keep fit during iso, both before and after classes. I jump on YouTube and try out all sorts of online exercise classes, such as Body Balance (yoga), Body Pump (weights), Body Combat (martial arts to music) and tabata. One of the instructors for a class I’ve just started ‘attending’ is Polish; I have learnt the Polish word for pushups is pompki, which will be very useful when I travel to Poland.
Any funny, wonderful or unexpected things that have happened as a result of teaching from home?
I think we have learnt to work smarter this way. Remote meetings for staff in Winter are the way to go!
What are you looking forward to about being back on campus?
Watching my Year 12 students enthusiastically storming into the class room and getting stuck into their art on a Friday afternoon; the throw-offs (students competing on the pottery wheels) and general camaraderie and hands-on nature of Studio Arts classes; and, of course, the coffee catch ups and veggie swapping with the arts staff, especially my office buddy Andy Jones.
What’s something you do to completely switch off from teaching?
Apart from pompki with a Polish tabata instructor (see above), walking through the cemetery and native bushland near my house.
Anything you’d like to say to the rest of the BSSC community during lockdown?
Remote Learning might seem difficult to start with, but it’s the perfect preparation for the University Study environment, where you need to be self-directed. Connect with your friends and others when you feel flat, and go for a walk daily; you’ll see things in a new light.