KENDALL O’SULLIVAN – HEALTH & HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND VCAL TEACHER
What are the biggest challenges for you teaching from home?
I miss having immediate face-to-face contact with students and seeing their reactions—not being able to notice the subtle changes in students’ behaviours or attitudes which is much easier in a classroom. It means there’s a longer response time in dealing with any issues they may be experiencing, whether academic, mental, physical or social.
What do you like about teaching from home? What has surprised you?
I don’t think I’m the only one who has enjoyed teaching in track pants and slippers and being surrounded by family and pets. I’ve enjoyed seeing the students develop their independence—being able to work on their own and complete the work that we set. I acknowledge the pressures that many students are facing at home during remote learning and I’m very proud of the resilience they have demonstrated.
Have you got a favourite place at home to work?
I live in a two-story house and I like working upstairs in the living area. There is a big window which allows lots of natural light and warmth in. I can set up all my books and computer and leave it in the one area.
What’s your iso exercise of choice?
I enjoy taking my Cavoodle for a walk each afternoon. We walk around the block as she is an old dog and that’s as far as she can go. I have recently purchased a bike and am enjoying getting out on the local trails and bush tracks. A weekly Pilates session via zoom helps to stretch out my muscles.
Any funny, wonderful or unexpected things that have happened as a result of teaching from home?
I’ve heard parents/carers in the background of Google Meets session ask,“any dirty dishes, or clothes?” as they’re about to start the dishwasher or put on a load of washing.
What are you looking forward to about being back on campus?
I’m looking forward to seeing students and staff and getting back to a more structured routine. I’m also looking forward to stepping away from my pantry, as over-snacking has been an issue for me.
What’s something you do to completely switch off from teaching?
During isolation I’ve been able to spend a bit more time in the kitchen where I’ve trialled and tested a few new recipes. There have been three family birthdays over the isolation period, so I’ve made three birthday cakes.
Virtual catch ups with friends has kept me connected and away from the emails and compass. Traditionally I switch off by settling into the couch or travelling to the MCG to watch the mighty Richmond tigers—can’t wait to have footy back.
Anything you’d like to say to the rest of the BSSC community during lockdown?
The end of remote learning is in sight, a school return date has been set, and we have worked very hard as a community to get to this point. Please continue to social distance and practice good hygiene.
I’ve discussed with my students how the skills they’ve learnt during this time will be so valuable. Many will go on to further education or training and may study online. This experience sets them up for the future.
Thank you to parents and carers who have supported both students and staff during this time.