What are the biggest challenges for you teaching from home?
There have been a few challenges to overcome, the biggest is probably trying to balance helping my own boys with their work and giving as much attention to my students as I can. My boys lost out a bit the first week or so, but as a household we have come up with ways to make it work, including roping in our ex-teacher relatives to video conference with the boys to help them with their school work.
What do you like about teaching from home? What has surprised you?
I have enjoyed being able to eat lunch with my family and find the time to stop and have a coffee break. I have enjoyed creating video technique tutorials as it gives me a chance to have a play and do something creative. And I really enjoyed using this as an excuse to buy myself a new drawing tablet—it makes correction so much easier. I have been really surprised by how quickly and how well the majority of students and teachers have adjusted to this method of education. I have been especially impressed with the quality of work coming from my Year 11 Photography class and the creative ways they are completing their folios without all the resources usually available to them. As hard as it is, it’s an important skill in art to work with what’s available and make the most of it in creative ways and students are really rising to the challenge.
Have you got a favourite place at home to work?
I have set up my studio as my home office. I was a bit sad letting work encroach on my creative space, but it’s a quiet room and everything I need is close by. With four of us needing work spaces and lots of video conferencing going on, choices are limited.
What’s your iso exercise of choice?
This has been another highlight of working from home. We are lucky that our home backs onto the bush, so every lunchtime I’m out bushwalking. I’ve been rained on a few times but it’s so worth it. We have also been dancing around the dining room as a family, to get the kids moving at break times. We taught them the Time Warp last week.
Any funny, unexpected things that have happened as a result of teaching from home?
I’ve been a bit miffed (but also quite relieved) that there have been no video conferencing faux pas to have a giggle at.
What do you miss most about physically going to school?
I miss seeing all my students and the arts staff. I miss flicking through folios and sharing ideas and techniques. I miss the immediacy of face to face teaching and the incidental learning that happens so often. I miss working with students in the darkroom and studio.
What’s something you do to completely switch off from teaching?
This has been one of the harder aspects of working from home. I need more practice in switching off from teaching. Audio books are a good distraction.
Anything you’d like to say to the rest of the BSSC community during lockdown?
Well done, hang in there and ask for help when you need it. We may all be in the same storm, but each of our boats are very different. Don’t feel bad if you are not coping as well as the next person, your boat might have an extra hole.