What are the biggest challenges for you teaching from home?
As a teacher and a Student Engagement Coordinator, I’ve found the most challenging thing to be finding a work/life balance. Both teaching and supporting students are jobs that have no real ‘end’. There is always more you could do. It’s about learning to take care of myself too, and knowing when to stop, as it’s easy at home to sneak in and do a little bit more. I keep reminding myself that you ‘can’t pour from an empty cup’ and I need to keep myself healthy and well if I’m going to be able to support students.
What do you like about teaching from home? What has surprised you?
I can’t deny that I love being able to have my dogs with me while I work! I’ve found that I have more time and less disruptions from others when working with students who need intensive support. It’s been really nice to give undivided attention to individual students who really need the help.
Have you got a favourite place at home to work?
I already had an office set up at home in one of the spare bedrooms as I’m completing a Masters as well. So it’s been nice to be able to keep everything separate from the rest of my living spaces.
Any funny, unexpected things that have happened as a result of teaching from home?
A student fell off her seat at her desk while in the middle of an online class. We all got a good laugh out of that! I also recorded an entire 1.5 hour video lecture using Powerpoint and the white board, without realising the computer didn’t mirror the image and the text was recorded back-to-front! I did learn how to use movie editing software so I didn’t have to re-record it.
What do you miss most about physically going to school?
There is nothing that can replace the feeling of being in the classroom, teaching students who are keen to learn. I really miss my students, but they’re still just as keen as before and are being amazingly resilient. I’m also missing my work friends deeply, but know how important it is that we do this to reduce the risk of transmission. I also believe that there will be a lot of unforeseen gains that come out of this for students and teachers.
Anything you’d like to say to the rest of the BSSC community during lockdown?
Keep at it, and keep well. The national data is showing reduced daily cases, and this is because we are all staying home and reducing the spread. This is really positive, but don’t get complacent. The virus isn’t gone, it is just moving slower, and we are having a direct impact on the amount and frequency of people who are dying on a daily basis. People often feel helpless in a big crisis, but this is a case where every single person has an effect. Make sure you ask for help if you need it, and remember that just because you can’t see us, doesn’t mean we are not there.