RACHEL QUILLINAN – MEDIA TEACHER
What are the biggest challenges for you teaching from home?
The blurred lines between work and home sometimes make it tricky to switch off. I’m getting better at it as we go. As a teacher, it’s challenging not to see students face to face.
What do you like about teaching from home?
Teaching from home is really challenging, but I’ve enjoyed the experience of the virtual classroom; the willingness of students to share their experiences of remote learning, has created a strong sense of unity. The first week saw a real sense of engagement. Students were showing up to google meets, curious of how the learning environment would evolve. There was a sense of excitement in allowing students freedom to work from home on the production outcome, and then an overwhelming response, students sharing their images with the class through an online gallery. The photographic works were honest and playful encounters of students current surroundings, from stunning landscape shots, portraits of siblings, even Lego and toys were captured and celebrated through ‘the lockdown lens’. Using the camera lens to document our life in iso has been cathartic and has tied us together in a most unique and creative way.
What has surprised you?
Students’ resourcefulness in adapting to their new work environment. Students have mostly used their phones to complete production tasks, investigating how their phone cameras can achieve special effects. I’ve observed how technology and an appreciation of our natural environment have merged.
Have you got a favourite place at home to work?
I’ve set up a desk in the living area, where there is a lot of natural light. I’m not that keen on working from the study as I like to avoid sitting close to the modem and it feels like more of a storage room. I’ve come out into the living area where my kids are not far from me if they need a hand with their schoolwork.
What’s your iso exercise of choice?
Walking the dog. The kids and I tried some YouTube dance exercises in week one—that didn’t last.
Any funny, wonderful or unexpected things that have happened as a result of teaching from home?
Funny? I guess the dog barking, or the coughing fit I had during week two in one of my Google Meets. I had to ‘step out’ of the room to grab a glass of water. When I returned, all the students were still there. It was cringe worthy to watch back, but impressive that the students just waited with patience.
What are you looking forward to about being back on campus?
To see my students and colleagues again! To chat about and share our various experiences encountered during remote learning. I have really missed the human interaction, and while I’ve had contact with students, I’ve not spoken with so many of my colleagues, only those who work in my learning area. Just to be together again will bring back some normalcy.
What’s something you do to completely switch off from teaching?
I like to call my sister and my dad. Hearing their stories about their day quickly takes me out of work mode.
Anything you’d like to say to the rest of the BSSC community during lockdown?
We will be back together soon! My advice for how to function in the meantime: make lists; tick off the tasks as you go; get good sleep; be kind to each other.