Di Wang – Confucius Classroom teacher
What are the biggest challenges for you teaching from home?
The biggest challenge for me is probably to alter the curriculum, particularly teaching contents and teaching plans, to cater for different students’ learning needs in the remote teaching mode. We are modifying and updating teaching content and sequences every week based on students’ data and feedback. Another challenge for me is to find relevant learning apps and online platforms to engage students in learning. These are not only challenges, but also great opportunities for us to reflect and make progress.
What is the toughest of your subjects to teach remotely?
It must be teaching Chinese characters. Chinese characters are very different from alphabetic writing. It is a pictographic writing based on strokes. Therefore, without being able to physically present the characters and ask students to practise writing on the board, teaching characters remotely involves more explanations and more scaffolding class activities. It is certainly challenging to give clear and essential instructions on the characters learning materials and to maintain students’ engagement online.
What do you like about teaching from home?
I have learnt more IT skills and some useful online platforms that I didn’t have enough time to work on in the past. This inspires me to make some changes in the future lessons to engage students more. Also, I feel that I am an Internet celebrity when I film instructional videos or have live session with students. This feeling makes the remote teaching experience more interesting.
Have you got a favourite place at home to work?
I have a work desk in my room beside the bookshelf. It is quite convenient for me to reach everything I need for work. I enjoy the beautiful garden view outside that I can see from the window. I work in the lounge room when I have live sessions with students because there is more space.
What’s your iso exercise of choice?
I have got a new yoga mat for my isolation exercise. I usually follow the YouTube channel to do some HIIT or a Zumba workout. Sometimes I invite my friends to do the exercise with me via Zoom or Wechat, which makes this experience more fun. Occasionally I go for a walk or jogging to enjoy fresh air and sunshine.
Any funny, unexpected, or wonderful things that have happened as a result of teaching from home?
One of my colleagues packed fresh veggies from her garden and left it in front of her house for me to pick up without any face-to-face contact, which is really lovely. Another friend delivered my favourite food to me in front of my door. All those wonderful moments make me feel warm and connected. I do find the quarantine lifestyle gives people more time to reflect and think deeply. More kindness has been emerging through this challenging period. I am very grateful to see people showing their kindness with their own ways during the pandemic time.
What do you miss most about physically going to school?
I miss the big smiles of students and colleagues. I miss the interactions in the class with students, face-to-face conversations and jokes all around in the office as well.
What’s something you do to completely switch off from teaching?
Painting can help me switch off from work. I use my laptop and smartphone a lot during this time. A bit of painting after work or on the weekend can help me put down these electronic devices and enjoy my own creative time. Gardening is a new hobby I’ve particularly developed during isolation. It is a good way to distract me from working.
Anything you’d like to say to the rest of the BSSC community during lockdown?
Tough times never last, tough people do. We are all in this together. Stay safe and get connected. I hope to see you all soon. Take care, everyone.