Angie Pollock – English teacher

What are the biggest challenges for you teaching from home?

Not seeing my students in person is the biggest challenge. Our Google Meet sessions tend to be one way (me talking, students listening) and I miss the incidental interaction. I also miss my colleagues—even though we are in contact through chat rooms throughout the day.

What is the toughest thing about teaching English remotely?

A large part of learning in English requires discussion as we all interpret texts differently. Having collaboration through on-line tools is adequate, but there’s nothing like a rich conversation in small groups or as a whole class.

What do you like about teaching from home?

I’m very comfortable and warm. I don’t need to pack my lunch and can pop out to the garden for a cuppa if I’m experiencing screen-fatigue. I’ve also enjoyed spending the whole day with my dog, Pippy. The individual chats I’ve had with students in the ‘google meet’ space or on the phone have been really enjoyable. Some students have really risen to the occasion and are doing some fabulous work.

Have you got a favourite place at home to work?

Yes, we have a study and the wardrobe sliding doors have been painted with blackboard chalk. I can write key ideas on these and they look great!

What’s your iso exercise of choice?

I walk and run. I’ve hardly missed a day as I need to go outside at the end of the day. It helps clear my head.

Any funny, unexpected, or wonderful things that have happened as a result of teaching from home?

I have been moved by how kind the BSSC community is. Colleagues regularly check up on each other and students let you know that they understand the pressure teachers are under. There has also been such a drive to provide students with everything they need when isolated—some of this is not related to class work. This is not unexpected, but is truly wonderful.

What do you miss most about physically going to school?

I miss students and colleagues, but I also miss the physicality of the classroom. It is my happy place. It’s also much better for me, not to be 10 steps away from the pantry!

What’s something you do to completely switch off from teaching?

I mainly read, binge-watch TV series and chat to friends and family through social media or phone calls.

Anything you’d like to say to the rest of the BSSC community during lockdown?

Let’s remember this time as one where we learnt so much, not just about our subjects, but about how adaptable we can be during a crisis and how we had to depend on ourselves more than ever. We should also be thankful to live in this safe, beautiful city and be a part of a caring school community.