Greetings, readers! Welcome to the fifth entry in my blog series, “Studies in Self-Isolation”, where I offer a student perspective on everything from e-learning to coping with the stress surrounding the pandemic. It’s been over two months since school was in session before the March Break and about eight weeks of this lockdown living. I hope you’ve adjusted adequately to the situation and are managing to “keep on keeping on”!
This long weekend normally marks a much-awaited trip up to Parry Sound, where a friend’s cottage is and where we would have our annual exam preparation weekend together. Naturally, memories of lake-side fun are brought back with a tinge of bittersweetness, but for now, we’re keeping our spirits up through daily Facetime calls that can last upwards of three hours and looking forward to next year when we can bring the tradition back into action.
Remote learning is undoubtedly proving to be a hefty challenge for all parties involved, but the unfamiliarity and discomfort of it all have been greatly alleviated through our teachers’ continued efforts and initiatives that have made remote learning a little bit more bearable and a little bit more fun. I’ve spoken to a couple of friends and have compiled some examples of things that teachers have been doing that we have greatly appreciated:
- Making up for a lost “language week” excursion to taste French pastries by bringing croissants and other patisserie favourites straight to students’ doorsteps.
- Offering students a chance to pick up or get delivery of art supplies for an engaging project that allows us to continue to expand our knowledge of materials even when we aren’t in the art classroom.
- Changing up project styles as allowing for more freedom in final project topics and presentation styles – Flipgrids have become a staple of my English class, being used to describe an analysis of Victor LaValle’s graphic novel Destroyer and Alex Garland’s film Ex Machina. The platform was also used in art class for us to share our independent projects with our classmates.
- Providing extra help on Google Meet during “office hours.”
- Continuing with attendance questions asked at the start of classes – these light-hearted questions (“What would you ask a genie?” “What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?”) have been great to promote engagement and allow us to connect with our teachers and classmates when we don’t feel all that connected.
- Offering song recommendations every day that there’s a lesson.
- Organizing a band get-together in lieu of the Spring Concert which would have been held on Thursday, May 14th.
- Holding fun “show and tell” and “bring your pet to class” sessions over Google Meet to add some amusement and entertainment to the rather monotonous self-quarantine routine.
A colossal thank you is extended to all teachers who have been doing their utmost to help students get through these times by mixing it up and providing additional support! That brings my fifth “self-isolation” blog post to an end – I hope you’ve been enjoying and keeping up with the series!
See you next time,