When it first hit us that how we taught and interacted with students was changing online, it was defiantly daunting. How do you gain those connections with students? How do you provide for group and individual practice? How do you ensure a well conducted class? We were given plenty of time to prepare for the classes, lots of materials to help engage with the students but for all of us the first week or so was daunting. The biggest positive was that all the students were like us, they wanted to be taught and were nervous about preforming in front of their parents whilst at home. They were always eager to join with us, through all the technical difficulties and muted students but most of all we learnt about each other. Being taught from home you can interact with what was around you, show them household items or pets that are dear to you and gain a better understanding of how their home situations are and how best to prepare and perform in your classes.
Once we got the go ahead to return to in person classes we were delighted! One term of online class had shown us the loss of physical interaction was as important to us as the students. Returning to the centers and seeing our co-teachers again in person was another communication barrier brought down. When they arrived for their lessons they were just as excited as we were to be returning to a familiar environment, just as engaged in their lessons as we were and all happy for our lives to return to normal.
Of course, there are measures we must take to ensure the virus does not return. We must wear a mask during work, use disinfectant on our hands and surfaces between lessons, use a Covid-19 tracing app to make sure we know who is in the center for the classes, but all of this is worth it for us to get back in and teach in person with the students again.
Would I mind going back to teaching online again? Not too much but I would be far happier teaching in person.