We all knew that going into school after a six month break would not look normal. Schools and teachers are all doing their best to make things run smoothly, even when there’s an imminent risk of a class being randomly eliminated. It’s like coronavirus is playing a pac-man video game to destroy the education system completely. With weapons of hand sanitisers and one way systems, it looks like schools are putting up a good fight.
Although you may not have had to self- isolate at home, the thought doesn’t seem as scary as before. Hopefully, by now, you have seen many procedures to make a potential quarantine at home easier. Luckily technology has rapidly advanced from the last time schools have had to close a century ago. It’s promising to see an abundance of lesson resources to help students who are self-isolating readily available online if needs be. This can be beneficial even if you are not working from home, for example, lesson powerpoint being uploaded onto your online portal for use in your revision.
With the cold- season fast approaching, communicating with school online and doing independent work at home may not seem as daunting. If you aren't well enough (remember, your priority should be drinking gallons of tea in bed to get better) it’s important to keep up a dialogue with school. It’s easy to get confused with what work you’re expected to do, so don’t hesitate to ask friends from a lesson or even drop an email to your teacher. During lesson times, try to check in with teachers through an email or otherwise to make sure you have a rough idea of what to work on at home. If you’re isolating at home and not ill, keeping a routine to your schedule is always helpful to stay on top of any lessons you may have missed. It can be easy to get sucked into the void of Netflix instead of textbook exercises, but it really will help in the long term!
If you feel well enough, you can try to keep in touch with friends. After what seemed like a decade of being unable to meet up, I’m sure we all know how important it is just to have a catchup over a lunch time video call or otherwise. Being in a room all day may very well make you feel down or a bit lonely, so even just a phone call can cheer you up. With limited face-to-face communication for over six months, sad as it is, school is probably the centre of our social life now!
Most school’s bubble into year groups, which hopefully gives some sense of normality. Sitting next to friends in class means that many of us can get the discussions we missed over lockdown. It’s certainly helping me to appreciate the things we used to overlook before, and highlights how important interactive teaching in a classroom is for learning. Although there is more emphasis on screens and technology than before lockdown, it’s certainly less than being hunched over a device for hours on end during quarantine. If you do have to self-isolate, just remember that your recovery is priority, and your work should fit around that.
Whilst staying on top of schoolwork is crucial, so is our physical and mental health. Don’t put much pressure on yourself, focus on the work at the moment by using time efficiently. If you notice you haven’t been given much subject work and have free time, then it may be a good idea to turn your attention to revising previous topics. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a three hour revision session, try to do little bits of work where you can. Even fifteen minutes of a topic you're a bit rusty on will boost your long term memory.
Although this whole remote learning business can be a bit frustrating, make sure to keep calm and on top of work as much as you can. Get in contact with teachers and friends to make school learning as interactive and sociable as possible, whether from home or the classroom.
ANISHA MINOCHA is a sixth form student from Manchester, hoping to study English Literature and Spanish at university. She is a passionate writer and poet whose work has been published in anthologies, magazines, blogs and won competitions. Contributing to Sink Magazine, she is keen to utilize the voice of young people and share work through her creative writing blog. As a climate activist, she has combined her love for words and the planet in a performance of spoken word at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 'Letters to the Earth'. She also co-runs Young Friends of the Earth: Manchester and has organised workshops, participated in panels and spoken at Manchester Cathedral.
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