With the school’s closure and having to work from home, it has been a challenge for all the staff including teachers, TA’s, admin and HR, as well as the parents and students at home. We have all had to adjust to the new normal, finding a way to rediscover how to learn and teach away from the school environment. It has been an exciting journey discovering the advantages and disadvantages of virtual learning; what is available to us as teaching staff, and how do we develop it to best suit us and our students? This was something completely new to us all. There has been a huge re-adjustment moving from the familiarity of a classroom to the completely unfamiliar world of online learning.
The British School of Tashkent had preparations in place and were able to furnish us with all the necessary resources, including google classroom and the virtual classroom, Zoom. This has enabled us to teach all the children in one safe environment, giving them the opportunity to interact with each other. We were able to avail various educational websites for our individual need’s, which I personally found very useful for my English Additional Language classes with my students, and our EAL co-ordinator, Deborah ensured we all had the necessary skills to effectively teach remotely. This consisted of workshops on online learning, giving us the opportunity to develop and exercise our knowledge on these systems and to explore our own google classrooms.
The advantages of online learning during the unusual circumstances caused by Covid-19, ensured both the staff and the pupils remained safe and well. This global event was unprecedented and needed unique solutions.
However, a disadvantage to many of us is the lack of face-to-face communications and the individual support from our colleagues to the children we teach. I believe it was an adjustment for the teachers and TA’s to develop new and creative ideas to deliver a programme of teaching for our young students. From my perspective, the personal development that I have achieved while using online learning has been very positive and engaging.
I have had the opportunity to work alongside my teacher, Ms Gulnoza who has been working diligently to make sure all our students have every advantage during this time, and we have been able to work together through Zoom to achieve a high standard of learning for our students. I have learned so much these past two months, having been supported by my colleagues through virtual learning, being a support to my teacher and enhancing my own individual teaching.