I was asked, “What are some of the changes in your life you have had to make as a result of adapting to online teaching?”
The biggest change has been in making exercise, movement and eye-rest a very conscious and deliberate thing. Physically speaking, online teaching requires that I sit for long periods of time in front of a computer, so I have to remind myself to get up and move my body, even if it’s just to go to the kitchen to make myself some tea. I also try to do the ‘stare at something at least 6 m away’ every 20 minutes.
The next change I have had to make is to let go of rigid control over my learners. The fact is that if they are not attempting my work at the allocated time period, there is only so much I can do about that. Also, if students are working on another piece of work before my period and are in a state of flow, do I really want to try and force them to stop just so that they can work on my subject? As a teacher, I am supposed to provide structure and instil discipline, but I think there are better and more appropriate ways to do so. Learning, especially online, is not always going to happen at the time I say it is going to happen.
Another change I have made is to increase my time spent on learning how to teach online. Although I am digitally savvy and count myself as a relatively competent face-to-face teacher, I still struggled a lot with online teaching. There’s definitely an art to delivering teaching online and I realised I have a lot of knowledge and skill gaps in that art. Hence, I have embarked on trying to fill those gaps.