Today on our Teacher Spotlight we have Louise Tansley (@miss_lvt_r1), a Reception & Year One Teacher talking about her experience of lockdown and having to go online, how did she adapt to her new virtual classroom?
'I think like most, I had lulled myself into a bit of denial about the current lockdown. I felt that there had been so much resistance against closing schools that it just was not going to happen, that when it did, I was a bit shell shocked. How was I going to manage to teach the two youngest year groups effectively online? How would I engage them whilst still ensuring good curriculum coverage? How would I make sure that they were still getting access to a ‘continuous provision’ style environment which is so important to their learning? My mind was whirling with hows, whys and what ifs but I took solace in the fact that every single teacher up and down the country was probably feeling exactly the same and we would do as we always have done – do the absolute best for the children in our care.
So after a *mild* panic and quite literally picking up my planning and throwing it onto the fire, I decided to just go for it. For me, continuous provision is absolutely key to everything that I do with my reception and year one class. Learning through play is the most valuable tool when teaching our youngest learners and I needed to figure out a way to bring this to them whilst at home. So I got my tripod out and I started filming. Story time, fitness challenges, bake along sessions, scavenger hunts, creative tasks using household objects, science experiments…you name it, I’ve either given it a go or it is on my to-do list. I have completely ‘got over’ being embarrassed or self-conscious and I am just pretending that I’m in the classroom with the children and giving them a fun learning environment. CBeebies I’m ready for my presenting job!
I am absolutely in awe of how well they have all adapted to their new virtual classroom. Every morning I am greeted with their happy faces on zoom; reading to me in phonics, explaining their reasoning to me in maths and showcasing all of the fabulous vocabulary that we have been collecting in literacy. The mornings are for our whole class learning – live! And boy is that fun. I cannot tell you how many cat waves, Frozen dolls and lego contraptions I have seen along the way, ‘Sweetheart you’re on mute, I can’t hear you’ has become my most said phrase, and show and tell has turned into the highlight of my day!
It is different but it is good. Do not get me wrong, I cannot wait to be back in the classroom with all my little ones back together, battling to be heard over the noise and using the phrase ‘Choose it, use it, put it away’ 978,456 times each day. BUT…this format isn’t anywhere near as bad as I initially thought. We are all making the best of a bad situation and will continue to do so for as long as we need to. But for now I better sign off here, I’ve got a lego tricky words segment to film!'
Just like Louise, we'd love to hear your experience of lockdown and home-schooling, get in touch with us today if you'd like to feature on our blog.