Think back to January. It is a new year. The Olympics are on. Maybe you have entered your last year of school or it’s your first day. You’re going to school each day, 5 days a week. Imagine if someone had told you then that in a few weeks, you’ll all be at home. You’ll be learning at home, with parents as new teachers. You won’t be able to see friends or go to the movies, you won’t be able to play sport on the weekend and you won’t even be able to buy more than 1 bag of pasta. You would have laughed in their face and thought how ridiculous.
Fast forward to now … how naïve you were.
The pandemic has changed the lives of many in drastic ways. Whilst one can sit and wallow in all the things that could have been, another can sit and think about how those things that could have been, have brought us to now. To a time where lessons have been learnt and mistakes made. The best part of it all is that it has provided an opportunity to reflect. In reflecting on the chaos that has occurred, students can find lessons and new perspectives that will advance their learning.
Thrust into a new classroom environment without the help and discussion of peers and teachers, you may have been terrified. You had to get used to navigating an online software and completing tasks provided by a funny looking teacher in a 3cm by 3cm square on your laptop screen. In not having the nagging of teachers or the motivation of finishing before the student next to you, you have mastered the art of independence. Take this with you when you leave the gates, for the skill of independence cannot be compared.
This same nagging teacher has not been behind you monitoring the computer screen to ensure students are on topic. It may have been Mum or Dad or someone else invested in your education, watching over your shoulder, but either way, students had to uncover self-discipline. Caving and binging a Netflix series may have been a whole lot easier at home, but if you refrained, then well done. In ensuring your tasks were done and studies were up to date, a sense of self-discipline allowed you to complete the worksheet or assignment and then watch an episode.
This whole idea of online school, whilst it may not have been what you had wished has some secret advantages. Going from learning in a physical classroom to a virtual classroom has no doubt brought issues. But think about what you have learnt. You may have learnt how to navigate online software and experienced the realm of remote study, but most importantly you have learnt the art of perspective. When faced with a problem, this year’s being COVID, there are ways around it, just like with any problem big or small.
Take away these lessons and reflect on your time living through a pandemic. Be present in adjusting to our new ‘normal’ and remain focused on your studies when future adversity decides to pay a visit.