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Covid-19 and after…


COVID-19  : the man or woman behind the mask!!

Well, it looks like we’re going to have to deal with this little poppet for a while to come. After 3 months of lockdown in Spring 2020, then November, then March 2021 again, which we all found a bit (very) frustrating, to put it mildly, (we were 7-8 people, family members, at home all the time, with nowhere to go except the usual dog walking routes…) we all breathed a sigh of relief when the powers that be decreed that we could all come out and play once more in May last year.

I was teaching exclusively online since March 2020 because I am ‘une personne vulnérable’ being diabetic, so my doctor and my husband both threatened me with ‘medical’ and  ’legal’ divorce if I did not heed their advice. It has been the weirdest year of my teaching life (all 37 years of it), feeling very isolated at times, missing my students and the vibrant relationship with learning and teaching I share with them (which is why I get up in the morning) but it has also taught me some new techniques in online teaching, some of which I intend to continue using this coming academic year. I exhumed a former website (thanks Haider!) which I hadn’t used for 10 years, not really seeing how to, and not really having the time (and sometimes strength) to tackle something new. I also started using Google Drive (thanks Aine!) to share texts and other documents with my students. This has worked more or less well, so my students say, and they are the one who know best what works for them.

The news from the Ministry of Higher Education is that we should be back to teaching 100% in the classroom in September 2022. My colleagues and I in the FLSH are all thinking intensely of ways to deliver our lectures and seminars the best we can, while trying to preserve those with fragile health conditions, in a space called the FLSH/FSESJ that will have to be reorganised slightly to respect the sanitary conditions imposed upon us. We all agree that 100% online teaching is just completely boring for all concerned, however, during the various lockdowns, it was the only solution available, but I believe that learning and teaching can happen effectively in a ‘blended learning environment’ with regular contact between students and staff, also using online techniques that students are already familiar with. We no longer have to deal with ‘Emergency Teaching’ as one of my colleagues called it, but rather ‘Managed Learning’ in a sensible and logical fashion. I will be teaching some classes online, some Face-2-Face, and some a mixture, but I will let you know in advance. It’s all a bit of a conundrum, but then that’s life. But whatever happens, you will learn something, and so will we!

Kind regards,