I am seeing a crisis with my Year 8 language class, and I blame remote learning.
I am a secondary school teacher, teaching in an independent P-12 setting in Victoria. My area is foreign languages.
There was a lot of press last year about the effects of remote learning on Year 12 students during the lockdowns that Australia, particularly Melbourne, experienced.
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However, as someone who is teaching in 2021, I think a significant and somewhat overlooked impact was had on students between Grades 5 to Year 8.
My remote learning experience, as a teacher, was fairly positive.
I had language classes at a range of year levels between Grade 5 and VCE, and students took to the online model of schooling with differing levels of success.
I found that with senior secondary students there was generally a level of maturity and self-motivation that enabled them to stay on track.
Two of my classes were working ahead of schedule, without the regular interruptions of the school year.
Yes, there were days where students would look flat and sad, even evident through the grainy thumbnail of their face on my screen.
However, having conversations one-to-one with my senior homeroom, there were many students who actually really enjoyed the online model and were not just surviving, but thriving.
The Year 12s missed out on a number of experiences- their last athletics carnival, their valedictory dinner- but I think that they managed the year quite well in a number of cases.
I was happy to receive emails earlier this year from graduates of 2020 letting me know of the courses they had gained entry to.
Fast forward to February 2021.
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