One of the colleges I work at as a freelance English instructor resumed classes on Monday 11th May after a one month delay to the start of term due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Each college has developed its own remote teaching strategy. In the case of this college, the staff have been called into the college to teach the students from the classroom via Zoom.
So for three mornings of the week I will be sitting in an empty classroom teaching my students over the Internet.
Another college I teach at has set up Google classrooms and the teachers teach the students from home.
So far, I am happy with each approach. I've heard that some of the other colleges have really struggled to adapt to the situation, but the two that I work at have each responded swiftly and effectively to the situation.
However, I was a bit nervous on Monday morning because it was my first experience of hosting a class on Zoom - and our local TV station thought it would be a great idea to report on the event!
The director of the film crew told me to ignore them as they poked their mike into my space. Fortunately there were no big technical hitches and I'm pleased to say that they were kind in their editing and the college and I were pleased with the TV report.
One result of the pandemic is that many teachers and colleges and other companies too, I don't doubt, have been forced to learn new skills. I am now becoming familiar with Zoom and Google Classroom, and have also dusted off Skype, which I hadn't used for several years, to conduct online classes with one of my private students.
I think this experience will also benefit my online business as I will be much more willing to invite people to engage directly with me in live meetings on Skype and other platforms.
How has the pandemic impacted you? Has it caused you to learn new any new skills? Feel free to share your experiences by posting a comment below!