In Queensland, we don’t really get the change of season that other regions in Australia experience. We certainly have the metaphorical change in seasons of how we live our lives. This particular season of social distancing has a set of unique challenges, many of which you will have experienced whilst engaging with ‘online learning’. Even if the online platform works perfectly, there are clear instructional videos and appealing, well-presented resources, the fact remains that learning at home can be challenging. Maybe infuriating is a better word!
In any season there are positives and negatives and we often crave what another season has, even though we don’t love it at the time. Much like we yearn for the heat of summer when the cold, westerly winds kick in and vice versa. There are a lot of benefits and learning opportunities beyond the curriculum during this phase.
Our approach has been to facilitate, where possible students being able to work independently. This is not really achievable in the early childhood grades where attention changes quickly, but for most year levels it is possible. Online learning is an opportunity to learn independently, to re-watch parts of a lesson that were missed and to ask questions when work is not understood. These skills of resilience, delayed gratification and perseverance can be hard and stressful to develop, however they will benefit students throughout their academic journey. At the same time when students encounter a roadblock, we encourage them to ask questions and to stop and move on with something else if they have to. We are not looking for perfection in this season, just progress!
Lamentations 3 says that God’s mercies are new every morning. It is a comfort to us to know that each day has new opportunities and God’s grace is fresh and available for us. This is an indication of their heart towards students! We all understand the challenges of learning from home and want students (and parents!) to know that we appreciate their attempts at and successes in learning online and we are here to support them through this season. We are definitely looking forward to seeing all their smiling faces back on campus as soon as we can!