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Andrew Nolan (5th year) - My Experience of Remote Learning

My Experience of Remote Learning

The experience I had with remote learning is an experience I hope I will never have to face again. Why is this the case? Well back at the beginning of the ‘two week lockdown from school’ I was in transition year and like most people I was happy to hear we would be getting off school for two weeks, I was relaxing with the year I had and my thought process at the time was I would rather relax at home than be in school. I look back at it now and think how naive people were, me included too.

After the two weeks of lockdown were up we had Easter break so we were off for another two weeks anyway. Then the government announced we would still be in lockdown, so we would be doing classes online. The thought of doing online classes was new to me but I was quite optimistic about it at first. Due to the fact I was in ty, I wasn't gonna be a main priority for teachers since they had to try and catch sixth years up on their work. So I didn’t get much online classes but got left projects instead which I didn’t mind. School finished and I think everyone was happy about that. Luckily for me because I was in Transition year, the lockdown had no real impact on my work. The lockdown had eased down, but there were still rules put in place on what businesses could and couldn’t open.

The summer had finished and the cases were quite low as of then. When returning to school I didn’t think we were going into another lockdown. I felt safe entering school, the school took every precaution possible to ensure the school stays covid free, which as of typing this still is covid free. The schools stayed open until the first term ended due to the fact the government eased restrictions which proved to be a big error. By the start of January the cases shot up and we went into a second full lockdown. I was very disappointed this had happened but I had to keep the head down and just deal with it. That proved to be a challenge as learning from home was a lot more difficult than I thought. I had to do online classes and work in the same room as my brother because my sister had the other room for her college classes. I found it quite difficult to keep up with the workload at first but I had to adapt to this change or I would be falling behind.

I had taken the second lockdown a lot more serious than the first one regarding my school work as I was now in the senior cycle and didn’t know what would be happening in the future. I found the home environment too distracting for me as my nanny lives in the same house as us so she would have the tv volume blasted all the way up to the max. There were other things as well like the ability to go on my phone whenever I wanted during class or wear my own clothes when doing work. To keep myself focused on school I did things like keep my phone battery dead so I couldn't go on it and when I was doing my work I would get into my uniform because for some reason I concentrated more on my work when I was in the uniform.

The three months of remote learning I experienced is one of the worst times I have had but, remote learning has made me appreciate things like getting up in the morning and getting the bus to school and talking to my friends and classmates and even the little things like getting your uniform ready for school the night before and making sure you have all your books ready for school. I have become a lot more appreciative of school in general, you don’t realize how many positive effects it has on you until you're not there.

Even though I did not enjoy my remote learning experience I have a lot of gratitude towards my teachers, they were very supportive throughout the whole lockdown and it is just as hard to teach from home as it is to learn from home and I appreciate the extra time and effort they have put in so we stay on track and ahead of our work leading up to the summer exams.


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