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Saturday, 22 August 2020 15:38

Where were you in the time of distance learning?

Closing schools because of the pandemic has led us to new experiences and has faced us with various challenges. It was hard, especially at the beginning, for both the teachers and the students and their parents. We adjusted ourselves, we got away with it. The school year is over. What is left of it? Among the various sensations I would like to share one.

I remember how a talented colleague "complained" to some of her alumni who did not show up once they finished school: How is it possible that these good boys and girls with whom I have discussed at length and in depth about various problems, I have shared ideas and doubts, I laughed and cried, after school they leave and they don't make themselves heard again? But do they realize that they have not been among the many, but that each one is unique to me, to each I have given the best of myself: the awareness of what I teach, the attention, the time, the love, the experience, the nights of research to give some extra impulse, to wake up something in their mind and heart?

"Now that we have already reached the end and the final marks have been awarded, I am also amazed and sorry for the behavior of the children who did not show up in the distance teaching period. I did everything I could and even beyond. In the beginning I thought that they did not have a computer at home or enough data to follow all the lessons. Then, assured by the class tutors that each of the boys could be contacted, I justified them for the increase in the commitment required of them in the present moment. But is it possible that a boy does not look for a contact when he does not receive lessons from one or the other subject, or that he says he does not receive the material to study while instead he uses the opportunity to choose to do only the minimum necessary to be promoted? There is no desire to communicate ! You can have ten mobile phones and as many computers in the house but if you do not want to communicate, they are useless. "

I remember the excitement of when as a girl I discovered that "the teacher is a human being too". He is not someone who stands against me, but someone like me with whom I can talk not only about the subject he teaches.

The forced social isolation from the pandemic certainly did not help us, it was hard not only for our students, but also for the teachers. We miss the others, the contact with the living and true person, not closed behind the screen of the computer or mobile phone. But what do our kids feel and understand? Are they able to imagine that the teacher misses them?

Will we learn anything from this experience? The teachers forcefully and quickly educated themselves on new technologies and social media. What about the students? In my opinion, those who know how to organize their time and are disciplined will be able to draw advantage from this period: two important but uncommon abilities that perhaps cannot be transmitted or taught but must be desired. Certainly those of my pupils who did not show up for all three months of distance learning did not have these skills.

I believe that the fault was not on the side of technologies (the old or new computer, the fast or slow internet) but it is the man who needs to know and govern himself in the newness of the changing world: every student must find out that he is a human being whether he has the internet or not, who uses the cellphone or not. You are in a relationship with, therefore seek contact at all costs, think not only of yourself, but of the other, of others. Come on, ask. Don't wait for things to go freewheel, keep your hands behind the wheel of your life.

A bit of surprise and bitterness transpires in my reflections, but honestly I must say that there were also rays of sun and hope in this whole experience. But maybe I'll talk about this another time ...

Read 500 times Last modified on Saturday, 22 August 2020 15:41


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About Us

Union “St. Catherine of Siena” of School Missionaries is a Dominican Religious Congregation.
We are called to accompany our contemporaries along their path with study and prayer and to seek along with them Gospel’s answers to the questions of our complex, multicultural society.
We want to live therefore coherently a Christianity of frontiers and be yeast and salt of the least visibility yet cause to leaven and give flavor.