Interview: School at a Distance

1st April 2020

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With schools being closed for over two weeks now due to COVID-19, teachers at DCC are continuing to work with students online. Both students and teachers are currently trying to adapt to this new working arrangement and other ways of contacting each other using virtual learning environments such as Edmodo and Google Classroom. I decided to interview two students on how they were adapting to this new world we are currently living in.

How has the coronavirus pandemic affected you in daily life?

“Coronavirus has affected me big time in the last few weeks as schools have been closed and all sports have been cancelled too. I was supposed to have 3 hockey finals so I’m not sure what’s going to happen. As well as that my mam has to work from home and I can no longer see my grandparents, friends and family as we are in lockdown.”

“It stops me from doing sports, meeting friends and family”

How are you finding working from home?

“I don’t mind working from home at all, at the moment it’s keeping me occupied and I’m not getting bored, but we are getting a lot of projects so I wouldn’t mind working in groups as everyone has an iPad we can contact each other and work together.”

“It’s hard because of the work we are given from lots of different subjects and as we are an exam year, we need to study so we are working all day long”

Do you prefer working at home or actually being in school?

“I much prefer being in school than at home cause I get to see my friends all the time. Like I do get to talk to them on social media and on-call but it’s not the same”

“Much prefer school”

Have you had any struggles while completing this work at home?

“I haven’t had struggles as such but sometimes it’s a bit harder to understand the teacher’s instructions when you just receive it through an email or Edmodo like it can just make a lot more sense when being explained in person. If you have this issue contact your teacher explaining that you are not completely understanding the work. Remember they have multiple classes so they won’t respond straight away!”

“Yes, trying to study and get the work done on time is a lot and we seem to be getting a fair amount of it, so I just try to spread out the work throughout the day.”

Do you have any tips on working and studying from home?

“My main tip for working or studying at home is not to do work on your bed and to do it at a desk or the kitchen table as your bed will be distracting. Another tip is to set out what work you want to get done that day and have a timetable made and stick to it. Finally, take breaks and go for a walk within 2km of your house or just sit in your garden to clear your head.”

“Take breaks and try space the work out so you don’t burn yourself out”

Do you have anything to say to people who aren’t cooperating with the WHO guidelines on social distancing etc?

“At this stage, if you’re not doing what we are advised to do, you are taking a serious matter as a joke. If you do happen to get the virus – you can infect other people and while you might recover, others might not. Don’t be selfish in the current situation and think of others.” 

“That they need to open their eyes, stop being selfish and do the one thing that we are asked to do to save the lives of our friends, families and people who live in our country. By going out and socialising they are putting the lives of others at risk for their selfish behaviour and it’s not fair on anyone trying to isolate.”

A gentle reminder to students during this tough time to remember their responsibilities and think of others. The best thing each and every one of us can do is stay home and stay in touch with one another virtually. Call your friends and family daily and check in with them. If you have to leave the house, make sure you are abiding by the rules set out by the Government and the HSE. Maintain a two-metre distance from anyone you meet and make sure to maintain good hygiene practices by washing your hands regularly. 

Thanks to TY Journalism student Sarah Keon for this interview!