South Africa is a bit behind Europe in terms of self-isolation and lockdown due to Covid-19, which means everyone can get as ready as possible for the times ahead. Maren Scholten from our school IH Cape Town comments:
"A nationwide lockdown was implemented as of midnight on Thursday 26 March 2020, but at IH Cape Town we started to prepare for this as soon as we heard about the situation getting worse around the world so that we would be prepared to move lessons online when required. Our academic team and teachers have worked very hard to implement amazing online classes and upskilled along the way."
It was lovely to also read about the comments from their teachers. Here, teacher Cherry Burchell shares her experience:
"Teaching online has shown me that you can still teach an 'old dog' new tricks! My learning curve has shot up dramatically, that's without doubt. I'm loving online teaching and besides a few episodes of the teacher bumbling, it has been a success. My small class has been participative and engaged with a remarkable sense of humour displayed from everyone in this very trying time.
"It's been a bit overwhelming at times with the amount of resources being made freely available on the internet but you quickly learn which are the fundamental 'go to' sites and where the most authentic materials are available; IH World being one of them.
"This crisis has also kept me in wonderful contact with my class, ex-students and the absolutely fabulous IH Cape Town team; their support has been so immense and fabulous. Teachers have been sharing ideas, sending encouragement and of course, memes and gifs to make us all not take ourselves too seriously. It shows you that in a time of crisis, our family has pulled together as one.
"It is my fervent hope that once this has passed – and I have no doubt it will – we all keep that sense of camaraderie that has permeated the world and realise we are truly a global village; that we can be empathetic, sympathetic, supportive and grow our senses of humour during troubled times."
Another teacher, Vicki Robinson, commented:
"It's been an interesting switch to online teaching and something I have learnt a lot from already. The first day was the biggest challenge, getting used to all the audio and screen-sharing functions on Zoom, but it's been really fun. I've quickly realised there are lots of ways to make teaching online creative, like making an internet scavenger hunt and getting students to bring images or songs to class.
"Things we would normally do in class like vocabulary cards have just switched to apps like Quizlet. I also find I'm sending more links to students through WhatsApp whilst teaching, so it's keeping the classes personalised even though we're in a group online lesson. We also have the WhatsApp group to keep a community and support each other during this stressful time. Also, I'm saving so much paper!"
IH Cape Town is very grateful to all teachers and staff for embracing the situation as best as possible and also for seeing the positives in such difficult times.