After the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to change how they delivered classes, the Bendigo Advertiser asked students to share how they were adapting. Catherine McAuley College year 12 student Charlotte Brooktells us how the latest announcement on schools has shifted students' mindsets.
The news delivered this week that year 12 students can return to school in less than two weeks has a created a range of feelings. I am happy to get back to school. Even though we have online classes, it is not the same as being taught in a classroom. I'm looking forward to seeing friends again.
I have a year 12 leadership position and I can't wait to return to my meetings - sometimes it feels like meetings fill my life. But the break from them has been nice and I feel ready to return in full swing to complete my final year of high school.
Some subjects are easier to learn online than others. I have struggled with my VCE language, as it is difficult to learn all the content. At school, the classes are conducted mostly in French with limited English being spoken. But during remote learning, there has not been as much French spoken during classes.
Yet some new systems of learning have been created, which I find more useful than being in class. An example of this is that all the VCE Further Maths teachers at my school are recording videos for content, with each teacher covering something different. This has allowed me to see different methods of teaching and to get different explanations rather than just through my own teacher, who still is very helpful!
What I do like about remote learning is that it is fostering independence and allowing me to hold myself responsible for my education. I have had times during this self-isolation period where I have lost motivation to complete work, but when the announcement was made about the return to school it gave me the motivation to continue.
I will have to adjust my sleep schedule back to normal. I have enjoyed sleeping in longer and, I will admit, I only get up about half an hour before classes start. Our teachers mark student rolls each morning in period one to ensure that students are awake, doing schooling, and not spending the day sleeping - which I think many people would like to do.
I am unsure how the rest of the year will play out, but the VCE study designs for Unit 4 subjects have been reduced, which is allowing our teachers to spend extra time on the current work we are completing for Unit 3.
VCE students are aware that our end-of-year exams have been moved - instead of starting exams in October, they will now be held in December. We do know that we will get our ATARs and university entry will be the same.
Fellow Catherine McAuley College year 12 student Tania Hutchinson says the announcement has brought up conflicting feelings.
Knowing that we will be returning to school in a couple of weeks is both a relief and upsetting for me.
I've created a good routine for myself and this way of studying is working well for me. I'm finding I'm more productive with my time and much less stressed.
However, I am very excited to get back to seeing my friends and having that social interaction again. I feel like it's certainly going to be a very different year from here on out - we don't even yet know when our final exams or graduation will be.
It will be great to get back into a normal routine though and being able to live out the rest of our final school year. Some of us may find it difficult and hard getting back to 'normal' after almost two months of home-based learning, but it's nice to know that we're all in the same boat and we'll live out whatever the rest of the year has for us together.
Bendigo Senior Secondary College year 12 student Greta Schaeche says the announcement has brought up conflicting feelings.
Well, we've finally heard the news (most) of us have been hanging out to hear - that school will be returning on site in just a couple of weeks.
To be honest, it's actually feels like this time has gone by relatively quickly. But it is still beyond exciting to be getting back to face-to-face learning, mostly just to see our teachers and friends, and touch base with our studies properly.
There are certain challenges that will come with it - like having to drop the routine of online learning that we finally got used to, having less flexibility in our timetables, the added time of travel for lots of us, and not being able to do maths class in our pyjamas anymore.
That said, the rest of the school year will still be affected greatly since the VCAA have cut material from the study designs and our exams were pushed back, meaning our year still looks different to previous ones.
Despite this, it's continually important to look at the positives and opportunities we're granted, like how lucky we were to even have the option and resources to continue our studies from home, and how we hopefully now have an increased sense of gratitude for our education system here in Australia as a whole.
Though it is an unsteady time for us, I do believe we will look back on our year and our bizarre experience someday and see how much scope it gave us to develop into better students and people.
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