Online Teaching - A New Perspective

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Teaching online? It will never take off.

I admit it. I was prejudiced. I considered online teaching impersonal and remote, and with two decades worth of ‘in the flesh’ teaching, I was likely critical of it out of a misguided sense of protectionism for the antiquated school system which paid my bills yet proved so uninspiring, so laboured and so very 19th Century.

Teaching online? No, it wasn’t for me.

Not because of any technophobia, I love technology. It was because the screen was an immovable barricade inhibiting relationship building. The confines of distance and physical space, a prohibitor of learning methodologies. The ‘lag’ and connection ‘fall-out’ merely an exhibitor of unreliability.

Teaching online? I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Since having the pleasure of teaching GCSE Film Studies to a young filmmaker from the Cotswolds from my North Wales base, my perspective has been transformed and I’m reminded again that the passing of judgement on anything, without the benefit of direct experience, really is rather abhorrent!

Teaching Elliot is one of the high points of the week. We speak, debate and explore face to face, right there in Elliot’s kitchen. We share resources with simplicity and efficiency. We engage in non-screen activities, coming back together to share outcomes. We learn lots from each other. We happily laugh at ourselves and each other and go off on tangents. It’s always a delight when John, that’s dad, always warm and energised, brings his own encyclopaedic knowledge of film and all things cultural, walking into the frame as he makes the most pleasant of culinary rackets! And then there is the ‘buzz’ of nurturing talent and being inspired by the worldview and artistry of Elliot, something that isn’t solely the preserve of the physical environment.

We hitch up again in a few hours and I’m seriously looking forward to sharpening the mind following the Christmas break.

Teaching online? Rarely so pleased to be so wrong!