Sarah's Diary #2: Studying during the pandemic
I first decided to return to education just before the Pandemic hit. I will admit that I was worried about starting a degree during such an unusual time, but I thought that if I waited for a perfect time then I would probably be waiting forever!
When we started (September 2020) it was a very unusual time, as schools were back in which meant no more trying to home-school, but the Universities were not. In practice, all that changed was that all of our sessions were delivered via the online platform.
Initially, it was nerve wracking as I’d never done anything like it, I’d managed to avoid Zoom and Teams. After about an hour it started to feel a little bit less daunting, but I still felt silly speaking out loud. As we were assured, there is not such thing as a silly question. It took a few sessions, but it soon became just the way we did Uni.
As the pandemic continued our return to face-to-face kept getting pushed back, so we continued with our sessions just the way we knew them.
When one of my children’s bubbles popped just before half term, and then again just before Christmas, my tutors were extremely understanding. They all completely understood that my focus might not completely be on my session and encouraged me to catch up with the session videos and to email with any questions I might have.
With the second lockdown happening in January, I think we all tried our best to find our feet, both with how to do our sessions and how to get in time to study with having our children at home. Again, all of the tutors and the University of Worcester put measures in place to make sure that we were not going to lose out due to the lockdown. My module tutor emailed me to make sure that things were OK, and again when I hadn’t submitted my assignment on the due date. I explained to them that I simply hadn’t had the time to complete my assignment due to having all 5 of my children at home, so I had asked for mitigating circumstances. My tutor emailed me back right away and reassured me that it would be OK, and not to worry too much, and just submit when I could.
Another worry was if I would be able to get a placement for the year, and then once I was in placement, would I be allowed to complete the year. Luckily for me, I am in a brilliant school, that have worked with me and TLI to ensure that I am able to do what I need to do to make this year a success.
I’m now on my last module of the year, meaning that I’ve nearly completed a year of total online learning. It’s now second nature to log on and learn, without any of the nerves that came when I first started.
I know because of my experiences this year that whatever issues I might have, I’ll always have an amazing tutor team to help and guide me.