Learning online, Jen's experience of lockdown

Jen, our Therapy Assistant, has kindly shared her experience of learning online during lockdown so far.

"Initially I must admit it was a daunting thought, as of course cameras and videos tend to make most of us more inhibited and self-conscious. I was worried that the children I support might find this challenging and find it more difficult to connect with me, and me them. I need not have worried as it only took 5 minutes to break the ice and we were off!

Learning took place on Facetime and Teams technology platforms early in lockdown. My home office had a story corner (complete with cuddly toys), working theatre and play table where buckaroo and ‘feelings’ and silly jenga were a popular choice. I set up an art area for drawing and creative work and my kitchen became the focus for baking classes. The children I support were helped to clear suitable space at home and our diaries were full of daily and weekly timetabled appointments. The recorded stories read by my dogs (Roxy and Maddie) using an app were very well received and I had a great deal of fun making them I must admit.

As restrictions were lifted I began some face-to-face meetings on a young person’s driveway or at the beach. These were, and continue to be, socially distanced but it is lovely to start having what feels like more personal contact.

Team meetings have worked very well using technology and it has been important to have the support of my colleagues. It would have felt a lonely job without this. I will be working this way until the end of term at least. It keeps me on my toes to think of ways to match activities to individual needs and interests, and to remain fresh and interesting to the young people I support. This gives great job satisfaction as I need to be creative and think ‘outside of the box’. The young people I work with span primary 1 to school leavers and so a wide range of learning activities are required".