When going ‘back to school’ means freedom and friendship
In a pre-pandemic world, “back to school” meant returning to school after school holidays from trips interstate and overseas, fun with family and friends, going to the movies and cafes. Going back to school was bittersweet — the start of a new term is always exciting, but itwas also sad to leave behind the carefreetimes.
Now, coming out of Victoria’s fifth lockdown, “back to school” means freedom.It means leaving the homes that we have dutifully stayed in for almost two weeks and it means returning to the normal, sometimes hum-drum school routine. To me, and to many students around Victoria, it is a relief.
Returning to school after lockdown is a relief.Credit:Shutterstock
When the pandemic began, I was in year 10. When we were first told to pack our lockers and our bags to get ready for a “few weeks” of remote learning it felt exciting! It was a novelty — in trackies all day, right next to the kitchen, no climbing stairs in the freezing cold between classes. Like many other Australians, I would obsessively refresh TheAge’s Live Coronavirus Updates, hoping for any new information about a virus that was still so unknown to us all.
It took us all a while to adjust but I eventually settled into the routine of remote learning and enjoyed it.
It wasn’t until this year that I realised the true impacts of remote learning. As we went into the third, fourth and fifth lockdowns, I finally registered how much we miss when we are doing school from screens.
School is about learning to socialise, to make friends and to collaborate, as well as studying.Credit:Quentin Jones
Content delivery and tests may be possible online thanks to the technology we have access to, but school is so much more than that.
As well as studying, school is where we learn to communicate, collaborate, build friendships, take leadership roles and be a part of a community — the learning that doesn’t feel like learning. And this is one of the most important parts of school.
Being a maths whiz or a history buff is great, but to be a member of society, we need to learn how to build relationships, listen to others and show respect. And these things are skills, traits and values we are taught from the minute we enter the education system.
However, all is not lost. We have learnt how to be resilient and patient in a completely new way and have also been able to understand the importance of appreciating the little things. And I know that these values will be particularly helpful to VCE students, who are hoping to sit the now twice rescheduled GAT in a few weeks’ time, and coping with the stress and anxiety of countless assessments.
As we return to school, let us say thank you to our leaders and public health officials who have now dealt with a Delta outbreak twice; to our schools and teachers who have put in so much work to make transitions between remote and face-to-face learning smooth; and to each-other as the resilient school student cohorts who will have many stories to share with the generations to come.
Ahelee Rahman is a Year 11 student at Melbourne Girls Grammar School.
Most Viewed in Politics
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article