How do secondary school students cope with being banned from seeing their friends? ELIZA WESTON talks about her online life. And teachers
WHEN MY SCHOOL shut down a week before the end of term the teachers set us work on line. I got stuck in — grudgingly.
They used Google Classroom, an app where we can have a sort of group chat with them. They would set us assignments, according to our school timetable, and we did them as efficiently as we could.
Yes, like so many adults, we are working from home.
Trouble was that many of our teachers misjudged the amount of work we normally do per lesson. For example, we could never finish all the maths we were given. On the other hand, the physics teacher gave us so little we became bored.
How did it go for my friends? Aurélie’s school said it was not allowed to use video chats because the teachers “don’t want the kids to be staring at a screen for so long”. No different from homework, then.
What about Zoom? My school decided “child protection issues” were a problem — my friends and I think that is stupid. Apart from anything else, don’t they just mean child protection is a problem — after all, clear English is essential to an education.
Next came Easter holidays and I was utterly bored, until my parents made me look after my two-year-old sister, whose nursery had closed.
In my house, my family has managed to keep the peace — well, so far — but many others have not been quite as successful. Friend Molly and her siblings are fighting a lot during the lockdown: one sunny day what started as a simple trampoline game became a fight, ending with a scratched eye and hurt feelings.
To keep busy I have started several projects such as renovating a rocking horse for my little sister and helping my dad to build cycles at his shop, About The Bike, a short walk away. Sadly, as I have learnt, I am prone to lose interest during an activity.
I have spent hours on my phone chatting to friends. One updates me on the world of politics; others like to discuss what we’re watching on TV.
A horrible thought is haunting us: perhaps we’d rather be at school.
* Online youth hub: set up by Hackney council for residents aged six to 19 — up to 25 for “young people with additional needs”. Incidentically, comments Loving Dalston’s editor, don’t do what the children are doing in the website’s pic: keep your distance.
* Some names in this article have been changed.
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