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“There have been good days and hard days” – art teacher on challenge of educating students online during lockdown

By Greg Roxburgh

An art teacher has shared her story about teaching online during the lockdown and the challenges that come with it, as part of the Heroes of 2020 campaign to raise money for NHS charities.

Alice McVicker, a secondary school teacher in Hammersmith, was one of a handful of key workers to share her experiences in support of Sterling Mint’s Heroes of 2020 campaign.

The campaign aims to pay tribute to key workers through a new range of commemorative medals made of pure silver.

All profits made will go to NHS Charities Together, and the total donation is expected to be around £2m.

Ms McVicker, pictured above, said, “It has been challenging, there have been good days and hard days. As time has gone by, I can definitely feel the energy drop from the students as Zoom calls can feel quite lonely and demanding.”

To keep energy levels up, she has created a class recipe book so the children can share what they have made – and challenged the students with a daily step challenge, which she said “has helped lift the spirits”.

Ms McVicker said: “When teaching art, it has been hugely rewarding to see the work that the students have been completing being uploaded, and the progress that they have made being tracked.”

“The quietness of lockdown has led to some students creating some quite beautiful and focused drawings, away from the screen, showing their creativity and motivation to work independently.”

“I have been consistently impressed with their enthusiasm and resilience.

“If I were to receive a medal, it would be a light-hearted reminder of the appreciation felt by those I am working to support and help.”

NHS Charities Together is a membership organisation which represents and supports NHS charities, of which there are more than 230 across the UK.

Ms McVicker said: “It would also be a nice reminder that I am working as part of a collective team to try and keep young students engaged, happy and stimulated in some sense during this lockdown time.”

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