The second semester of the 108 academic year has had a tumultuous start. Luckily, the CTBC International Academy has been closely monitoring the pandemic and working diligently with the orders and regulations set forth by the CECC. Students, staff and teachers have had to make some large adjustments since news of the outbreak began as people were celebrating Chinese New Year. And thankfully, those adjustments have allowed the students to return to school and courses can resume.
How is student life affected by the outbreak? Aside from lunch and dinner time social distancing arrangements, life has continued as normal for those on campus. Monitoring personal hygiene and wearing masks have been enthusiastically encouraged. Taiwanese students are some of the few students left within countries affected by Covid-19 to be able to still attend classes.
Like the students, teachers have had to make quite a few adjustments as well. Making sure students have checked their temperature and washed their hands are now priorities. Close proximity group discussions should also be kept to a minimum, but in ESL classes, this is a difficult task. A lot of the teachers have begun to experiment with Google Classroom and the helpful suite of APPS Google provides for free. The teachers here are lucky compared to those in North America. The vast majority of classes have been canceled and moved to an online platform such as Zoom or Google Meet. The more teachers familiarize themselves with these platforms, the easier the transition would be if CIA had to make similar arrangements.
Apart from all the distractions, the students are positive and upbeat. Students in Jeff’s writing class have taken up blogging! Blogging has become a very popular form of expression recently with all the home quarantine measures being enforced all over the world. In an effort to encourage students to write leisurely, the blog will be open for the public and will not be a part of their academic score. Please take a look when you have a free moment!
On a minor note, in an effort to save paper, Jeff and Ivy’s classes have begun using personal whiteboards in class. One huge benefit of these tools is students are able to write down answers to questions and easily display their answers with the rest of the class. It creates a much more inclusive classroom, and the applications are extensive. They even come with a Cartesian plane for creating graphs and charts.
On behalf of everyone here at CIA, please stay safe!