‘Teachers and SNAs are working very hard’

Liz Clinton-Brennan, parent and SNA at Camcloon NS

My husband, Damien, and I are working from home near Lecarrow and we have three children, two in secondary school and one in primary school, learning online too.

Our daughter, Róisín, is in fourth class in Glanduff National School and they are using Seesaw app. The teacher posts a video saying hello each morning and explaining the work. It’s a great help, especially for the Irish pronunciation!

The lockdowns have been tough on our son Aidan, because he’s in first year in the Marist College in Athlone and first year in secondary school can be hard enough! Maybe someday he’ll look back on it and realise how difficult it was but right now he’s taking it in his stride.

Our eldest son Michael is in Junior Certificate year in Athlone Community College, who along with the Marist, have been excellent. Both Aidan and Michael start at 9 o’clock in the morning and it’s just like being in class except they’re working away at home. It’s clear the teachers are working really hard.

At Camcloon National School we’ve been using Zoom and Google Classroom since March and continued using Google Classroom at school so we were well prepared for this closure.

I’m missing the kids I work with but it’s nice to be able to keep in touch using Google Classroom. Teachers and Special Needs Assistants are doing their best to provide the best possible remote educational experience for their students.

We have four different schools in our home at the moment and I can see the huge effort schools and students are putting in.

It’s surreal to finish a lovely Zoom call with third class in Camcloon and walk into my kitchen to hear my child’s teacher talking about maths, while in the playroom there’s a discussion on Seamus Heaney, and upstairs Mr. White is explaining the intricacies of technical graphics.

Our house is now full of the voices our children hear every day so this is like a window into their lives!