My course, Online Corona Creative, filled a gap in those first ten weeks of lock-down and it forced me to embrace Zoom and learn on the job about the technical issues related to running courses online with participants in their homes. I learnt when the students are not in the same room I no longer had the teacherly authority that I do when teaching face to face. I also learnt that body language cannot be read on screen and methods to make sure everyone has an equal speaking opportunities had to be instituted. I found that eleven participants is too many (smaller groups are the answer) and that some people struggle with this way of working, while others have by necessity embraced it and found it a social and educational lifeline. I have also been a student myself on Zoom with the Society of Authors. In October I will be again, by taking part in an online writing retreat hosted by the author Jill Dawson. As one would expect, creatives have been remarkably adept at find new and inventive ways of adapting to this 'new normal' and presenting their work in new ways and seeking out new audiences.
As a teacher, this time of year always gives me that back to school sensation, it is the beginning of the academic year and, like New Year, it is a time for reflection and renewal. I have long wanted to make some video content about my artistic and literary practice and Covid has given me the push I needed, and with an Arts Council grant to buy technical equipment I am taking that leap, scary? yes a bit, but positive too; it’s exciting to find a new method of reaching out to fellow practitioners and students. Creative Progression, my online course for creatives of any discipline has begun, but there will be another opportunity for a face to face course at Anteros, Norwich, when Covid restrictions lift hopefully next spring. More online courses are in the pipeline, one to one mentoring continues on Zoom if you would like to book please get in touch www.mullinpatricia.com and if you would like to combine a writing retreat with a relaxing holiday take a look at The Artist's Studio on www.meadowcottagenorfolk.com
Have a safe, happy and creative autumn.