Originally published July 28, 2022 by Drumheller Online.
By Jason Blanke
During this past school year, Jay Mulgrew and the staff of St. Anthony's School were tasked to create a way to ease students back into a more normal school setting.
With COVID, it was a very different setting for both students and teachers, with all of the online learning that had to take place. Mulgrew shares on the ideas that he and the staff came up with. "After researching a number of strategies, articles, we came up with physical activity and academic conversations to help students, not only ease anxiety, but also be productive in a school atmosphere."
The program was named "Walkie Talkie" and Mulgrew worked with his students on a video about the program. The video, which was produced by Weston Snider a student of St. Anthony's, and was done in a style similar to classic propaganda films of the early 50's.
"The video is kind of a look at 'Walkie Talkies' but to be quite honest, they were really useful and the kids really loved them as well." shares Mulgrew. "What we would usually do is use them for review. Sometimes I can get very talkative during my lectures and students would ask to go for a 'Walkie Talkie'. I would always give them a review concept or paraphrase what the lesson was, to always come back so there was always something academic, but also to give them the break so they could hear a voice other than mine, that might help them learn."
Coming out of COVID, Mulgrew felt that it was important for the students to reintroduce personal interaction.
"To be quite honest, that was a big thing of this. When we do (Walkie Talkies) I tell them 'no cellphones' and 'put the cellphones down' and to really reinforce that social interaction. This kind of helped them be a little more physical, even though it's just walking, but also just talking with each other in person where they put technology away for five minutes of class anyway."
Mulgrew anticipates continuing to use this method in his class moving forward. The process will also be shared with other teachers and schools within Christ The Redeemer later in August.