Never Under Estimate a Teacher Who Survived 2020 Pandemic!
The biggest casualty of 2020 – Covid19 was pointing towards a lost generation.
Schools were shut to prevent the spread of the virus giving way to online classrooms, a very new concept even for the most sophisticated schools.
I thought, now was the time to end my teaching career! As luck would have it an article from Malala Yousaf popped up. Yousafzai begins by reflecting on her education, detailing what it was like to graduate from Oxford University in the middle of the pandemic. While the year looked undoubtedly uncertain, this brought about an insight for hope and change. I was considering an online adventure.
Would I thrive?
Online instruction is imperfect and who knows it better than a digital dinosaur like me. The stares and expressive grunts from across the screen jibed at me for not having prepared to immediately shift to online learning, seemingly forgetting that the rest of society had similarly not prepared. Extra effort to engage students in classes by revamping timetables, shifting discussions online, taking feedback from parents, monitoring students constantly – this took all the energy besides the home chores and the looming fear of the pandemic. Juggling with apps to make online classes as engaging as offline ones was a challenge. There were chances of disadvantaged students becoming more disadvantaged. In this whirlwind I had to double efforts and be content with less pay. School supplies were forgotten. Each failure was opening a new dimension. Getting the students to use technology judiciously and in a manner that doesn’t drain them completely, required more grit. I felt like a fresher myself.
Delivering emotionally satisfying lessons continues to be a contest still; observations are formal, assessments forgotten. Well, the torch of education should always be shone on the student, never the unending documentation. The dream of a wholesome education seemed foggy in the web of online transmission.
Transitioning as a digital nativeis a maze competition. Accepting limits, frees one in a way that helps to see the possibilities. It took mind training and computer literacy to become socially interactive in the virtual world.
Online lessons, virtual tours, parties, house-halls helped bond peers and parents and us. Classes moved beyond walls. Productivity assumed a new definition. No one should at the short end of the pandemic and lose out on what is rightfully theirs.I am persevering to kindle fires as education’s first responder.
Author: N. Radha Arora.
The views expressed here solely belong to the writer. The writer is a special educator at Pallavanjali.