Growing up, we remember playing a ‘Telephone’ game with discarded match boxes. You took one box and your friend the other, and we pretended to have great conversations – one speaking and the other listening intently. Little did we realise then that these very ‘listening and speaking’ lessons would stand us in good stead, to reach out to thousands of students in virtual teaching.
While we leverage technology as a key component for effective teaching, we cannot neglect the teacher-student connect. Teachers play a key role in motivating students to learn and perform. As adults, all of us remember our favourite teachers and their role in shaping our professional lives.
It seems easy to impart lessons virtually in language and social studies but to teach science it is important to physically conduct experiments. Bringing students into a virtual science lab is not the same experience – we must make learning real through practical demonstrations on screen and simulators.
Teachers toiled using innovative strategies to make learning possible and accessible to our students. Learning kits were provided to the children to perform experiments and activities at home while connecting online to their science teachers. Since the beginning of the lockdown, the learning ecosystem has changed; parents become teachers and teachers have become facilitators. Parents are partners in making this new teaching-learning process a win-win for all the stakeholders.
We should be empathetic towards our teachers and all staff members. Staff meetings should be more stress free, with empathy as an important element to connect with each other.What has the pandemic taught us? It has taught us to give the best in a shorter duration, like a Twenty20 or T20, a shorter version of the cricket match.Teachers and the parents must cement their interpersonal bonds and practice resilience in a new way.
After the lockdown is lifted, we may go back to our chalkboards, but our vision has to be to make education inclusive and purposeful. This phase of reflection and isolation has made our young learners self-reliant and independent! Sweet are the uses of adversity!
Mr. Ganesh Kumar Pandidhar
Wisdom High International School