Everybody who is capable of learning has taken to teaching.
March 15, 2020 - an advisory was issued Pan India to maintain social distancing in schools owing to the spread of the super fatal COVID-19
March 18, 2020 - schools closed all over the country
March 22, 2020 - the first phase of lockdown began
Suddenly, life came to a halt. Schools, colleges, malls, theatres, shops, factories, hotels, road transport, airways, Parliament, everything stopped working. This was followed by a common motto - Work from home.
A school, which is not just a building but a place where an entire gamut of activities is executed on daily basis & where the entire day is packed with motion, movement and commotion, had to rise to the situation and begin afresh with what is called Virtual Teaching.
As educators across the world witnessed a quick acceptance, instead of reluctance towards this change which was nothing less than a gigantic challenge, they showed a quick transformation during the lockdown, which is truly exemplary. Can we say that the deadly Corona Virus has challenged the experts in many fields across the globe but could not dare to disgrace the undoubting mettle of teachers?
Within hours, the teaching pedagogy took a shift to virtual mode. Simple yet no less creative, various solutions were implemented. Digital Learning took a toll over the teachers for the initial days but it was a delight to see teachers across the globe transforming themselves with the jet speed. Quite understandable that digital teaching was no rocket science, those educators who were adapting themselves gradually to this tech era finally converted their teaching resources into digital platforms in a jiffy. It was an arduous still a successful task.
‘Transformation’ can sometimes feel like an empty signifier, like one of those clichés people trot out to make the work they do seem larger and more significant than it really is. So, how does one move from aspiring to transformation to achieving it? We saw this happening Live with our educators - from a 58-year-old to the young mothers, from the Hindi dept to the sports, from the music teachers recording the songs to the ICT team of the school helping one another - all transformed themselves.
Classes began in almost all schools with the same gusto as a normal session begins. The tech-gurus worked on improvising database, new worksheets and resource materials were prepared, demo classes were conducted, faculty meetings happened, innovative techniques of online teaching kept teachers busy 24X7, the feedback was taken from the stakeholders and hence, the improvements generated.
It was the encounter of an alternative life, as stereotypes triggered the transformation – Yes, a transformation which shall not last for a few weeks, or till the lockdown lifts or for a session but for a lifetime and will leave its impact on the upcoming young enthusiasts who like to be inspired.
The difference these Tech Gurus made in the learning process and lives of their students is worth praising. As technology continues to expand and the rate of change increases, I feel proud to say that we, the teachers, can face any challenge.
Shikha Bannerjee is the Principal of Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Kanpur
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