The effects of lockdown were different for everyone. Some took this time to positively reform themselves ,exploring new things and others felt low due to the situation and circumstances around. It’s the perspective that matters. Now since it has eased,things are getting better for all.
As a teacher , I felt mixed effects too. Well it started in March when we got the news about schools being shut down for preventive measures ,it was a good thing but as teachers we were concerned about our student’s learning. So when the online training for e learning started I geared up and completed the course successfully. The school also gave us professional development in terms of setting online sessions with students using Microsoft teams and some useful websites too.
It was a new venture with our students and I was surprised and pleased with the enthusiasm shown by my students to learn through the remote learning programme. They would login as per the schedule shared and take active part by asking questions or clarifications. They learnt to be patient with the technical errors that would erupt at times due to network errors or login ids, the school too supported the technical issues with special mail services.
Everything that we once did during our regular school timings, was now happening online be it class assemblies,break times, parent teacher meet,lessons, PE sessions,attendance marking, giving feedback on students work, mastery and booster sessions, recorded videos,revision, learning conversation to staff meetings.
Yes, all this required a lot of effort from everyone playing their part to make this programme a great success. The teacher daily planned the lessons and prepared the power points and also gave live sessions.
The students diligently attended the sessions and completed their task and worked on the feedback.The parents supported and co-operated throughout the programme.
Overall it made students independent learners and I am happy to see the improvement in their learning through the online task assigned. The student’s especially enjoy the break session where they can talk with their friends online but surely miss the fun of playing and sharing together .The joy of socialising with my students can never replace any technology and the same applies to teacher being replaced with technology too, that can never function well as teachers do more than just the one-way task of instructing a student. They identify social cues that would be impossible for a machine to parse, especially non-verbal or invisible interactions, that affect the learning experience. They help identify roadblocks for students that might be more personal or emotional in nature, that a machine cannot pick up on. They help to contextualize lessons in real time, which might not be possible for a piece of technology to do.Think back to your favorite teacher – did you enjoy her teaching because of her infallible library of knowledge or because of how she made the subject come alive for you? The human connection is necessary for something as key as the act of learning.
For me each student is a star and I want them to shine bright wherever they go.Now since the term 2 have begun ,I pray for safety and good health.The back to school excitement on the children faces is a teacher’s delight .The past two years have made us realise that nothing can replace the magic created by the schools.The testing time has passed and as we welcome the new normal I look forward to see the lovely faces of my students smiling under the masks, using sanitizers and practising social distancing across the corridors of the school.
Who would you prefer to be your teacher, a device or a person?
Make a wise choice.
Ms. Fareha Shaikh, Math and Science teacher.