I wrote about all that the student fraternity lost during the Pandemic in my column last week. Hopefully, the school bell rings soon. However, the phase of study from home has impacted not just children but also teachers. In today’s column, we shall look into the life of a school teacher.
As soon as the Pandemic hit India, the first response was lockdown. It took us some time to figure out what’s happening as the black swan event started unfolding into a horrible scare.
As time passed, society absorbed and accepted this shock and started working out ways to keep the life momentum. ‘Work from home’ and ‘study from home’ were the latest innovations. With this came the phase of “teaching from home”! Our school teachers, ranging from those who take care of nursery level students to those who teach the senior secondary levels, were never prepared to get online. The naïve, sincere and hardworking teacher was coerced to get accustomed to the digital world of online teaching.
Since I am a trainer, I can empathize with the teaching fraternity and understand their woes! Children are packets of high energy. They have their unique ways of expression. Our teachers are trained and accustomed to managing these heavily charged electrons in schools and playgrounds. However, when managing a class through zoom, meet, or teams kind of applications, it becomes heavily challenging for a teacher to monitor the class and simultaneously teach the lessons.
Children are supposed to be naughty. More so, because they belong to Gen Z and are much adept with technology. Many teachers did have their part of the struggle to understand the nuances of the online teaching system. However, the nation is ever more proud of each one of our teacher fraternity for demonstrating an exceptional level of adaptability and flexibility. Most of them took the transition as a challenge. They made it possible for the education system to restart the corona hit teaching-learning process.
Yes, our great teachers did the magic but, in the process, had to go through a massive set of compromises. A teacher friend says that her life is nothing but the school and the kids. She is so dedicated to the cause of teaching that in the absence of school, she becomes lifeless. The school is not just the set of rooms and the building but also where a teacher’s soul rests!
Teachers, I bet, are the most emotionally connected professionals. They love their students and aspire for their success. The staff room, the classrooms, the corridors, the assemblies, the chirping of kids, and the ever-increasing ‘hulla bulla’ of students are all that a teacher connects with. A teacher shared that a school library is a place that she misses a lot. She said, “It becomes difficult for me to survive without studying, reading, and sharing! That’s the high standard of a school teacher!”
Friends, when you chat with our teachers ‘teaching from home’, you get a varied set of experiences. One primary school teacher said, “The biggest thing that I miss during the lockdown phase what the sharing of tiffin with my colleagues. Every day we used to eat a surprise cousin!”
Yet another school teacher shared her woes. She lives in an orthodox family where it is tough for her to express herself freely at home. She says the school campus was the place where I lived every breath of mine. I was my natural self in school. But this covid has made me compromise as well as sacrifice a lot. Yet, my commitment towards my students remains intact!
The worst experience for an online teacher is when an unscrupulous parent peeps into his child’s online classroom and starts forming opinions about the teacher. It is harmful to society when parents start mocking or joking about the idiosyncrasies of teachers in front of their kids!
Society, especially the fraternity of parents, needs to show much more sensibility in handling these situations. I strongly recommend that the student teacher’s teaching-learning connection should be respected as a pious relationship. Outside interferences must be eliminated.
And yes, a folded hands request to those parents who may have not paid their school fee ( and if you can honestly afford it) – please do the needful! It’s not about the money going to the institute. It’s also about the teacher getting her well-deserved dues!
Hope our teachers get to live life in the temple of learning soon.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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