Savita khazanchi, a teacher at RN Podar School in Santacruz, has updated her status message on her Facebook account. It reads: Collect Admit Cards on February 16. It is a reminder for her students, who are on her friends’ list.
When students are holed up at home with revisions, teachers are ensuring they remain accessible.
“If I see a student with a troubled status message, I will check on her. We share photographs and jokes. Student-teacher relationships are not what they used to be,” said Khazanchi. “Students check their online accounts frequently, so it is the best way to get through to them.”
For Sameer Moledina (15), his teachers are an SMS away. “ I can message them any time and they will solve my doubts. I can even go to their homes if there is something important,” said the Class 10 student.
But do students want to let teachers into their online social lives? “It’s alright to have a teacher on your Orkut list. We have a personal rapport with our teachers and they are cool,” said Tejas Naphade (17).
For Patricia Fernandes, it is a juggle between Orkut, Facebook, Yahoo Messenger and Gchat. “I have created accounts all over cyberspace. They send me a text and I log on to help them,” said the teacher of math and science.
KS Jamali, principal of Beacon High School, Khar, is preparing for early morning visits from students.
“I could never imagine dropping in at my principal’s place for doubts. Children drop in at six and we solve doubts over coffee. I even send them SMSes to see if they are coping well,” said Jamali.