Teachers reshaping learning design
Sanjay Yadav, Principal, Ahlcon International School, Mayur Vihar
A school is an educational institution, designed to provide safe and well-integrated space, a conducive learning environment for children under the guidance of teachers. Grouping of students together in a centralized location for learning has existed since ancient times. Beyond just teaching academics, schools play a significant role of fostering students’ development in their relationships, identity, emotional skills, and overall well-being. When caught unawares in the disruptions led by the Covid-19 pandemic, the response of the teaching community has been phenomenal in establishing a parallel schooling system on a digital platform. They connected with children and took care of their academic needs as well as life skills education, through virtual schooling. The closure of schools has far reaching economic and social consequences globally. The outreach has been limited and the impact has been more severe for the disadvantaged children and families. Distance learning programmes, open educational applications and platforms are being developed and offered to reach learners remotely and limit the disruption of education. In these times of crisis, the need is to build an educational system, integrating the strengths of physical and virtual schooling for all to pave the way for a blended schooling in future.
Priti Ojha, Principal, Delhi International School, Sector 23, Dwarka
During the lockdown, the teacher-student relationship has taken a somersault, and now it is like learning together. The medium of teaching no more exists in the teachers’ comfort zone. They have to upgrade and update themselves to connect with the students. Students are natives of technology and are well versed with most of its attributes and are now waiting for teachers to engage them in an online class. It’s not easy to teach remotely if teachers are not well-versed in using tech tools. The biggest challenge is to make children sit in front of the screen. Long lectures may deter them (students) from attending class. To ensure their attendance, teachers need to do a lot of thinking and planning. The teachers have to learn various types of tech applications to make the classes exciting and learner-centric. Every class is unique and if a teacher gets in advance the feedback on what style of teaching engrosses students more, the teaching technique of that teacher will become effective. Teachers should spend less time on speaking and give more time to the students. When children are given roles to play during the teaching, they develop a sense of ownership and take the class forward under the guidance of their teachers. Teachers have to be aware of cybercrime laws too. Parents have to play the most vital role. They should not only supervise their wards’ learning but also make them understand that during this trying time remote learning is the best option to acquire knowledge. Parents also must ensure that children follow the schedule prepared by the school.
Jyotsna Varma, PGT English, Mayoor School, Noida
Life has completely changed even as the basics remain unchanged during this period. I am still an educator but now my workspace is different. It amuses me no end that all the sermons I delivered to students to steer clear of screens have suddenly lost relevance. Children — rather than questioning my sermons — help me navigate technology. God finally answered our prayers and granted us those precious moments to pursue our passions. But did we really want leisure at this cost? Yes, we can chase our pursuits from the comfort of our homes. But an invisible enemy lurks at the doorstep. Nature seems to have unleashed its fury on us in return for severe damage we inflicted on it. I hope we’ve learnt our lesson. We pledge to script a new chapter devoid of exploitative elements as life limps back to normalcy.
Anushka Raheja, Class 12, GD Goenka Public School, Model Town
Our lives might have been perforated by the needle-like proteins of a viral strain but, fortunately, we have not ceased. I believe firmly in the ideal of making something beautiful out of a miserable situation, and have worked to achieve that throughout the lockdown period. Apart from attending daily online classes, I have worked on my baking skills. The culinary craft has always evaded me but now I have honed my baking prowess. Baking is an incredibly soothing activity. Measuring ingredients and following a time-honed recipe has furnished my life with a structure that cannot be found elsewhere in these times of unprecedented chaos. Apart from the obvious delicious products of the activity, it has also been a bonding experience for me and my family. Food is inherently and historically connective, and in the era of social distancing, connection with each other is what we crave. I have fulfilled and enjoyed my quarantine- induced culinary fantasies thoroughly!
Vasudha Nagpal, Class 6-A, The HDFC School, Gurugram
There are many activities I enjoy doing during this lockdown period -- dancing, yoga, drawing, making crafts, playing with my young and cute pet bunny, taking care of plants and reading books. But what I enjoyed the most is playing my bunny. It is active and energetic and has added zest to my life . It keeps my family engaged. When it first arrived here , it sniffed everything to recognise it. It became used to its new home and started to lick and love us. It likes many things but its favourites are grass and cilantro. It has dispelled all boredom during this period and always keeps me happy. I love to take care of it by cleaning it and giving it healthy food. I am amazed that in such a short time, it became my darling and made me forget the lockdown blues.
Garvit Verma, Class 12, St Mark’s Sr Sec Public School, Paschim Vihar
The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic is all set to change everything . Will it for better or worse? We have to wait for it. It has made us realise the ambiguity of times and how volatile the sand under our feet is. It has also made us realise how precious is this life we’re living.While things seem to get back on track again and possibility of vaccines being found and restrictions being lifted give us hope. This pause we all experienced has definitely given us some time to revisit and ponder upon many untold things. So, when we are back to normal, maybe we will spread a little more joy and less hate, and cherish each moment. Maybe we will chase dreams and passions instead of materialistic possessions. Maybe we will decide to reserve less and pour out more.
Anvi Aryan, Class 3, Kamal Public School, Vikaspuri
The pandemic has given us a chance to do many things that we were not able to do earlier due to our busy schedules. Now we can spend a lot of time with my family. The physical exercise has become a need to keep ourselves fit and we all do it in the morning. After online classes, I watch TV. In the evening. I water the plants with my Mom. I enjoy playing chess and badminton with my Dad. I also like poetry and painting.