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As a teacher, I am used to hearing groans from my family members whose complaints have gone up due to my ‘virtual’ presence and ‘actual’ absence!
It is 11.30 pm, on a Wednesday and the mobile beeps again for the nth time today. But I am sticking to my resolve of not looking at it and confining my working hours like any usual school day and not work 24 hours. Will I be a bad teacher then, who knows! The definition of a teacher has changed drastically in the past three months.
So, the online classes have started and many parents are disliking them. However, surprisingly many more are encouraging their kids. They are proudly posting photos of the new trend of school and how easily their kids have adapted!
This new trend of school is quite relaxing for the young minds (I am considering only the academic part, not other activities or their time with friends, which is missed by almost all of them!) They can put away with the usual stress of notes completion or exams. And they can even refrain from attending classes whenever they don’t want to.
The technical aspects of online classes are interesting.
For a not-so-tech-savvy person like me, learning the required technical skills in a short span of time has been the biggest challenge of 2020! Right from making PPTs to conducting an online class, while also taking attendance, and teaching them, I have done it all.
To add to it, I’ve also muted students (and some times parents too!) only to unmute them to clear their doubts, going ahead with the syllabus and sharing the screen while disabling them from scribbling on it! And all this has to be done simultaneously in a 45 minute session.
Also there are those eager and helpful parents, who want to learn the lessons so that they can teach their children, who are attention-deficit or have other problems. But how can I forget those nosy parents! The ones who just sit around attending all classes only to find mistakes in the teacher or their way of teaching or pronunciation.
Dealing with the former seems tolerable, but the latter are more troublesome than students! And these parents prompt their children to ask doubts which obviously would have never crossed the child’s mind! So in a way, we are teaching the students and parents both. We do this while being judged for the way we speak, teach and conduct an online class within the short time frame and with limited resources!
Oh, and the numerous paper-work (which has now transformed into maintaining excel sheets, word documents, Google forms, Google docs) has been an enriching and confusing endeavour! Enriching for making life simpler with less paper.
At the same time, confusing because of the amount of data (who really cares about attendance of online classes and other such details now!) that needs to be prepared daily and ‘ready-to- retrieve within a few minutes’ time challenge posed to teachers!
Be it a meeting at any odd hour or spending most of the night making complete lesson plan ready for online sessions, a teacher’s work has not at all reduced, like many people think. In fact, it has increased a lot, adding stress to the already over-worked, exhausted and confused faculty!
Adding to all the woes is the appreciation factor! As teachers, we are used to being under-appreciated! Few students/parents say some good words which should be enough encouragement to continue our duties but what about the monetary side?
The school and parents seem to forget that a teacher has a house to run too. In the battle between parents unwilling to pay full fees and the management unwilling to decrease the fees, we are the victims. We are the ones who have actually overcome our fear of ‘technology’ to get on with whatever teaching methodology is available. All so that the students’ learning process continues and that too with no special incentives.
I take a quick look at my mobile and see that I have to submit something by tomorrow. So I keep aside my diary and get on with it. Meanwhile, I hear groans from my family members whose complaints have gone up due to my ‘virtual’ presence and ‘actual’ absence!
Picture credits: Pexels
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