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The past two years have been tumultuous for students. In such times teachers must step in, but must also learn how to keep learning.
As the seemingly endless lockdown gradually began to end, step by step, educational institutions and educators were quick in adapting to the new norms of online learning. In more ways than one, teachers taught themselves and transformed their teaching techniques to make it easier for students to adapt to a whole new learning system.
At the outset, the pandemic situation demanded a great deal of adjustment from the teaching and learning fraternity as the entire education system experienced a wave of change. For students, their parents and educators, online classes became the new normal. Turning to the digital model was not an easy task for anyone, but it is worth appreciating that teachers went the extra mile to ensure they impart knowledge in the most effective and engaging manner. They are constantly endeavouring to be creative to keep students motivated to
Being tech savvy was never really a prerequisite for most teaching jobs but with the revolutionary online learning system, it has become extremely important. Those who were not well-versed with computers or digital media had to enter into this new learning mode quickly to be able to teach effectively. Today teachers are absorbing technology in every way and it is important for them to treat technology as a partner in teaching rather than as a hindrance.
1. Developing material to suit virtual learning
With online classes, it is certainly difficult for teachers to gauge what and how much the students are learning. To make this less complicated, teachers are ‘redesigning’ content to suit the online model of teaching, framing exercises in such a way to ensure that students are grasping the material well and defining tasks that reflect the level of the students’ comprehension. They develop interactive exercises to make the process interesting while also ascertaining that these exercises and programs are well aligned with the curriculum and learning objectives.
To maintain constant attention of kindergarten students, teachers have to be more innovative than they need to for older kids. Kindergarten has always been filled with interactive games, toys, etc. to help the kids learn the basics in a creative and engaging way. With remote learning coming into the picture, teachers had to create fun yet educational videos while taking sessions with the parents present. Virtual learning has also helped build a strong connection between the kids and the teacher as they play games, narrate stories, and engage with the teacher. It is a fun experience for both teachers and the children even though they are meeting virtually, which was earlier limited only during school hours. Kids of such young age connect easily through videos and other virtual means.
2. Handling both students and their parents
Students now attend classes from the confines of their homes and not having a break from the family atmosphere is not always the best for them. Helicopter parenting rose to new heights. For instance, parents pass comments or prompt answers when the teacher asks questions to their
child. Teachers have had to manage students as well as parents, who were not used to the entire online learning concept. More often than not, educators have to help parents to allow the child to learn independently and only offer assistance when required.
3. Understanding and dealing with students’ emotional disarray
Humans are social creatures by nature and the lack of social interaction has caused a lot of stress and anxiety among students. Not being able to meet friends, talk or play with them have all caused havoc with every child’s emotional quotient. Teachers have enabled themselves to effectively
counsel students while also creating a fun virtual learning atmosphere. They have learnt various techniques to recreate the classroom environment students have always been accustomed to, in order to help them build bonds and facilitate interaction with fellow students.
Teachers are constantly required to learn new ways to teach so a successful teacher will be the one who invests in training and development for themselves. An incessant effort has been put into during this transitional phase, because it is fruitful not just now but even later on, for a post-pandemic scenario, to expand the teaching modality.
Substituting the age-old system of classroom learning with a tech reliant framework will be of greater advantage when teachers are well-equipped to use this framework. Though many teachers have become digitally literate during the past year, they must be able to use their digital literacy creatively. Up skilling is a process. The educational sphere is redefining itself and educators should up skill to allow a seamless transformation. The traditional teaching system is now being complemented by technology more than ever and classes over video calls are the new normal. It is only practical to move swiftly towards a digital education structure and consistently learn newer ways to teach. An effective and successful teacher, in the 21st century, is one who is holds the capacity to unlearn and relearn.
Article inputs by Mrs. Damayanti Bhattacharya – Principal of Jasudben ML School and Bloomingdales Pre-Primary
Image Source- Canva
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Damayanti Bhattacharya is a veteran educator with several years of experience in the field of
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