Reflecting On The Online Mode of Education: A New Teacher's Perspective

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Yet another tedious day in 2021, this year just as 2020, is fizzling out, and I am sitting in front of my PC and wondering if normalcy can ever be the way it was before. It’s 14.30 in the clock, time for class and even though a large part of my energy has been consumed, I still have to put up an enthusiastic face as “A good educator is a harbinger of positive energy” as without that energy I won’t be able to draw my student’s attention and sustain it.

It’s been almost two months since I’ve started interning with a school and I have been putting my blood and sweat into making engaging lesson plans for my students with the hope that I’ll get to know what interests my students more so that I do justice to children who make an effort to come to my classes, as they take time out of their schedules to engage in my classes.

We’ve been teaching and learning through boxes in our screens for the past 18 months, and I’ve been looking for motivation and a sense of self-discipline in my life, and it seems like I am looking for a needle in a haystack. And speaking for primary school children, it is even more difficult for them, as, a school, a classroom is a structured environment that is intended to facilitate effective learning, and a home lacks this. The online mode of education has disregarded the best teaching toolkits that I had developed during the last few years for the physical classrooms, teachers and learning facilitators had to start from scratch. At the beginning of this internship, I was very intimidated, like any other new educator, I thought that all the theories I had read in all these years are of no use, and maybe this isn’t even meant for me.

Like, I have been making a reserve of storybooks as children enjoy reading them and stories are an amazing tool of language learning, but when I took one of the best books of my collection to the class, children didn’t respond to it like I thought they would and I got to know that my students don’t enjoy reading much and they prefer audio-visual resources over books. Amid this pandemic, many eLearning companies have come up with many programs, people are arguing that textbooks have enough content and that it is wise and economical to shift to remote learning from the online mode of learning, and such companies have also questioned the role of educators.

But after closely engaging with school children I think it is fair to say that content is there all over the internet and the world, but it is an educator who would connect learning in ways that will inspire children to do better every day! My mother, who has been teaching primary school children for the past 25 years, has been thinking of leaving her job since the beginning of this academic year. She feels that she isn’t making any difference in her students’ lives and there's no actual learning happening and that all of this is just namesake. The challenges that COVID-19 bought with itself have stretched the educators to their limits and to the verge of burnout. And it's compelling them to leave their jobs.

The consequences of this pandemic are overwhelming, and I got to learn that adaptability is very important, we as educators have to adapt our pedagogies and be creative to keep our students engaged, especially in these situations when their environment does not support learning. No matter how much I try, on some days pessimism and self-doubt creeps in. But then I remind myself that "there's a hope that's waiting for you in the dark."

Author: Annapoorna Nair| Publisher: Kosha Life



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