One fine day, we woke up and found our city, country, whole wide world and everything else come to a standstill. Something absolutely unexpected, not even in the worst of our dreams, had happened. Then, suddenly, all the related challenges began hitting us.
There came in the role of a teacher. I have been a person who is not so tech-savvy and struggles to overcome her anxiety about going online. In fact, just as me, there were many teachers, mostly at the verge of retirement, who were trying their best to connect with their students. We were aware that life shouldn’t stop because of the lockdown and that the show must go on. Those of us who are in their 50’s and even those who were almost illiterate when it came to using new technologies, developed resilience and adapted to new platforms. Hence, in spite of the difficulties of online-teaching in the starting, slowly and steadily, we all learnt how to handle the situation. We tried everything from Zoom to Microsoft Teams, and Google Classroom to Google Meet.
Our biggest hurdle during this period was—how to make the online classes as lively, interesting and interactive as the physical classes used to be? How to help children believe that this is the ‘new normal’?
As a Biology and a Science teacher, my problems were much greater. I had to ensure that my students understand all the concepts, including those which require a practical or an outdoor activity. That is when I took a moment and promised myself that as a teacher, I have to serve my students as dutifully as a warrior. Their innocent faces gave me the courage, strength, and inspiration to beat these obstructions and look for new ideas and practices to teach them online. Hence, I turned my simple drinking glass into a beaker and experimented with my baking soda in the kitchen. I used my turmeric, detergent, clay, paper coins, balloons and everything else possibly available at home as teaching aids for explaining them different topics.
By now, my students have not only maintained their interest in the subject but have also actively participated in my online classes. Things are gradually getting more streamlined. I believe that there is a ray of hope and light at the end of the tunnel— these tough times will end soon and we all will come out of it much strong and braver!