Teachers’ Day 2020 amid COVID-19 pandemic: With schools closed due to the pandemic, Teachers’ Day Celebrations this year are likely to be subdued. Moving away from the traditional way of students perform songs and plays or writing cards and delivering speeches to express their gratitude towards their teachers, this year, most schools and educational institutions have planned virtual celebrations to mark the occasion. However, this teachers’ day, it is important for us to acknowledge the contributions of teachers who have been at the forefront of India’s fight against COVID-19 while also ensuring that their core responsibility of teaching is also fulfilled.
Jagranjosh.com brings to you stories of teachers from across India, who navigated through the pandemic, from classroom to screen, adapting to the ‘new normal’ while also fulfilling their duties towards nation-building as Corona Warriors.
From Classroom to Online
Rama Kathooria from Sarla Chopra D.A.V. Public School, Noida, shares that her journey as a teacher amid the pandemic has been a tumulus one with new experiences as well as learning and re-learning. The move from Classroom to Online was a daunting one and even simple activities such as marking attendance of students had to be rethought with innovative and virtual solutions. Organizing Digital Classrooms meant not only acclimatizing oneself but also students and their parents with Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Classrooms.
However, the challenges that the pandemic and lockdown brought also forced us to find innovative solutions for our problems. Ms Kathooria says “the lockdown has made me more confident as a teacher. Finding new ways of teaching my students & making sure it’s something creative was important for me because I wanted them to enjoy the learning process. From PPT’s to small videos to brain-storming, all have been fun. I feel proud of myself that I have been able to learn so many new things.”
Sarla Chopra D.A.V. Public School, Noida
Student- Teacher Bond During the Pandemic
Richa Bhardwaj from Delhi Public School, Rohini says that Online classes have been a challenging yet interesting experience for me. These times have forcibly digitized us, taught us to be positive and spread happiness all around so that we get the strength to fight this crisis.
We have learnt that since life is so unpredictable, we have to give nothing but our best each day. Teaching on a virtual platform has been refreshing as it has replaced conventional classroom teaching with more innovative and effective audio visual tools. There is more scope to research and delve into the tiniest details of every topic.
Yes, there are connectivity issues and proxy attendance which dampen our spirits at times but as teachers we have developed strategies to deal effectively with these. Compatibility of various teaching platforms and not being able to assess the work of students properly remain two areas where more effort is needed.
As teachers and students together sail through this difficult phase, the student- teacher bond has grown stronger. So this teacher’s day might not be filled with cards and flowers but the fragrance of gratitude and love from our students is still there. Thanks to online classes, we could keep in touch with our students and upgrade our skills.
So lots of love to my dear students on this teacher’s day! May they be happy and safe always.
Delhi Public School, Rohini
Teachers as Corona warriors
Rashmi who is an Assistant Teacher at Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in Ghonda, New Delhi, shares that the role of a Teacher during the times of crisis such as the on-going pandemic is very crucial. Not many people realize this but apart from their duties of teaching and ensuring learning continuity for the students, teachers are also roped in by different government agencies as Corona Warriors. Many teachers from government schools were involved in conducting door-to-door surveys and were also deputed on duty at quarantine centres. In fact, many schools were transformed into quarantine centres and food distribution centres during the COVID-19 period, which was managed by teachers. In many areas, teachers were also directly involved in contact-tracing of people who came in contact of patients found to be COVID-19 positive.
Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in Ghonda, New Delhi
Transform Your Weaknesses into Strengths
Isha Upneja, who teaches at Kendriya Vidhyalaya in Pitampura, shares that COVID-19 pandemic has altered the course of learning and the change, although a surprise, has been welcomed as a challenge by teaching community across the country. In the absence of a face-to-face connect with students, teachers are coming up with new and innovative methods to engage students and make learning fun and interactive through online platforms. She also adds that digital classrooms are a new phenomenon for students as well teachers; so along with students, teachers also have learn a lot of new methods and techniques to conduct online classes. On the occasion of Teachers Day, Isha tells her students to enjoy the time they have on their hands right now and enjoy this unique experience. Students should use the time that is available to convert their weaknesses into strength.
Kendriya Vidhyalaya in Pitampura
Instruments of Social Change
Swadesh Kumar from GBSS School Gokulpuri, Delhi, says that throughout history, teachers have been termed as instruments of positive social change. The job of a teacher is not limited to merely holding daily classes and completing the course curriculum, but their responsibilities go above and beyond this limited scope. In the times of COVID-19 also, when people were scared to even step outside, teachers were asked to rise to the challenge and deputed to perform different duties as frontline workers. Apart from this, many teachers also conducted awareness drives through their students, to explain the importance of social distancing and masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
He also adds that while fulfilling their duty as Corona warriors, teachers also acclimatized themselves to the digital learning platforms and started delivering online classes to students. When students were cut-off from their classrooms and friends, teachers evolved innovative solutions to keep students engaged in the academic process through experiential learning and project-based activities. Addressing the challenge of the digital divide, many teachers have gone above their call of duty to hold classes for students over phone calls as well.
Fine Art Teacher - GBSS School Gokulpuri, Delhi
Message of Hardwork and Hope
Dr. Atul Singhal who is a well-known author and an academician states that role of a teacher is highly undervalued in the Indian society. Especially in the times of crisis like COVID-19, teachers have risen to the challenge and quickly adapted to the ‘new normal’ and ensured continued learning for the students even during the pandemic. While adapting to the new format of online classrooms and digital learning, teachers also had to provide mental strength and motivation to their students to keep their spirits up.
On the special occasion of Teachers’ Day 2020, Dr Singhal has asked students to be motivated and continue with their studies in the new normal. He also says that it is quite natural to be anxious and at times get overwhelmed with the changes that are happening around it. But in such times, it is important to continue the hard-work surely you will be successful.
Dr. Atul Singhal
Author and Academician