Tribune News Service
Amritsar, October 27
Five years into the profession of a teacher, Reicha A Kandhari had never thought that the shift towards online education would be so abrupt. Initially, she had a hard time to imbibe the shift just like many of her counterparts.
“The initial shift toward digital classes was a bit challenging as no one had any clue as to how much of it would be possible on a short notice. But I would call it a blessing in disguise,” says Reicha. An English teacher and Head of Department (HoD) for English for Classes VI and X at Mount Litera Zee School, Reicha has settled quickly into a routine. Her day begins with sharing links of online classes and taking two-hour long sessions at a stretch. “The moment I wake up, the first thing I do is to generate links for our classes. I take two simultaneously sometimes, where I am teaching to one batch and just observing the other finish classwork or assignments.”
Life for teachers, she says, has changed drastically but in a good way. “Earlier, we used have limited time window for our classes and then assigned other tasks as well. There were not many resources at our disposal and one had attention of only a student in a classroom. But with digital classes, you are available to every child’s needs and there are no distractions,” she adds. Her mornings are spent teaching and interacting with students and adopting audio-video tools of learning for the lessons.
“As far as education is concerned, the digital classes have had a positive feedback from parents as well as children. There has been a surge in number of students actively attending classes and also workshops, even enjoying alternate learning methods,” she also designs training workshops for students now. Earlier, classes were taken at a stretch and administrative work was next. “Now, we can simultaneously do more tasks and focus on productivity,” she tells. The teacher also pursued an advanced placement course from an overseas university during the lockdown. “I don’t think it would have been possible with regular classes.”
Her afternoons are reserved for a break from duties and spending time with her family and herself. As evening dawns, it is time to get feedback from parents, connecting with other teachers to manage and plan extra-curricular activities or assignments. “I am constantly in touch with all the parents. One of the changes post the peak of pandemic that has come into our profession is that earlier you only had to finish your working hours and come back home. Now, it’s like you are connected to students, teachers and parents 24/7,” Reicha says.
But calling it a good thing, she feels that this gives her an opportunity to grow in her professional learning. “Otherwise, how would the teachers shun complacency and learn digital mode of teaching? Or learn global methods and develop skills through digital tools,” she muses.
Deep into the evening, it is ‘my time’ for her as she enjoys a long walk and listens to music to rewind. She also devotes the hours to her husband, who is also a teacher in the same school. “Both of us understand the challenges of profession and take out time for each other,” she shares.
Her day closes with preparation of time table for next day and lesson plans. “I doze off only after I have prepared all my resources for the next day’s classes.”
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