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The Gruelling Pandemic and an Epiphany for Educators

Dr L Savitha, Senior Principal, Kautilya Vidyalaya, Mysore

The pandemic shook our lives and got the best out of us educators. Now we are undoubtedly more advanced in technical skills and have been the first of the lot to adapt and spring into action. A quick peek into the online classes should put us on the thinking spree. Children are under pressure of watching the teacher’s monologue, jotting down points from their PPTs instead of the blackboards, writing down notes and submitting the assignments.  Is this what we intend to do in the name of education?  What we are doing is just repositioning the structured classroom.

Something is missing ! Yes, the human connect. 

How do we ensure to not let go of the human connect?  During online or remote teaching – learning sessions, it is not just the syllabus completion which is to be looked into.  There are tech and non tech ways of connecting with students.  If technology is the tail wagging the dog it is does no good. Only technology will not help.  Too much screen time is not safe or conducive.  We need to harness technology to ensure that the human component is not lost.  What is that the students are really wanting to learn? If it is the transaction of the content in the text book, children can do it better with the university called Google. The students are sitting in front of a little box of laptop/mobile screens which is a window to the world.  Behind the window is the tiny seed which can grow into a gigantic tree if nurtured well.

Many teachers have a scary question in their minds, “Are we going to become redundant ?”

No, if we provide quality value addition, we will be pursued. There is an urgent need to enhance value of the schools and teachers?

This is an opportunity for us to embark on our transformational journey. The emotional ups and downs of the student should be the first priority of the teacher.  Care for the learning of the student is the duty of the teacher. This is a new space where we need to prove students that each of them is importantStudents don’t have an equitable space or luxury.  Let us not try to replicate the actual classroom in the e-learning. The lecture will be a tiring on; build a social connect, always press the emotional button.  The students we are teaching are the generation Z. We need to  provide opportunities for unique expressions of children and cater to their need to be heard. We, the teachers, need to rise up to the needs of the learners and ensure  sustained interest in the learners. Novelty can wear off, hence can our children be made Eternal Learners ?

When we lose human connect there can be no connect.  Only when we  engage students with experience they involve in learning.  Audio, Visual and Kinesthetic modes  should be used to enable students to construct knowledge and enjoy learning.

Previously we were told,  one can take the horse to the water but not make it drink, but  the modern day mantra is to create thirst in the horse so that it goes to the water to drink. The onus of learning is to  shift on to the students and this can happen only if they are inspired to celebrate their uniqueness of expression. Previously the system was robust as knowledge was co-constructed by teachers and students through mutual discussions and questioning. It is high time we realize that we are not ivory towers, but co learners.

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