The unsung heroes of Pandemic

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When the going gets tough, the tough get going! Teachers across the world proved this epitomizing resilience and resoluteness, tenacity and standing up to the challenges by converting them into opportunities. Society used them as they would an ‘Alexa,’ expecting all the right answers for each of their problems in these unprecedented times. There can be a positive outcome even in a bad situation. Isaac Newton discovered gravity, calculus, motion and optics while he was in quarantine during the great plague.

The pandemic ensured that every teacher was forced to become tech savvy, which otherwise would have been a long-drawn exercise for many of them. Many completed certification courses. Teachers ensured that education and dissemination of knowledge was not affected even as the pandemic took a toll on the mental and physical well-being of students.

Today’s children do not need counselling, they need honest conversations. Schools are now training teachers and incorporating tools like mindfulness, relaxation techniques, physical exercises, arts, music, breaks etc., to build the self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision making, relationship skills and self-management, all of which are the elements of Social and Emotional Learning.

While we focus on the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for children, it is important to understand that even teachers’ Maslow’s needs also have to be met as they are also going through a lot of emotional turmoil. Dr. Brad Johnson says “don’t make long term decisions based on short term chaos. If you are overwhelmed then you may feel like giving up, quitting, or even retiring. Get through this, get back to a good place mentally & emotionally before making those decisions”.

Keeping all these adverse factors that the teachers are going through in mind, it is very essential that they remember these three things 1. Not to put too much pressure on themselves or the children, as this is not the time for perfection but it is time for compassion and grace. 2. They should be in constant touch with their students. Their proficiency in professional competencies or personal effectiveness work only on the strength of the relationships they develop with their students. 3. Take care of themselves and their families, as they are their highest priority and specifically work to build their emotional strength. Once a person decides to become a teacher, he or she has to realize that the onus of shaping the destiny of the nation rests on their shoulders as they are directly in charge of moulding the next generation for any nation. So, as a teacher, it is very essential that they strengthen their character and personality and stand tall to be role models for their students for learning and emulate them.

” While we focus on the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for children, it is important to understand that even teachers’ Maslow’s needs also have to be met as they are alsogoing through a lot of emotional turmoil.”