March 2020 had proved to be the cruelest month when Corona arrived in India. Teachers were all set to conduct the final exams, which were cancelled, and all the students were promoted.
The venomous virus refused to beat a retreat even after the summer break and the sign of normalcy looked bleak. After a lot of brainstorming, we decided to make videos of the chapters as well as worksheets to keep the classes going. Smartphones have become the lifeline of the education system. Looks like the most apt oxymoron that has ever existed. The most hated object in the schools is now holding the ladder.
Classroom teaching is interactive and fun if we think of the cheerful and energetic 6 -7-year-olds. Now I am talking to the monitor while recording English and EVS chapters. I became the director, scriptwriter, editor, sound recordist, dubbing artist and cameraman overnight! The quote "Good teaching is 1/4 preparation and 3/4 theatre." sounded so true. There were frustrating moments when I had to redo the whole video just because of a slip of tongue. Gradually it became easy with many apps and smartphone features.
Online classroom is quite like the real classroom. Same innocent faces who trust their teachers more than anyone else. I reserved the last 5 minutes of the class for general discussion. Soon my students adapted to the classroom rules like; mute/unmute the device, waiting for their turn to speak etc I wish our parliamentarian learnt a lesson from them. They shared their happy thoughts and fears. Some of them wanted me to meet their younger siblings, which I was so
happy to do.
We discussed the chapters in the Meet and conducted exams through google forms. Asked them questions in What’s App video to ensure that they have grasped the concept, but we did miss our classroom ambience, subtle jokes, lab and games periods and last but not the least –tiffin time.
Mothers who used to drop and pick their kids at the school gate were sitting next to them in the classrooms. Their support and hard work should be saluted. Most of them have toddlers and old parents at home who need to be looked after, still we kept getting the HW and projects on time.
Lockdown is trying us all. We all have challenges to face. Yours truly had planned and managed a big, fat Indian wedding at home during the last academic session, juggling between classes and shopping. The hectic schedule without a domestic help was common to all my friends who are teachers.
We all hope and pray that this virus vanishes soon. Till then we are trying to keep the morale of our kids high by keeping them engaged in studies and answering their queries. But, I never feel so speechless and helpless when in the Google Meet a child raises his hand, unmutes his device and asks, “Ma’am hum school kab aayenge?” (when would we come back to school?)