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Teachers' Day: Teaching school children during Covid-19 pandemic, educators recount pandemic experiences

ANI | Updated: Sep 05, 2021 22:26 IST

Noida (Uttar Pradesh) [India], September 5 (ANI): With the Covid-19 pandemic majorly disrupting the education sector, school teachers say that it had turned them into students too as they learnt to adapt to the new normal.
Transitioning to teaching classes online, picking up new technologies and learning to use gadgets, participating in webinars and online conferences and most of all learning to juggle school time with their housework, have been the challenges that teachers say they were faced with.
Anjali Lohani, who teaches at a Noida school said that teaching online was a completely new experience for her and her colleagues too as they had to put in a lot of hard work to adopt new teaching practices.
"Last year in April, I remember we had to prepare assignments, PPTs, worksheets and teaching became a 24 by 7 working job. We used to work day and night because we were not much tech-savvy. There were days where we had to skip our breakfast or lunch. But we managed after one or two months and adopted new teaching practices," said Lohani.
On being asked about how they have adopted the online culture in teaching, Lohani said that she is a bit tech-savvy but it was not the same for a few teachers who faced a lot of difficulties in organising classrooms. "In online classes, sometimes students do mischievous activities like coming with different names, invading chat rooms. So, it gets a bit difficult sometimes," she added.
Vijayta Saraswat, who teaches at another Noida school said the pandemic had "ushered in a new era in the education system" for teachers as they learnt several new computer applications and software, which they had not been comfortable with earlier.
Saraswat said that they were supported by the school management in terms of technology. "We had webinars, training programs, training workshops that motivated us to take online classes. It was a hardship in the first year, but in the second year, we became more comfortable," she stated.

She further said that during the lockdown, the teachers had to manage household work also along with teaching classes. "Somehow, we managed. There is a Darwin theory that says 'Survival of the fittest'. So that made us adapt to the change in the environment," Saraswat stated.
Lohani too said that things turned out to be really hectic for her as she has a five-year-old daughter. "Last year I was not able to pay attention to her for even half an hour because I was occupied with work throughout the day. Weekends also used to be quite hectic. This schedule also affected our health," she added.
Both the teachers said that the teaching profession became very difficult during the pandemic as they had to adapt to a new curriculum, new technology and also learn to handle gadgets.
"The profession became very challenging because we had a habit of chalk and blackboard and now we were given laptops. Writing on the notepad instead of the blackboard was new to our profession. Students also managed with us. It was mutual cooperation between the students and the teachers," said Saraswat.
Teachers spoke about how they helped each other cope with the situation. "We all teachers accepted the challenge and practised a lot. We had zoom meetings with colleagues and ask them various questions to know different settings. We were helping each other during covid times," said Lohani.
Ruchi Singh, a maths teacher at a top Noida school said that in the initial stages, she like several of her colleagues found it difficult to take online classes as they were not comfortable with new technology.
"When we were young, there was no such technologies. Thanks to the school management and children as they taught us too. It was a great experience for us and we are in the learning process right now," she stated.
"Many teachers are more aged than us, they were not able to manage. But again it is teamwork. We helped each other. Children supported us," she added. (ANI)