Most of us had a preview of the online mode of teaching for the previous batch towards the end of the term, but nothing
could have prepared us for a reality where online teaching and virtual classrooms were going to be the norm for a long time to come. It is amidst all the uncertainties surrounding us (physical and emotional likewise) that we started the new academic year in July 2020.
Jr. KG is the introductory step for a child into a world of infinite learning, knowledge, joy and skill-building. The child looks up to the teacher as their closest confidante in this journey; to take away the face-to-face interaction between the child and teacher out of the equation was akin to an existential crisis. It was imperative for all the teachers to adopt, adapt and improve. Our unwavering commitment was how to give our children the very best that they deserve regardless of the mode of interaction.
We all embraced technology, albeit reluctantly, and worked through all the challenges – School Diary, Audio and Video, connectivity issues to name a few. ‘Am I audible’, ‘Can you see Teacher properly’, ‘Please mute / unmute yourself, ‘Can you see my screen’ became our new daily companion phrases. We had to compensate for the very short online class duration, each teacher takes turns in conceptualizing and designing the online and offline timetables to ensure the child’s learning and skill development through the day with the help of multiple fun activities. What has been so heartening is to witness the parents’ support and untiring efforts with all of this. They help drive the offline activities and share with us regularly the work done by the children. This has been an excellent partnership.
We have also grabbed this opportunity to be creative with our day planning – we start off with the circle time comprising the prayer and mindful breathing followed by the day, date and weather. Each child gets an opportunity to lead the individual sections. We then discuss the particular week’s topics where each child gets to share their thoughts and observations thus making the discussion very interactive. We also prepare videos covering different topics, games during sessions to practice the concepts learned, art & craft activities, fireless cooking, music and dance-based activities as well as celebrating special occasions such as Birthdays and Festivals.
We are so grateful for the wonderful bond we now have with our children and are very happy to see the tremendous
progress made by each and every child through these months. All this combined with the parents’ feedback and
encouragement makes us believe we are on the right path and gives us the confidence boost to push through 2021 with renewed vigor.
As Matt Damon famously quotes in ‘The Martian’ – At some point, everything’s gonna go south on you and you’re going to say, this is it. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That’s all it is. You just begin. You do the math.
You solve one problem and you solve the next one and then the next. And if you solve enough problems, you get to come home.
This couldn’t be truer for all of us!