Reflections from 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic challenged classroom dynamics and affected education systems worldwide when governments decided to close educational institutions temporarily. During this time, technology came to us as a rescue. It helped us continue the teaching-learning process virtually and equipped educators and learners with tools that were the need of the hour. It transformed an entire sector and showed us what the future of education could look like. With the efforts of our passionate and dedicated teachers, transitioning online was much easier that we initially imagined. We asked some of our teachers to share their on lessons and learnings from 2020. Here’s what they had to say!
Jyotsna Dwivedi, CAIE Primary teacher
We all know that 2020 was an unprecedented year. It took so much from us, and yet it gave so much to us. While I am trying to get this year off my chest I have many things to share. Disease from a faraway land is going to affect our daily lives; this story was far-fetched for me. But, gradually the fiction became a reality.
There was a nation-wide lockdown. Classrooms were closed because of the pandemic which the world has encountered. We were grappled with the fear of physical infection and were experiencing the mental anguish of lockdown. As teachers, we were bound to introspect ourselves and think out of the box for the future generation. We always hear “Learning cannot be confined to four walls of the classroom” and it was time to put theory into practice. As a teacher, we had a void to fill, and we were ready for that. We were supposed to keep the ‘Lamp of learning burning’ with our perseverance and excellence. We became the flag bearers of remote teaching and befriended technology to disseminate knowledge. But, it was not a cakewalk. We realised that education is beyond indoctrination. We attempted to manoeuvre the technicalities involved in remote teaching. Though it was difficult to adapt to the new normal, we dug deep to tap the resource of grit and resilience within us. We received online training, made PowerPoint’s, and created online assessments for students. Despite apprehensions about the effectiveness of remote teaching, we were able to deliver it.
So, my heartfelt message to 2020 is “Dear 2020, though you tried to break us, we sparked a paradigm shift from offline teaching to virtual classrooms. Despite all the challenges, we did what was required to keep the boat of education floating. It’s time for you to rest”.
Vidya Bhavani Koreka, CBSE Secondary Teacher
“The year 2020 is a fateful year! An extremely challenging year! I am waiting for the year to end! My routines have turned upside down!” These are some of the statements most of us heard sooner or later. But the million-dollar question would be, was it that bad? Well, I say, no! This collective pause to life did come as a shock. It made me panic, more than I needed to (thanks to the false propaganda). There were days when I indulged in panicking about everything I heard and saw. Staying indoors, not meeting friends, no hangouts, above all, working from home. All these seemed unwelcoming and unrequested for.
If I pay less attention to these challenges and introspect, I do realize that COVID-19 is a blessing in disguise. COVID-19 and a blessing? One might wonder. Certainly yes! COVID-19 is a great teacher! A teacher who was tough on us at times but leading and guiding us to on the right path. It has helped people understand the true value of hygiene and spending quality time with family. It has taught us to be vigilant towards our health, exercise, practice yoga, and meditation. It has certainly slowed down our lives, but I certainly feel this ‘slow down’ is worth relishing. It has taught us that life would still go on if you don’t run or rush. It has taught us there is joy, beauty and meaning in waiting, and pain too! How life will turn out to be post COVID-19? No one knows! But it has certainly been a blessing in disguise for me.
The pandemic will certainly bring drastic changes in all walks of life starting from the economy to dining outside and the education system would be no exception. I, being a teacher, look forward to a more rewarding and productive transformation in my classroom post COVID. Technology should continue to remain an integral part of imparting knowledge. Teachers should be trained on how to confidently meet future eventualities and come up with different strategies to face real-time situations. We should conduct more sessions for students on how to manage emotions, accept sudden changes and methodologies. I strongly believe that we should inculcate strength, adaptability and resilience amongst students as “change is nature’s rule and we should be ready to embrace it”.
Bindusree Vemulapalli, Robotics Teacher
When 2019 was coming to an end, like any other individual, I was super excited to welcome another year with a lot of dreams and open arms. Little did I know about what was in store for all of us in 2020. Due to the lockdown, the country’s economy came down, many lost their jobs, and many suffered in multiple ways. However, there are few things that I am grateful for. I saw myself finding happiness in simple things, started being grateful to this life, and being thankful for having a job that kept me busy and sane.
This pandemic has bought a drastic change in education, shifting the learning and teaching from offline to online. What I like about online teaching is the flexibility to choose a mutually convenient time to meet. It was easier to share information online with the flexibility of time as well as location. However, everything comes with its struggles. As hard as distance teaching might be for us, it is likely even harder for our students. They have gone from classrooms explicitly designed to support learning to bedrooms and kitchen tables where distractions are plentiful, and expert support isn’t always on hand.
The major lesson that I would take away from 2020 is ‘Health is the real wealth’! 2020 was the year of self-love. Loving ourselves despite changes in our mental health, weight, income, social life, work environment, and surroundings was the key to surviving 2020. Most importantly, I have learnt to admire little things and count my blessings in life.
Thank you to our teachers for taking the time to reflect and share their thoughts! CHIREC looks forward to a healthier, happier and safer 2021 and many more innovations in Education!