On Being A Teacher
On Being A Teacher
I'm a high school teacher. I deal with that section of the population who always thinks that their parents and teachers are wrong most of the time. But I have always loved challenges so being a teacher was a natural option. Working in a school for a long duration enabled me to develop bonds with quite a few people. In the language of the youngsters, I have a few BFF at my workplace. For all of us who work in the school navigating through the traffic and reaching school on time is a Herculean task as we have the biometric machine where we have to swipe and it records the time. Late comings would mean a deduction in salary. Then begins the actual adventure- take classes, go from one floor to another to have access to the library, computer lab to do various chores. Whoever said teachers' job is easy? And finally, the much-awaited time of the day comes. The last period. Once that is over half an hour later we the teachers can leave. Again overcome the traffic woes and reach home. But that's not the end of the day. After reaching home the endless list of chores begins. Putting clothes in the machine for washing, cleaning the house, ironing the clothes, cooking, and so on. This is true for most of the working women. A few of us might have help to do the chores at home. But blast this pandemic, due to which that luxury is also no longer there. I first heard of the disease COVID 19 in the news and how people were dying due to the disease. Did not pay much attention to it as I was under the impression that it is somewhere else in the world. It is not going to affect us. But very soon it did and changed our lives. During regular school, I remember one of my friends saying, " It would be so nice if we can sit at home. I'm just fed up with this traffic." and on the same day, children were talking in the class about the increasing temperatures and how nice it would be if they get holidays. And lo behold, it was like somebody was listening to all this and our wishes were granted. But in what way? The spread of the pandemic changed our lives? Children were initially happy as there would be no exams and all of them got promoted to the next class. But imagine us. The teachers. It was an overnight transition from the real-world to a virtual world. Many of us were not so tech savvy but all of us rose to the occasion.
The process of learning must never stop and hence it was decided by the school management to impart education through virtual classes to the students. The teachers were provided training for the same. They had to try out their skills before actually taking classes and so began the long tiring sessions of teachers taking classes for each other so that they can master the skills and garner a lot more knowledge from each other about things that they didn't know. In a few day's time we learnt most of the things and the online sessions began. It was very taxing on us right from the beginning as we have to prepare so much before the actual class. Make a PPT, send notes, check the mails for homework and assignments sent by students, keep a track of who has not submitted and do a follow-up, conduct online exams, search and think of innovative methods of presenting a concept........ the list goes on. It's almost four months that we are doing the online classes and I hope I will retain my sanity by the time the school reopens and I do survive. The pandemic has taken away many loved ones from us. But being at home is even more difficult for working women as the other members of the family think, "She's at home. She should do the work." The minute you take a mug of coffee and sit you get the looks from others saying you have time for this but you can't sweep the house? My friend suggested meditation. But going into thoughtlessness is another thing for me. Sometimes when I stand in the balcony and see the kids playing in the park, I just rue what is the race for? Why can't we be happy like the children? Fearless and carefree. The pandemic brought changes in our lifestyle but look at nature. It's flourishing as the interference of man has reduced greatly. The surveys done by the government reveal an increase in wildlife, a reduction in pollution levels and I just wonder.....What am I teaching? Who's teaching whom? When will this come to an end?