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I responded to digital learning positively.

In the beginning, I was very worried as I was not aware of the technology to be used during digital learning. And so do my colleagues. Google classrooms, google quizzes assignments online plans, and the related stuff were all new for us at the beginning. Some of us were scared initially of the consequences before accepting digital learning.

Teachers globally tried and used every bit of technical information they were known and firmly stood for their students in this critical situation of a pandemic. The academic year 2020-21 journey began on the 13-inch laptop!

Thanks to our principal ma’am, Mrs. Nalini Sengupta, the inspiration throughout, oiled the lamps to glow and spread the light of teaching to every single soul attended online.

The daily routine collapsed and a new normal came into existence. No travel in the school bus with kids, empty classes, school grounds, no more hugs from the kids, and chats. Shush!! Everywhere.

We, teachers, don’t have to work on Silence Signals anymore.

Is the statement scaring or relieving us?? Of course, scaring for me.

A few days ago, I was thinking of my thirty students to whom I didn’t bid farewell before going to the next standard which use to happen every year with full pomp in our classroom. And I was thinking about them, then no sooner next brood of thirty started interacting with me in the next academic year. All digitally!!

New normal, New academic year, New strategies, New regulations, New google classrooms. Blackboards became Jam boards and Screens, PPTs, and Word documents overtook teachers scribbling. The words ‘Quiet’ and ‘Speak’ were no more heard but Mute and Unmute heard all the time.

Monitors missed writing names of talkative kids on the board and dusting the duster on the wall outside a classroom.

Communication is very important. We made the online school possible with modified timetables and make the children realize that they are learning in fancy schools.

My students responded perfectly to the situation. Each day they waited eagerly for me to join and speak to them. They had vast information to share with me then it can be about their colored eraser, scribbled artwork, the favorite dish they had, their daily routine, and also interesting knowledgeable facts.

I sincerely feel that a teacher must listen more to understand her students better. This year It was a lot of digitally learning for me than students. I could connect mentally to my brood of 30 ‘Smart Techies’ or ‘Little Corona Warriors’. I enjoyed every class with my students interacting about their daily life happenings.

In digital learning, all that the students have to do is unmute themselves and ask. There is no peer pressure or not no live threatening environment. Digital learning has created a more inclusive learning space. Hesitant kids bloomed well in online classes.

We meditate, played quizzes, sung, danced, stretched, celebrated birthdays and events, both listened to the stories keenly, etc. How can I forget my parents? They were supportive and always there for their kids. They were the Mediators or peacekeepers between teachers and their students.

What I missed the most was ‘The innocent Hug’ by the kids with a lovely grin. Their smile used to vanish all my worries of a day and inspired me to spend my day ahead.

 

-Nilima Jaunjale

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