Can you think of a profession where a boss is tracked down by many on a social media channel only to be told that how much value he or she has brought into their life? I have heard this happening to people in only one profession and that is teaching. A neighbour who happened to be a teacher shared with me how her fan following has been rising. Some 20 plus whom she had taught when they were in grade 1 or 2 have been sending her friend requests and connecting with her. They have filled her with so much love and admiration that she feels they have made her life so worthwhile. I can confidently say that the case applies to most of the teacher if not all.
We are a Family
The pandemic has changed professional life of almost everybody, but nothing like the way it has transformed for the teaching fraternity. But the admiration that students reserve for their teachers hasn’t changed at all. Almost in all cases, where students are accessing online learning, they moved to their new grade in April and since then have been interacting online with their teachers who were probably new to them. But, in a matter of 5 months they have become a close family. All was made possible by the affection and hard work teachers have been putting in to make the learning seamless.
A Communicator or Teacher?
They wouldn’t have imagined even in their dreams that would ever have to metamorphose into communications professional. A teacher these days is expected to be digital savvy, marketing strategist, a communications professional who knows how to invite and connect prospective customers (read parents) and conduct a business meet or an event on social media sites connected hundreds and remain competitive in the market place.
A Digital Strategist
It was quite interesting when a friend, also a teacher shared with me that the biggest challenge before teachers during this time is how to create customer engagement on digital media? So the focus on them is not just how much and how to impart learning to their students, also how to create online engagements with prospective students or their parents!
I am sure they miss in-person interaction with students as students miss being in school and college. Online learning has definitely made communication challenging for teaches. I wonder how helpless they feel when there are children displaying all seven emotions, some highly distracted, some sitting in different yoga postures, some of them highly distracted, others making the best of the opportunity to evade the lecture! Despite going through the demands of online teaching, ensuring that learning happens for all, they share files and videos on specific platforms, or on YouTube or groups in WhatsApp.
MOOC may have failed to live up to the hype or online learning was never given a serious thought before covid, teachers have adapted well to online teaching. I would call our teacher community our education warriors. They have adapted to the technology so well that surfing through the technology is gradually becoming their second nature. They have become digital experts and can organise business summits gathering of 200-300 people and making all efforts that learning for students stays in progress.
The technology has even empowered the education warriors in keeping the adventurous students under discipline. Those who do not pay heed in the class or create disturbance, keep their videos off, are eased out of the meeting room, or silenced by deactivating the chat box. This is that army which goes on with its regimen without any complaints.
They are ready to conduct classes any time of the day, even when their throats get dry with classes running back-to-back or long screen time taking a toll on their eyes stressing them out. They are always happy to teach. More power to the education warriors.
Happy Teachers Day