Even if you are a neophyte or a web geek, by now you must be clear about the term online teaching. There are many ‘new normal’ scenarios for the world which are brought in by Covid-19. Education throughout the world is being thrown into disarray by coronavirus, forcing students to keep a hold of the courses virtually and teachers being armed with all online tools to teach. With new techniques, always come new challenges- which sadly, we as a nation, again, are unable to cope with!
Caught between a rock and a hard place- the teachers in our country have always been in dire straits. Some of these complications are procedural, and involve limitations of hardware or software, while others tend to be engrained in human nature or organizations. Teachers have to bear the brunt of tussles between the institution and parental body, and the reasons for that are unlimited.
The professionals, in order to prove their metal, need to satisfy not only the students but their parents and the institution too. Online teaching for educators includes some combinations of emails, virtual meetings, multi-media demonstrations, learning drills, virtual simulations, and online testing. The cherry on top is, the graph of appreciation for from either of the two frames, remain diminutive.
Covid 19 spread is traumatic for every profession but it is doubly painful for teachers. On one end, the scare of the spreading virus is at its peak, and on the other hand, while sitting at home with kids, you are uncertain about the employment situation of yourself as well as your spouse! While giving due credit to some reputed schools for not laying-off their staff, we cannot ignore the percentage of teachers affected by their organization’s decision to rip them off from their livelihood.
Keeping their sanity intact, the teachers not only need to keep up with fast evolving methods of modern teaching systems, but also they have to undergo the rigours of learning and honing online teaching skills. Even after being able to understand how the online teaching tools work, the nitty-gritties keep sprouting, sometimes creating a lot of unwanted trouble and sometimes even throwing the class into chaos.
The other numerous problems include- not being able to interact with the class due to a power failure or shortage of time; attached files gettingcorrupted or carrying viruses; chat box being a real waste of time; students interrupting the discussion with irrelevant blethering; a broken computer and/or piece of software on our end; receiving poor student and/or administrator evaluations; teaching an unacquaintedcourse or subject; laboratory based subjects not being taught; links in course not working/course setup items incorrect and the list goes on and on. Teachers have to resort to online classes without having formal hands-on training about online teaching.
While penning down this article, I could not stop recalling my childhood where my parents instilled so much respect of teachers in our hearts that I eventually decided to adopt this profession. Social norms took a weird turn in past few years and now, being in this profession for more than a decade, I think it’s high time where our government, the society and especially the parental body start taking the teachers seriously, realize the importance of this profession and restore teachers’ dignity and respect, so that the future generation would adopt this profession as a matter of choice instead of a matter of last resort. In the environment of online teaching, many missteps await. It’s part of the process of learning how to effectively teach online.