Teacher's Day 2020: Salute to warriors imparting education in pandemic

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“I’ve been in lockdown since January. I was expecting my first baby. Therefore, my movement was restricted to hospital visits for check up. And days after my delivery, the country went into lockdown, and then besides hospital trips for my baby’s vaccinations, the rest of the day meant preparing myself to take online classes,” says Sakshi Verma, assistant professor, PGDAV, Delhi University.

During the day, my six-month old keeps me busy, and in the night I record videos that go to my YouTube channel so that students can watch them as and when required since many students are unable to join live classes or have fluctuating network.– Sakshi Verma, assistant professor

Verma became a lockdown mother and continued to teach her students throughout her pregnancy and post delivery so that the education of her students doesn’t suffer. “I’m usually juggling between household work and preparing PPTs for my students to find them interesting enough to study. During the day, my six-month old keeps me busy, and in the night I record videos that go to my YouTube channel so that students can watch them as and when required since many students are unable to join live classes or have fluctuating network. But, the best part is that our baby is attending meetings and online classes since he’s born as my husband and I live alone.”

The pandemic has been witness to many teachers like Verma, who have been making sacrifices, struggling with teaching students online despite poor internet connection, and still making an effort to reach out to the students personally to check on them. “We see our teachers struggling with online teaching and yet acing technology for the sake of their students’ future. We are proud of them! And we thank them for everything that they are doing for us,” says Gayatri Konikara, a student of Physics (Hons), Miranda House, Delhi University. And confessing how these online classes have set new #techgoals for teachers, Geetesh Nirban, professor of Philosophy at Kamala Nehru College, DU, says, “Tough time is always a tremendously effective teacher and teachers ought to be life long learners... Students and professors, both have experienced worst effects of the pandemic in the form of physical distancing between the tutor and the taught. But the silver lining has been that as a professor I became an avid learner of technology as source of academic survival and cultivated patience as life skill while observing my students and scholars facing uncertainty with positivity.”

Despite being between a lot of multi-tasking, to lessen their students anxiety some teachers have taken the compassionate route and decided to not to give any homework. Amrutha V Devan, a student of BSc (Hons) Physics from Miranda House, Delhi University, says, “I attend continuous classes from 8.30am to 5pm everyday. Initially I was okay with such packed schedule, but gradually I started feeling stressed and upset. To my surprise, our teachers never showed any sign of tiredness, although we can see that they are going through a lot due to various challenges induced while teaching from home. Yet, they control their anxiety, and mentor us. Some of our teachers have stopped giving us homework, so that we can take a break after classes and clear our headspace.”

After the sudden shift from classroom teaching to online teaching, we feel we are still physically present in our classes. Our teachers have also brought hope in these difficult times for all of us. They constantly keep motivating us to be strong despite the uncertainty around campus placements, online exams etc.– Pallavi Raj , MA student at KMC

Students add that they can feel how teachers have been going the extra mile, during the pandemic, to ensure a smoother transition from physical classrooms to virtual sessions. “During the pandemic, our relationship with our teachers has been transformed for the better. Imagine in a class of 520 youngsters where it’s practically not possible to connect with every student, a teacher being patient and interactive at their best! They are not only shouldering this responsibility to make sure our education doesn’t suffer. After the sudden shift from classroom teaching to online teaching, we feel we are still physically present in our classes. Our teachers have also brought hope in these difficult times for all of us. They constantly keep motivating us to be strong despite the uncertainty around campus placements, online exams etc. It’s quite challenging for them to speak to a screen, continuously. But, they are doing it day after day for hours at length. We salute their spirit,” says Pallavi Raj a student of MA at Kirori Mal College, DU.

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