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“Teachers: Reshaping the future while leading in a crisis”

Disruptive, stressful experiences are often great enablers of growth.The pandemic has forced all of us to work remotely, which has compelled us to explore different ways to teach, learn, track progress creating new metrics for teaching, new parameters for learning, keeping in mind—the core traditional learning requirements.

Embracing Technology 

With the onset of the pandemic, teachers all over the world—embraced technology like never before. Institutions were forced to revamp technology to boost learning and new tools were created to support this process.

With a completely new form of teaching – remote teaching, being in place, teachers adapted to it quickly and the transition from physical to remote was smooth. In more ways than one, it perhaps helped the students learn, understand concepts better as they could go through the recorded lecture again to clear concepts. Digital learning could & did therefore add value in a way we never thought before.

As we go forward with new technology like 3 D aided education, an artificial intelligence-driven assessment will reshape the way we function. Teachers have to constantly adapt to new technology that emerges as we go forward.

Understanding Work & Workplace

The pandemic has changed the future of work and the workplace forever. The skill sets required has also changed. Digitisation in almost every activity has changed the way we work and live—to a great extent. While the core skills and learning have to be retained, the students now need to adapt & learn a new set of skills for the workplace.

The teachers need a deeper understanding of the requirement of the workplace and the new skillset requirements to equip students. The teachers are slowly but surely learning to reorient their thought process to meet the new needs.

Reskilling & Training

One must bear in mind that while technology in education is inevitable, it cannot replace the teacher. A good teacher can change a student’s future trajectory.

The future of teaching is changing very swiftly. The challenges of online Summative assessments have resulted in teachers reinventing assessment methods. There is a lot of emphasis now on skill-based teaching-learning rather than only content learning. Debates, discussions, vivas, MCQs which are based on the understanding of concepts and applying the concept to Life are emerging trends. Teachers are being trained to do these now.

Reskilling & training is now an integral part of the teaching profession.

Changing School Structure

School structures are being realigned. More funds are being allocated for enhanced digital infrastructure and teachers training

Enhanced student reach, digital library remote access to learning resources will make learning more accessible

New assessment methods giving instant feedback to the learners— is helping them understand better what needs to be revisited. The same holds true for the teacher.

Technology has enhanced mastery-based learning that will support future work –skills. The student can move at his own pace as he has access to technology. The students learning by doing and redoing till they understand. With no one to ‘correct’ them at all times—the learning process is both joyful and causes one to push oneself rather than being spoon-fed. This makes the learning permanent.

Extended Social Responsibility/ Social Dimension

With an increase in nuclear families, both parents working and now in the pandemic working from home, the home atmosphere is often stressful.

Children are often distressed, anxious and unable to cope with the stress.

This is likely to be the new normal and teachers need to be sensitized to tackle this and help students overcome their stress.

Training on managing stress, anger, anxiety would be needed to handle this. Schools need to build this into the training schedule.

Schools are investing in training teachers to deepen and enhance their teaching skills to meet the needs of the times. Empowering teachers by teaching them new skills is perhaps the best thing that could have happened.

As they say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. “. The Pandemic broke every established rule and mode of the pre covid days. Students and teachers have realised that abilities are not fixed –rather can be developed. Possibilities are always infinite.

NEP – A sure help to reshape

With the NEP in place, rethinking School policies and structures is only inevitable. After a long time, the education system is looking into the future. The new norms have pushed the teachers and students out of their comfort zones & reinvent themselves—helping students to adapt to the future of work. There is a greater focus on vocational learning or skill-based learning, greater flexibility in terms of the choice of subjects and the time given to the learners. Experimenting and learning by doing will create independent, free-thinking and discerning learners.

Change is the only constant in this world they say. It is the nature of Man to adapt to these changes. Society is in a constant state of flux—as are systems, values, skills and habits. There is no choice for us—we either adapt or we perish.

BY: Mrs. Damayanti Bhattacharya, Principal of Jasudben ML School & Bloomingdales Pre-primary

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