To say less would be enough because we all know who are the ones being mistaken here in education. I am ambitious to be a good teacher and the one who has more of obsession and passion to teach each moment. My fraternity, the one around me, is failing me. They are not teaching anymore. The way they should be on their guards is not there to be seen. They are behaving like deadwood.
If this is the case, we never prepared our students for life because we are ourselves the most corrupt segment of society. We said that we are working to empower them for their successful futures; these are futures and our students seem to have no clue of where the teachers have gone. The use of technology was being sponsored for decades and the teachers have claimed to have followed 'innovative practices'. This is the naked and sad truth. They never knew the ABC of technology and they shall never know it because it is the Use of a Resource in the Times of Need which gives us the tag of a learner. We never learned that and hence, our students also went ahead without readiness.
The current generation in our hands is going to curse us hard once we get back to the concrete classrooms. They would ask this thing silently as to how come we had no clue of the ways to keep them connected to studies and learning. Remember, these were the most active days of instructional delivery in the classrooms. The syllabus was on its completion and the exams were approaching. Then, this happened and everyone was asked to stay inside. They jumped full-time to smartphones and you dived deep into procrastination and the most negative of 'reciprocity'. Your colleagues, the birds of the same feather, did not allow anything to intervene your 'meme chats' and very-very-serious talks about how the world will be saved. You did share the home-made recipes both to cure the taste and the Covid as well. But, you forgot deliberately, that you were a teacher, just until the last month.
The school teachers, I am able to know the scenario closely, are the ones who should be taken to task. When a student wrote a Letter to the Principal, after joining graduation and asked for sincere skill enhancement at the school itself, we could see there was a need to operate on the teachers. If the K-12 teachers, the ones who are running away from what they could do at this time, are to be asked why they are not able to come up with some solution to continue teaching-learning, they will bring reasonably stupid excuses. One cannot trust the excuse of not knowing technology or students being 'indisciplined online'. The only excuse can be of the short-sightedness of the institutional policymakers and leaders. But in that case, too, the teachers are to be reminded that they are stand-alone entities who are the captains of their own ship.
What did you do when you had the opportunity? Remember, this will surely be a question from someone or at least in the next world. You can invent a hundred many reasons but you won't be convinced yourself. Because you knew, you could, but you were afraid of setting a benchmark in front of yourself and others. You were also afraid of breaking the benchmarks of 'smart work' you and your alikes have set in all these decades of 'failure of education in India'.
My fellow teachers, there should have been a sense of urgency in your feet. Your hands should search for something in the smartphone and on the desktop you have. You should have been talking to your colleagues to find something to reach out to the students. You must be having a sense of anxiety while going to bed because you feel that your students have been in a strange situation. You should not stop surfing the internet or asking someone to find a technology-based alternative to take your lessons to the kids. And when you get an option, do your best to learn the nuances. If you do not learn to teach now, remember, you won't succeed in the times to come.
I shall be glad to be refuted and even defeated by someone who says that I am wrong in tarnishing the image of the nation builders. What nation they will talk about is the concern. We have people who shall join the classes with broken-hearts and trauma. By not taking the charge of teaching in our hands we are adding to the stigma and depression we shall be sending all over. Let me tell you one simple thing before concluding this blog; If you were really serious, you would never have waited for instructions from the Principals, Officers or heads to reach our students. Your sense of commitment and duty was enough to make you wake up with a call to action. There are sufficient tools and people who are offering their assistance and you could easily use the modern age resources to join the children.
The delay of a single day is adding a week of loss to the students. We need to be cautious and also concerned that the students shall remember us not by the number of delicacies we served them in the annual fest; or who came to the Star-Night or the DJ Evening. The students shall remember us by our initiatives and efforts to reach them when their learning was challenged.
WhatsApp and Facebook, Snapchat or TikTok shall not die if we are able to make it to the other side of the crisis. Give some time to learning how to teach in such times. Whatever you learn, use it instantly and acknowledge your limitations. If you really feel like a teacher you can do it. If you have even an iota of alienation from teaching, enjoy your free of cost vacation and do not miss the WhatsApp Group Memes.
Go Corona Go! There is a message and it might be another joke on Corona!!!
P.S. The teachers who have made efforts to keep the wheel going deserve nothing. Everything belongs to them at this moment. The way doctors are saving lives, Teachers (the True Ones) are toiling to preserve education. I congratulate them for their courage and feel inspired to do my part as well.