Ok folks, let’s do a quick check in. If you are feeling good, give me a thumbs up, if you are feeling blue, give me a thumbs down, if you are unsure, just carry on with whatever keeps you going. With remote working/learning, these check ins seem to be the norm, although I am not sure what they do with the data. I don’t think I have ever been rewarded for my thumbs up or allowed any concession for my thumbs down.
At our end we are fully immersed in the deep depths of knowledge, a.k.a the virtual academy for kindergarteners. Before school started, I thought this could be easily managed. I mean I have dealt with managing deadlines, special co-workers, leading a team, getting the work done etc.. how hard can basic elementary schooling be? I mean ABCs and 123s. I have always been someone who liked to try new experiences, take on different challenges, work on new projects and maybe even try a new career path, however, after almost two weeks of virtual schooling, I have realized teaching may not be the best option for me.
Our biggest achievement so far has been to mute and unmute online classroom meetings. It is a double edged sword. Now my child unmutes herself at random and insists on spilling the family secrets to her class of 20 students sitting alongside their 20 parents. For example –
Teacher: So kids, we describe the weather in different ways. Sunny, Cloudy, Windy…
My child: Mrs. A…
Teacher: Yes, dear?
My child: My ammamma and my mother fought six months back over a movie and they refused to share a bracelet.
By then I wrestle over the mouse and hit mute.
Then come the various lessons. By the third attempt for each subject, we have some form of legible admission, lot of tears and steely resolve to conquer. After giving my husband some constructive feedback on his knowledge transfer process with regards to lower case alphabets, we have finally got into the groove of things.
The entire exercise is such a humbling experience.
Everyday I lose a little of my arrogance when I try to teach my small kid. My daughter wakes up every day with wide eyed excitement to learn something new. Almost every day frustration sets in, but her enthusiasm doesn’t fade. She persists, just like all others her age, who have coped so well under these unfamiliar circumstances. Covid has hit all of us hard, but the most resilient have been our children. Our generation learnt to work on computers much later in life, but our tiny tots are already mastering use of technology within weeks of online learning.
I am filled with gratitude towards teachers everywhere, imparting knowledge to children of all ages. It is not easy to engage kids everyday and teach them something new with enthusiasm, optimism and encouragement. And on top of that, to do so in a completely different format, via a medium that is so unfamiliar to many. I wish there was more appreciation for the teaching community. From my part I will make every effort to value them more, and I hope you do too.