Hello everyone! It’s me Sajida Zaman Khaeeb from Tardeo Municipal Urdu School and I’m here to share my experience, my success story, and the times when I felt shattered during the pandemic. So let’s begin.
Last year, the coronavirus outbreak brought the whole world to a standstill. And, in order to curb the further spread of the virus, several nations, including India, went into lockdown. Everyone began to work from home and schools moved online. The students as well as teachers, however, faced a lot of difficulties during the initial stages. It was tough to adapt to the new teaching method — for both teachers and students. I, too, faced a lot of issues — lack of knowledge of the new technology and lack of availability of phones and an internet connection. The students and teachers, however, over time became familiar with the new 'normal'. Online teaching is helping students learn even in such trying times. It is also providing teachers an opportunity to stay in touch with their students despite schools being closed.
Over the last one year, teachers, students and parents have become acquainted with the online school process, and teachers are taking efforts towards making the sessions more interactive. Interaction is the key to learning and to better one's communication skills. Extra efforts are taken so that the students could learn to communicate in the medium of teaching. I made reading compulsory in my class, because if the student fails to read, he/she fails to understand the lesson and thus withdraws from reading entirely.
Teachers are continuously striving to help students keep up with their syllabus; selflessly giving their 100% for the betterment of the young minds. But, still, amidst all this, teachers have to face criticism with statements like 'teachers karte hi kya hai' (what are the teachers doing), 'ghar par hi toh hai' (they are at home) thrown at us. But the 'critics' don’t know the hardships we face. In the initial days, there were times when I felt shattered and was driven to tears because the technology was new for me, but the smiling faces of my children made me strong and gave me the much-needed boost to overcome my fears.
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Before the pandemic, we used to work for upto eight hours everyday, but now we are working 24x7. This is because our students come from economically-backward class and they rarely have mobile phones as their parents are engaged in various jobs throughou the day. So, the teachers have to keep in mind the timings so that no student misses out on lessons. Teachers have now taken up different slots at various times of the day.
As it is rightly said that school is like our second home and teachers are like second mothers for the students. Therefore, I along with a few of my friends, who are also teachers, started a 'Mobile Library' (with our own money) for the students who didn't have mobile phones. And, today, we have five Mobile Libraries at various places with more than 15 mobiles in one Library!
Just as mothers don’t get tired, same way teachers — after doing Corona duties — were ready to teach the students online.
Together we can achieve anything. And, today, I pray everything goes back to normal so that the students and teachers can go back to school and enjoy learning like before. Until then, stay home, stay safe, stay healthy.
Sajida Zaman Khaeeb
Tardeo Municipal Urdu School, Mumbai
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