Just the other day in one of the teacher training workshops, teachers spoke openly about the challenges that were thrown at them during the pandemic.
A sudden change in the script, a different stage/platform and the lack of a live audience, teachers found themselves completely unprepared initially.
Once the initial hiccups had subsided there was more comfort and ease across the screen. Majority agreed that the online sessions could not match the fun of the live classrooms. These interactions with teachers brought to light a very important aspect that while some teachers in metros were savvy with new technology, others staggered but learnt ultimately. The educators in smaller towns had other battles to fight including poor connectivity and the lack of skills to cope with online teaching. The question is are we really prepared to face changing scenarios in the field of education? Isn’t this the right time to focus on aspects we took for granted or neglected in the past?
Online teaching needs different skill sets and the availability of readymade lesson plans supplemented with experiential learning making classroom sessions more fun in the physical absence of both students and teachers.
Communication and language enhancement, storytelling sessions , DIY activity and a dash of drama laced with emotive excellence and the use of 21st century skills will be the key ingredients to an online session. Retention of attention and interest both for the teacher and the taught will be needed to create a happy interaction in the online classrooms. It will be imperative to redesign classroom sessions with a dollop of technology , information and interaction.
It is time we take these notes and prepare ourselves for the future classrooms. Technology will be the backbone in the future to impart education but no classroom can sustain without a skilled teacher. Teacher training needs a makeover. We need to equip our teachers with much more than we thought was sufficient. Nothing is enough when it comes to education.
Education, educators and the students are going through metamorphosis. In this dramatic year of the pandemic and beyond, transformation will be more about unlearning than learning.
In the words of Alvin Toffler, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”.