The Covid19 Pandemic has thrown the entire world into a tizzy. Overnight, we were teleported from the real into the virtual world. A world, quite unfamiliar to most adults, but a comfort getaway for the younger generation. We teachers were the worst hit – like the ball Dhoni hit out of the stadium that never found its way back into the game.

We all struggled to familiarize ourselves with this new normal – discovering what “magical things” a few combination of keys on our keyboards could do (the F1, F2, F3 keys actually did perform some function); accepting that we did not always need a board to teach; hard drives & WiFi routers took over coloured markers and post – its! It took some of us hours or days to make our first online lessons or quizzes. At the end of it, the sense of accomplishment was unparalleled. We felt like the Avengers all set and prepared to take on Thanos in an unfamiliar realm…or so we thought!

Our students never cease to amaze us and this was no different. The ease with which they adapted to the online platform was outstanding. They were intuitive and more familiar with various forums than all of us put together. In fact, some of them took over the role of the teacher, helping us to locate icons and buttons which somehow were not visible to us, though they were right there on the screen. (They were our red glasses to see “Mr India buttons & icons” that were on the screen yet we could not see them!) Of course, they had their tricks up their sleeves – some we were prepared for, some stumped us.

Here are the top 5 of my personal favourites that I would totally do or enjoy if our roles were reversed:
  • Reconnecting… – Changing my name on Zoom to ‘Reconnecting” so the teacher is under the impression that I have a network issue
  • Picture it! – Have my display picture like I was seriously paying attention and listening to the teacher and have my camera switched off
  • Snacking in class – Would totally have my favourite beverage in my steel “water bottle” and sip away to “hydrate myself”
  • Home meals – No more compulsion to eat upma and sheera for snack or veggies for lunch; it would be a club sandwich with cold coffee for breakfast and chicken curry rice for lunch for me!
  • My home = MY school – Waking up 30 minutes before my class, lazing on my bed in – between my classes, no school uniform, browsing social media in my breaks…what more could I ask for!
While I feel that students do like to push the envelope and test our limits, the way they have adapted and moulded themselves into this system is definitely noteworthy. To be in the confinement of one’s home with so many others and still managing to get all their assignments done on time and strike that balance between home & school – as young adults this life skill will take them a long way. A big SHOUT OUT to these “teachers” – the real reason why we do what we do.

Author: Ms.Delnaz Sinor
Teaching Faculty – Senior School, The Aditya Birla Integrated School