Back to School After Lockdown

Back to School After Lockdown

I am A. Lakshmi Priya mother of a 5 and 1-year-old child and I teach IGCSE/IB Physics at Trio World Academy which is known as the best IGCSE Schools in North Bangalore, and I want to share my feelings about “returning back to physical learning spaces”.

When the entire world shut its doors to its business and enterprise activities, we teachers thought teaching would be a makeshift arrangement to have meetings like corporates sharing ids to log in for our students. As this situation became the new normal, we opened new digital worlds to our learners. None of us had received any professional development to deal with this pandemic, we were no longer the sage on the stage, still we did not hesitate to learn and make mistakes through this journey. We had all eyes on us, judging us on how well we delivered our lessons, and along the way I made many friends who expanded my learning. I juggled between managing the full workload of school and my littles one’s care and education with a smile on my face for my learners.

IB PYP school in Bangalore

Many new questions came to me. Have I reached out to all students, through Zoom and Teams? Did they hear me loud and clear? I was not very convinced that I could reach out to all my learners. There was always a grey area where I was not sure as to whether I had touched the chord for that learner in the class? Beyond facilitating the understanding of Physics, I wanted to reach out to all my learners, I want to be there for them emotionally by being present for them physically. By being online I knew I missed the physical proximity, the eye contact and an approachable demeanour which communicates volumes to my learners, much more than I could say verbally.

The emotional roller coaster ride of online teaching ended when I heard that we were returning to physical learning spaces. “Woo-hoo” was my first reaction and as has become a ritual, every day to check my inbox, I immediately did so to find the exact date when I would finally be in my lab teaching Physics. Online teaching, as the bubble of tech tools increased day by day, it became increasingly difficult to handle my teaching and learning expectations, increasing my stress. At the other end of the spectrum, I was fearing going back to physical spaces. My trivial fears on any normal day were blown up by a media raising fear of Covid. My list of concerns was endless, beginning with how safe is my work station, how many times do I need to sanitise my desk, is it safe to use the school microphone? How many children would have touched the railings in the corridor, how safe is it to bring my own child to school to attend their online classes? It became emotionally exhausting followed by the physical stress and as always, my positive thought was “work from home and work for home.” The nightmare of Covid was ending for me.

IGCSE Schools in North Bangalore

Finally, the day is here, my learners are back on my radar. I am in charge of what they learn rather than what I teach. I am ready to break through the fears connected with Covid. Opening of school was a smooth transition, school support system reinforced the chain of instructions on following safety norms and covid appropriate behaviours. Every day is a new beginning but post-pandemic every day brings new challenges. It does not stop there as it provides room for new dimensions, new perspectives, and new learning. On some days I need to switch to the hybrid mode of learning… with extra antennas on my radar checking on my home-based students over Zoom.

At the end of the day, I am a superhuman with many hands allowing me to juggle everything perfectly. Some days I sail through peaceful waters, a few through storms and some with unforeseen forecasts. I have a stock of workable plans ranging from Plan A, Plan B…Plan F, even Plan X, and as always, some impromptu plans. Stocked and updated in my cognitive cupboard with my little brain geared with reflex sensory functions to switch between them. I could sail through this and so can you. Best of luck to all my fellow mates for all the unforeseen challenges we take on our shoulders.

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