Ms. Poornima Menon
Principal – Anand Vidya Vihar, Vadodara
At a time when the pandemic struck the world and all were caught off guard, the sector that was least spoken in terms of a setback was the education sector. What stood out was facts and figures on fee reduction or mode of examination. What never got a highlight was the plight of students confined to their rooms at home. Their home background with pay cuts, business shortfalls, near and dear ones succumbing to the contagion and tempers flying owing to folks working from home, ‘together’, all affected their impressionable minds. This is when the angelic teachers streamed inside their homes every morning with a fixed agenda and although the school was out of bounds, hope was near!
Amidst the war of opinions fought on this murky fee turf, the teacher’s work, their dedication and determination were sidelined from sight. Every teacher in India and in the world just rose to the occasion and a resurgent CBSE with its innovative body of work started seeing a newly empowered teaching fraternity. Our school, Anand Vidya Vihar with which I have now been associated for over twenty years as always came up with solutions like many others and managed to extend that warm cord of friendship with the students. With morning prayers, activities, new digital tools for making learning easier, online competitions and assessments that were intensely monitored, we gradually gained grain and then ground in this domain. Recently, an assessment of our activities designed innovatively and executed flawlessly helped us secure a prestigious award on innovation in curriculum. An overwhelming AISSE and AISSCE result with a stupendous performance by our students concretely confirming the fruits of the rigorous inputs we add on year after year just sealed it for us.
However, it is important for schools to not just showcase their achievements in terms of results but also garner compliments for those unsung front line heroes, the teachers, the school pillars, who managed to hold the fort when at home during the lockdown and now at school managing the toughest task-multitasking. Looking at the screen and the next minute into the classroom with the rest of the students is an extremely demanding at times and most times daunting task with justice not being served at either end. However, from learning to use technology, to using it as a mode of education, to using it for assessment and then making it a new norm to now having glided to the hybrid format of teaching…it hasn’t been an easy journey for them. Yet no mention of these amazing battle guards who made it to the homes of the tiny tots to self-doubting adolescents and held their hands virtually to ensure they didn’t miss what they need the most – An ear to listen and the freedom to voice.
Therefore, to all the teachers in and around the country and the world…three cheers to you for standing tall and continuing with the noble task of shaping young minds remotely, however bizarre it may sound. A student-led online conference, alumni talk online, a sports day online and an online award ceremony for various activities competed and proficiently won, again done online showcased to the world that if you think a little out of the box, the world becomes beautiful for a learner. The year and a half that went past, saw teachers looking at content differently, transact it innovatively with quizzes, videos, stories so that students don’t get distracted, as now it was so easy. We did that and so did many across the country. That teachers are outstanding is what parents realized when managing their own wards on their own, along with their jobs and fluctuating moods became an uphill task.
There isn’t one job that is easy but the rigors for each are different. Since this profession deals with children below 18 who if groomed well, there will be others to bask in the glory, and if fail, the merit ‘fairly’ expected to be shouldered by the teacher; it makes it the most demanding job and yet they march on fearlessly with their head held high.
With the desire to see this scenario change and people to look up to this profession with stars in their eyes, let’s offer the teachers a befitting tribute.