Teachers! I have a special place in my heart for teachers. Wondering why? My mom was a school teacher for 18 years. She started teaching in 1986. Yes! I am referring to a completely different era when there were no computers, no smart classrooms, no fancy decorations in the school and no cell phone in the bags. Sarthak, my son finds it hard to imagine my childhood without a computer and a cell phone. I studied at the same school where my mother taught, so sometimes I would sneak into her classroom and silently admire her aptitude for teaching, and care and concern for her students. Her passion for teaching was evident in the way she celebrated her student’s success for days and shared their success stories with the next cohorts. I was also fortunate to be mentored by a highly talented group of teachers who were sincere and committed to their ‘love for teaching’. Now when I retrospect, I wonder how effortlessly the teachers addressed our developmental goals and turmoil of ‘growing up’.
Is it a miracle that the same legacy continues till date? I often used to visit Sarthak’s school, Delhi Public School Ghaziabad for various meetings, events, exhibitions, competitions and annual fests. I always returned home assured that I made the right decision of enrolling Sarthak in this school. His teachers are learned, experienced, warm, caring, aware of their responsibilities and understand Sarthak’s unique qualities (which a bonus for any parent!). It’s quite a task to manage this millennial. It’s incredible how his teachers of ‘my’ generation recognize and appreciate the mutating characteristics of these millennial kids. Do teachers have JDs (Job Descriptions)? From where they get the energy to handle mammoth load of work happily and meticulously. I am a great fan of this school and their teachers!
In last few months, our lives have turned upside down. We are all learning to adapt to the new ‘normal’ way of living and so are Sarthak’s school teachers. Immediately after the lockdown was announced in March, IB teachers started curating their time table to meaningfully engage the students in virtual teaching. It is commendable the way his teachers embraced the latest trend of virtual teaching and online activities including physical education, summer camp, CAS activities, educational fairs, assessments and even parent’s feedback. Each teacher stood up to this challenge to ensure that the students don’t lag in their trajectory. Virtual teaching may seem simple to many of us, but it does call for long hours of work for these teachers, especially when you are teaching a tech savvy generation. And teachers do not give up. Some of his teachers have started creating videos on YouTube. Kudos! They religiously start the day with yoga and stretching followed by subject teaching according to the time table, conferring to the rule “the show must go on”.
There is a strong bond between the teachers and students due to a smaller class size in IBDP. The teacher is involved and aware of each student’s progress. Sarthak enjoys good rapport with his teachers. He finds them friendly and easily approachable, a much-needed trait in a teacher who is dealing with students who you are soon going to graduate. Sarthak totally enjoys the space to think, be creative and an original thinker as an IBDP student. The school conducted end of the semester online assessments followed by a virtual PTM. The paper report cards were replaced with e-report card and a pat on a student’s back was now a verbal encouragement from the teacher. There was no rush to prepare school tiffin, or rise early or wash, iron and keep the school uniform ready or a morning race to catch the school bus… Sarthak enjoyed getting up lazily, attending the first class laying on his bed, munching whenever he wanted to and not wait for the recess.… basically, enjoying a more relaxed routine. Everything seemed to go well until one day Sarthak announced “I miss going to the school! I want to meet my friends and teachers and have fun.” Nothing can replace classroom teaching. With technology, students and teachers are connected but with a twisted knot.
By: Ms. Gayatri Singhal (Mother of Sarthak Singhal IB Student)