Pandemic Diaries - Every challenge is a Lesson Learnt : Nidhi Jain

A few days back, early in the morning, my phone rang while I was asleep. The call was from the mother of one of my students. Hearing the news made me feel as if the wrath below my feet had slipped away. She had lost her husband and my student, her father!  They had lost him to the deadly ongoing pandemic.

I was surprised and shocked at the same time to see my student in the class on the same day. It was tough for me to face her as I had no words to console her. Her camera went on and off several times.  I had assured the student's mother that if the little girl needed to take some time off to be with her family, she might surely do so without worrying about missing classes. I would later work with her to help her catch up with what she would miss. But she didn’t want to. In fact, she said that being in class will help her forget about her loss.

I was quite convinced of her reason. As a student, and even now as a teacher, being in class has always given me the feeling of being safe and protected. A place where I could engross myself with like-minded people who are interested in seeking knowledge. I was happy that I could somewhere make this little girl feel the same kind of security. 

The nation continues to deal with the impact of COVID-19. As I look behind, I find that we have focused mainly on the technology and tools for making our teaching effective and interesting. Technology has taught us how to virtually connect with our students. But, I feel that we need to maintain an emotional connection along with the technical connection, especially in this unpredictable and unreliable time. 

The affective domain plays a vital role in today’s teaching and learning. The current situation has affected everyone deeply, and I often think about its influence on the students and the teachers emotionally, psychologically and even physically. 

So we teachers should ensure that we help and guide our students to maintain emotional balance and positive mental health. We must let our students know that we are always there for them, and they can reach out to us whenever they need. This will also certainly help to strengthen the bond between the teachers and the students.

Each of us dreams of going back to school, and we are eagerly waiting for all the conversations that we used to have with our students and colleagues. Till then, we as teachers shall leave no stone unturned to keep the river of learning flowing, and we will keep the spirits high of the little hearts we connect with day in and day out.  

Nidhi Jain
Gyanshree School

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