This “New Normal” pandemic has brought in its own set of unique, challenging ‘abnormalities’ in all walks of life – this is slowly turning into a cliché. Though it immensely altered all aspects of my life, nothing compares to the metamorphosis it inflicted on my professional endeavours. Even before ‘all’ of this began, I have always been reluctant to walk down the technological path – a handwritten note was always more appealing to me than a typed Word document! Making a Ppt gave me nightmares, to say the least.
However, this COVID lock-down turned out to be a strict teacher who doesn’t give any choices or cuts any lax. As expected, the start of my ‘digital online teaching’ journey was filled with initial jitters and bumps – laptop snapping off, internet fluctuations, slow-internet traumas, brand-new apps and online platforms mocking you to use them and what not! But more than all that, the most challenging part was to overcome my personal mental block and aversions to anything that begins with “digi“. But did I have a choice? I had to take the leap of faith into the pool of digital teaching, wherein (to my utter horror), I realized that for a change, my learners will be better equipped than I was.
And then the ordeal began. Every waking day ushered in new struggles and, much to my surprise, consequent new learnings. I got to learn about a whole new world – from the simplest things like getting one’s way around muting/unmuting others to more complex ones like screen share, using online whiteboards, sharing Ppts online, creating interesting Exit quiz Forms, giving audio comments, using online Class Notebook, conducting orientations and what not – you name it and chances are I did it! To all this knowledge exploration, there was this added battle of formulating online etiquettes for my students and getting them to abide with those! During the course of my technical exploration, few days had its hiccups, while few came as a blessing in disguise! I credit most of my new learning to hours of self-exploration (discovery learning is indeed fun!), regular technical prompts and expertise from my learners (god, they are Digital Divas!) and selfless guidance from my peers who put up with all my silly, basic doubts (God bless you all for your patience!)
And then one fine day, during my tryst with technology, the realization struck me like a bolt… I was kind of enjoying all of this! If I may use a cheeky line, I fell in love with this digital teaching just the way one falls asleep – slowly at first and then all at once! Only my heart knows how much I crave to see my darling students in person; listen to their baseless, adorable giggles in the corridors; pat them on their back for their heartfelt efforts. Nothing can replace physical school. But something inside me tells that once we are back to our ‘beloved normal’, I am going to miss this “New Normal” which has effortlessly introduced me to my own technical abilities, I was so oblivious of and made me fall in love with teaching all over again:) Cheers to the ‘Digital conquests’ of teachers all over the world!!