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Teaching amid the Crisis: A Reflective School Report

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”, quotes J.K. Rowling.

With the world hanging on the pendulum of uncertainty, the future of the younger generation is what is mostly at stake. Covid-19 has forced us to compromise a normal classroom school situation, but hope is alive and the will to educate and learn has not died. With everything at a halt, the act of slowing down to be lethargic will only rob us more of the beautiful future we are destined to claim post-pandemic. Yes, we are hopeful!

The years 2020 and 2021 have pushed teachers to the limits of their potential to teach. It is however, a great delight to be sharing the work-load with the ever-enthusiastic teachers of Alpha English Higher Secondary School, Nongpoh. Teaching is a calling to do great things while the world is standing-still. We the teachers of AEHSS took the pandemic as an opportunity to upgrade our teaching capabilities. We had a rough start is an understatement, particularly for the Commerce and Science stream teachers, as their subjects are more white-board oriented, ergo, they took the Covid-bull by the horn squeezing out the best ounce of teaching from the veins!

Teaching amid the Crisis:

A teacher is like a Cook at a wedding. He prepares the best kind of food items for the guests, but it is up to the guests to choose what to eat. The quantity of consumption is different from each single guest. The cook can only estimate an assumption of the amount, but cannot be certain. The guests do not go to the wedding just for the food itself. Some may. But, there will not be a single guest who would skip eating. It is a natural process. That is what academic life is all about. Not everyone can consume everything, but you cannot force anyone to, especially not on a time such as this. The cook is not sentimental if the guests choose to eat less. He might feel bad that a special item prepared has not been appreciated as much as he expected. Maybe they did not like it. Therefore, he tries to prepare it differently the next time around. In the same way, we keep trying different methods to impart the best education possible.

The Streams and the Methods of Educational Technology used:

ARTS:

The Arts Stream with over four hundred students is the most challenging Stream to teach based on capacity. With a much diverse set of students coming from different walks of life - geographically and financially, WhatsApp, Google Meet and Google Classroom are three of the widely used apps.

COMMERCE & SCIENCE:

These two streams though smaller in number, also demand more of the teachers’ brain cells. The teachers heavily use, Power-point Presentations coupled with pre-recorded videos, audios and an interactive loop of feedback as their teaching aids. WhatsApp, Google Meet, Google Classroom & Zoom, Digital Slate are some of the teaching aids used.

How do the ARTS, COMMERCE & SCIENCE Streams function every day?

Routine – All the three streams follow a strict Routine assigned Monday- Friday.
Attendance – Attendance is being taken regularly by all the subject-teachers during class hours.
Homework & Assignments– The teachers are careful while assigning homework and assignments to the students so as to make sure that it is neither too much nor too less.
Notes – Notes are regularly distributed to the students by all the teachers through different supporting apps.
Books – We are aware that some of the students might not be able to get access to books; therefore, we have either send images of the chapters or shared e-books downloaded from available websites to cater to the purpose.
Tests & Assessment – Class Tests has always been part and parcel of our online course irrespective of the number of students and the situation. Even during the pandemic, online class tests have been made mandatory to keep up with the students’ will to learn and how much they have learnt.
Checking & Correction – Teachers regularly check the copies of the students via Whatsapp in the form of shared images to keep track of the student’s progress.

The circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 Pandemic have led us to believe that there is no mountain too high, we can’t climb, no wall too thick, we can’t scale, no river’s too wide we can’t cross if only we put our heads and hands together and that by faith we can overcome the obstacles in the teaching-learning process and the hard lessons thereby learnt will only make us stronger, yearning for more and even when this crisis is over, technology will remain to play a vital role in the teaching-learning process. Alpha English Higher Secondary School is determined to continue to serve as one of the best schools not just in the State but the entire country. We believe in creating an opportunity. Teaching has never been this widely exercised..; “SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND" _ Amen.

Mayborn Lyngdoh R.
Assistant Lecturer
English Department