Here I am writing my very first blog, excited!!! at the same time worried if I am going to be doing it right! Anyways, I feel that first-timers don’t have to be perfect, so I’m just going to accept however it’s going to turn out to be! And, there is always a once!
Well just a little bit about myself, my name is Joy Ruth and I teach English at CMR NPS. I am passionate to work with kids, love to teach, watching others learn/grow and be benefitted by the knowledge I share…all gives me immense happiness 🙂 It’s worth all the effort put into teaching!
Although I have worked as a teacher for about 8 years now, every time I start a class I make sure I tell myself that it is the first class I am teaching. I do not like to use my experience to judge or handle a situation, I go with the situation! Well, it is now time I began talking about my online teaching experience – Yes I do agree with all the teachers in saying that nothing can be compared to a real-time classroom experience but I want to express my thoughts on online learning which might be a little contrary.
When I first heard that we will have to start teaching online, I was too apprehensive, I thought of all the technical difficulties, internet issues, students’ online behavior, etc… With all the apprehension I started my work of teaching as I had no choice.
But, I have to admit that it was not as bad as I thought it would be, although I felt like I was stranded in a desert with no directions. It was indeed a novel experience, everything about online teaching was new – zoom was new! Schoology was new! Experience of having families as an audience! Facing the camera, teaching without a blackboard (to scribble whatever comes to your mind while teaching and thinking that it is going to greatly influence the students in learning) seeing students in their casual wears, some of them sipping in their drinks, some of them being fed by their parents, some of them playing with their pets, some of them being petted!!! Some parents prompting answers for students to answer while some sitting like they were professionals at handling zoom and instructing teachers on how to handle the online tools – overwhelming would be an understatement!!!!
At the end of almost 4 months now, experiences have changed my perspective, definitely for good – One convincing example is that- This student who was always very quiet in class last year, whom I always felt was an introvert, someone who did not pay attention in class or concentrate in what was being taught, and also did not score good grades has now opened up. He has opened up so beautifully in ways that amaze me. He responds to every single question posed, is very attentive in class, helps other classmates when they are in doubt, stays back after every class, and tries to talk to me about things not related to the subject. It is such great disbelief to me to see this kind of transformation in this kid as I was struggling hard to break through the wall he had around him last year. I feel now he is operating out of his comfort zone, his own space, his fears have been lifted off, he is freer to express himself and in the process, he has been able to perform well in his academics and he looks more cheerful now!
This experience in an online environment is one of the most powerful ones for me. It has changed the way I used to think about students, their ways of thinking, and their functioning. It has been a motivating experience and I cherish it earnestly. Amidst all the chaos and confusion and bandwidth issues – I still can’t imagine how online teaching has been one of the most beautiful and rewarding experiences in my life esp. when I see how well students have molded into or have adapted into online learning.
I also see many other benefits in an online class over the regular school. Some of them include:
- Saving on travel time and travel expenses!
- Working at the comfort of one’s own home, sitting at our favorite couch!
- Being available to family members – especially when there are children, our physical presence around makes a lot of difference even though we are not doing anything with them.
- Making use of online tools, getting more tech-savvy, and facilitating deeper interactions
- Using videos and online resources easily without going to the video rooms and bringing them back
I can go on and on about the various benefits!!!!! But I have to wind up – so I will end it here! I want to leave with an encouraging note and a quote-
Note – Never be apprehensive about new beginnings, be brave to explore, you never know you might end up loving the latter! Quote – The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon for each day to have a new and different sun – Chris McCandless.
So, let’s keep exploring new things and there is no limit to the enormous possibilities that come by with newer experiences.
Joy Ruth J.
Learning Area: English (Grades 4 & 9)
Campus: CMR NPS