How can the teacher ensure students’ preparedness and emotional well-being during the pandemic, online lessons

As the third wave of coronavirus creates a new set of disruptions, students in class 10 and 12 are also facing a tough time given the hurdle in their learning process ahead of the upcoming Semester II CBSE exams. Although collaborative learning is an important aspect of exam preparation for students at these levels, they have had the loneliest year of all.

The change in exam format had already created a stressful situation for students initially. Now, the sudden increase in Omicron cases has disrupted their learning process at a crucial time. The situation is worse for students in remote areas where power supply and network connectivity issues are also a challenge.

As a teacher in a school that caters to children in rural India, over the past two years we have devised solutions and identified steps that have helped our students and can also be helpful in others:

Stay connected : Staying constantly connected with our students is very important. We can take care of their emotional health which is the most crucial factor right now. If we are in constant contact, we successfully develop and apply the knowledge and skills needed to understand and control emotions, demonstrate empathy, set positive and realistic goals, and make sound decisions. These skills can include self-control, self-awareness, relationship building, and emotional management. A teacher also acts as a counselor who understands children’s individual needs and their cultural context during the teaching-learning process to help them understand their emotions, develop relationships and resolve conflicts.

Contents: The content we offer in online courses should be simplified and delivered through short video lectures and lectures. Online teaching is not conducive to covering large amounts of content, so we must choose wisely, teaching the most important things at a slower pace with clear, direct instructions. In other words, clear communication is one of the key factors for a healthy educational environment in the current scenario.

Collaborative learning: Teachers should use “group tasks” and encourage “collaborative learning” to develop students’ social-emotional skills in virtual classrooms. The simple act of listening to students’ feelings and valuing their views and opinions can also be seen as an incentive for the progressive development of learners.

Personal action: Although it is difficult to answer all the students one by one on the phone, but when a teacher is well connected with his students, making personal calls to solve the doubts of the struggling students can be a generous and rewarding attempt. If teachers can willingly go the extra mile and step in, they could facilitate a smooth learning journey. Subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Accounting, in my opinion, need more personal guidance and proper attention on the online platform for clarity of concepts.

Availability of learning materials: Another mechanism is to deliver content asynchronously via video or other media. Students with a different pace of learning can learn at their convenience through digital content. This way, their learning will not suffer from connectivity issues, non-availability of mobiles during the day, poor learning environment, etc.

Advice: In the current situation, Class 12 students have to deal with the stress of preparing and doing well not only for their Council exams, but also for their college entrance exams. All of this together can negatively affect a student’s emotional and mental well-being. Therefore, schools should ensure that they are monitoring the situation closely and advising students regularly.

– This article is written by Ananya Rudra, English Department, Vidyagyan School, Bulandshahr

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