Teacher to Parent-Covid and Education: When Things Work Well

Education in India podcast

Hi, my name is Ritu.

I’m a mother of an eleven-year-old boy living in Gurgaon. Besides managing the house and the chores related with it, I’m fond of reading books, fiction and nonfiction both. Driving is another passion of mine that keeps me occupied.

I have an eleven-year-old boy who studies in grade six now. I think yes, I have changed a lot in the last 18 months as an individual and as a parent, both. I have become more aware of how my child’s academic life is, how learning takes place and what all he enjoys, how his responses to classroom queries are, how he manages and how much he manages, and at what pace he is able to accomplish his tasks. When I heard about the lockdown, I felt that the children will have to go on a forced vacation, and their learning will stop. I was kind of very skeptical. There was a lot of doubt as to how online teaching will take place. Children, along with teachers, were not so technology-oriented at that point in time. But I was proven totally wrong. In fact, children, including my son, adapted more quickly to these challenges than any of us at home. Learning for my son never stopped.

The school’s role

The onus goes to his school. His facilitators, they rose so well to the demands of the changing times and did everything to see that the children grow intellectually and the time is used constructively. Do not think that as parents, we needed to equip ourselves too much. The school did everything, including the tools that the children were expected to work on and work with. Only the laptop was needed, and we had that already. Managing everything from a timely thing to doing everything that concerns the household was a very tough thing initially.  But as time went by, the chores that seemed cumbersome became manageable with proper planning, adjustments, and finding ways and means of doing them differently.

Yes, I am completely satisfied. I say so because nothing stopped for my son. His academic and non-academic life, in terms of his co-curricular activities as well, they went on as per how the school has planned but, of course, virtually. Nothing was a challenge. Everything worked for him just the way it has while it used to be in school during the pre covid days. As I talked about in my opening statement, my son turned eleven this August. The content taught was very much age-appropriate and sufficient breaks were given, all thanks to how it was designed by his facilitators. The school made sure that the parents were kept in the loop. In case of any concerns, we were given easy access to the school, teachers, and even the administrative staff.

Phone numbers and email addresses were shared in case we wanted to get in touch. Definitely, the school was approachable and follows an open line of communication all the time. Do not think any major hiccups. My son was totally immersed. He did not miss his class even once. He was always punctual and regular. There was nothing challenging for him. In fact, he not only did his homework on time, he involved himself in other activities as well, like story writing, making illustrations, penning down his thoughts about the books he was reading, making videos on origami, and uploading them on youtube.

The credit goes to his teachers, as I have mentioned earlier also. My son learned a lot during this time. The school was in touch with the parents through and through. I, as a parent, was just keeping track of what my child was expected to learn and if he was able to. Rest whatever the child did, he did himself with his teachers guiding him all along the way.

My son has already returned, and by god’s grace, he doesn’t need my support at all. He is well equipped to take it to his teachers in case there is a need. The school is following all the protocols that have come from the government’s side. Social distancing, temp check, hand sanitization, wearing of mask, everything is well placed. The school is extremely supportive and is well equipped to handle and take care of social, emotional wellbeing of its children through the counselors. The homeroom teachers and principals also pitch in if there’s a need.

I Think both sides, learning virtually and learning physically have their own advantages and disadvantages. As far as my son’s preference goes, he likes going to school and learning. Anshuman never had a major problem except that he couldn’t meet his buddies. But he soon was able to take a way out. He started seeing them online, spending time with them playing quizzes with them, involving himself in playing games like chess whenever he could with them. Listening to their voice and seeing their faces made him happy. I have no concerns. We were happy to see him joining back to school.

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