The clash between ‘normal’ and ‘new normal’ started soon after the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the world is yet to settle into any situation fully. Of course, the pandemic did not leave any area which did not have to do amendments to adjust to the new situation, but it is the education that drew maximum attention and debates.
There have been educational debates on learning modes, outcomes, and even the ability of the students to adapt to the new situation. The teachers are put in an entirely different situation of imparting education virtually.
The teachers successfully managed the pressure of the virtual classroom, and they proved to be better learners in the process. Every one of them had to evolve under stressful circumstances, with little time to adjust to the need for remote learning. Nevertheless, the teachers have done a remarkable job by adapting to the new situation.
After massive vaccination, things are improving in terms of decrease in virus infection and sharp fall in fatalities all over.
This is giving the educational authorities a bit of confidence to think of opening the schools in physical form.
However, the teachers are put in a new situation of getting ready for both — the physical and the virtual modes, as no one is still sure about the mood of the virus, which has tested the people’s confidence and proved them wrong.
The blended form of education is to continue for the time being.
The teachers are put in a new situation of covering the academic loss of learning while engaging with the students, many of whom are suffering from loss of confidence. “They have become shy and sound uncomfortable in the classrooms’’, said higher grade teacher Usha Roy while commenting on the behavioural changes among the students after joining physical classes after a long time.
The biggest challenge, according to her, is overcoming the loss of confidence and asking them to strike a balance between academic learning and personality development.
“Even though their academic learning has not been disrupted due to hard work of the teachers, their usual social networks have been broken. Mental health issues are on the rise among the students, and like many elderly people, some students are suffering from loss of short memory’’, she said.
Roy is hopeful of recovery in these situations, as the students have the ability to adapt to the situations and make pace with the new situation if given the right direction.
“Teachers, however, have an added responsibility to be more interactive in the classrooms, giving the students liberty to build their lost social networks... Everyone, including students, has become susceptible to mental health issues for various reasons, including loss of near and dear ones, financial instability and sense of insecurity due to many factors’’, she said.