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How can teachers connect with students returning to school after 2 years

Sharmila Thakur, Principal, Orchids The International School, Dombivali, Mumbai

‘NEW NORMAL’ is a word that is not at all new, and something that has become more than normal.  The whole world has turned upside down, in the past 2 years.

Our lives were affected, our relations were affected, our survival was affected and our finance was affected, but out of everything that was affected, we have lost one of the most important aspects of our lives, i.e., a beautiful bond between Teacher and Students.

Mothers are considered the first teacher of a child and teachers are considered second mothers. While the kids were in touch and close to their own mothers, they were far away from their second mothers. The real world has turned into a virtual world overnight and the fun, the mischievous, the gossip, the naughty tricks, and all the things that we used to do in school have come to a halt. Along with the fun, the students have also lost touch with an actual learning experience. Classroom teaching is something that can never be replaced with technology, no matter how advanced we become, because technology can provide us comfort and ease but never love and warmth, something that can be only provided by the physical presence of teachers and students. Getting up for school and learning with teachers has become a fresh concept for many, especially the younger ones.

So, let’s discuss some techniques to make this ‘NEW NORMAL’ as ‘NORMAL’ again:

Teaching is the greatest act of optimism:

No matter how difficult things get, the first and foremost thing we need to do, to bridge the gap between teachers and students, is to adopt an optimistic attitude. We need to inculcate the habit of optimism among teachers. We need to ensure that no matter what, how, and where they are, their future is going to be bright and we are with them. An optimistic outlook has the power to change everything in and out.

Develop familiarity with students:

Children learn better when they recognize us as a familiar figure. For, teachers are not just someone who will teach them curriculum but who also gives them a sense of happiness, joy, love, and enthusiasm. Therefore, making school a place filled with positivity and good vibes helps them to connect and learn.

Make learning an interactive and two-way process:

One of the prime duties of teachers is to implement child-centric teaching techniques and henceforceful techniques to learn should be strictly prohibited. Develop pedagogies involving student-teacher interaction, student-student interaction, connection with school environments, and stationeries to help them learn and grow simultaneously.

If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn:

Not all five fingers are equal and the same goes with our kids. Each and every kid is different and hence one single pattern may not be understandable for all. In this noble profession, the formula of “ONE SIZE FITS ALL”, just doesn’t work. The teacher should adopt different methods of teaching the same concept, keeping in mind that her class is full of “smart, average and below-average kids”. When a child is able to understand what has been taught by the teacher, he/she will automatically feel connected with the teacher.

End the class with moral values and stories:

The biggest challenge for the teacher is to get the child back to the classroom the next day with a will to learn and engage. Every day, they must be taught some moral values and some interesting stories which can indirectly affect their thought process and bring them back to class with the hope to learn something new.

Also read: The new normal…or is everything new?

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