Back to School Teachers Stressed Overworked as Schools Function in

Back to School Teachers Stressed Overworked as Schools Function in

After the reopening of schools following the third wave of the Covid-19 outbreak, schools have allowed students the option to choose between online and offline classes. Many schools across states have reopened their campus for students, however, attending offline classes is no compulsion and online classes are also being offered. This flexibility for students, however, has put pressure on teachers.

Teachers across states claim to have been overworked and stressed. They claim that they have to prepare separate notes for both online and offline modes. Simple activities like checking notebooks, taking attendance, and queries have been doubled as some students are attending offline and some online classes at the same time.

“As the schools reopened in the hybrid mode we saw that our teachers had some difficulty in attending to both online and offline students in real-time. For example, offline students submitted their work in hard copy while online students uploaded their work, this way teachers were facing problems leading to stress,” explains Dr Silpi Sahoo, Chairperson, SAI International Education Group.

Hybrid teaching has been a balancing act, says Aloysius D’mello, Principal, Greenwood High International School. “We have to redo our lesson plans and classes modifying teaching styles continuously to meet the requirements of students who still prefer online classes and those preferring physical classrooms,” he says.

Also read| School Reopening: From Delhi to Kerala, Know Which States Started In-person Classes

D’mello adds that hybrid takes more time from teachers. Especially, when teaching complex theories, it becomes a challenge. “We are essentially teaching two types of classes – we have to write lessons that work for in-person instruction and ones that work for online classes,” says he.

Giving equal attention to both online and offline students at the same time may be challenging at times, says Amandeep Kaur, Teacher, Pacific World School. “Children who are in school seek complete focus of their mentor and are bubbling with energy, which was curtailed for almost two years, whereas children whose parents have still opted for online mode may feel that spark of personal interaction missing along with technical glitches. Hence, ensuring optimum utilisation of class’s time for constructive learning outcome becomes a task at times,” says Kaur.

Reworking the lesson plans to allot activities effectively – to online and offline classes could be challenging at times and needed one to be creative, believes, Moitreyee Bose, Middle School, Social Science Teacher, Ekya School, BTM. “Planning resource use sustainably, such as printing out worksheets and using other materials. Breaking out of the inertia of only online or offline. However, well-planned steps have helped us maneuver our way through these challenges, says she.

Teachers Need Streamlined System, Support

While most of the school administrations and even parents understand the pressure of dealing with an online and offline class strength simultaneously they are not willing to discontinue the flexibility of offering a hybrid learning model. Many schools have started offering counseling and support to teachers.

“It is important to understand that educational models like hybrid learning and blended learning are here to stay. The challenges of adaptation vis-à-vis the new modes of teaching-learning can be attributed to the lack of streamlined systems,” says Dr Sridhar G, Founder, Deeksha.

Read| Tamil Nadu Nursery Schools Reopen Amidst Declining COVID-19 Cases

Organising counseling sessions for teachers by industry experts can be helps, says Dr Sahoo. It can help deal with the workload of the teachers on handling both offline and online classes. “Teachers are happy to have got IT exposure which has widened their learning horizons and has given a new dimension to teaching and learning. It helped teachers advance their skills in the curriculum implementation, policy, education systems, and leadership with the support of their institutions,” adds she.

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