A Checklist of Do’s & Don’t for Teachers in the Post-Pandemic Era
Students are in a crisis. In the last year, the schools have suddenly closed down. A lot of the student’s family members are affected by COVID. They don’t have the option to meet up daily with their teachers in the post-pandemic era as well. .
The students had to take up the option of online coaching. Most of the teachers too have taken up the option of remote teaching or online coaching.
Now, more than ever, students need the support of teachers. Especially in this post-COVID era when things are gradually starting to ease out teachers play a vital role in facilitating student learning, their well-being, and growth.
The ongoing pandemic and the post-pandemic scenario will include some teaching with technology. The online coaching, online mock tests, and practice sets for competitive exams like JEE, Olympiads, KVPY, and others will take a toll on both the teachers and students.
Considering the perspectives of students last year, here is a checklist of dos and don’ts for the teachers during the post-pandemic era.
1. DON’T Just Lecture with Slides for a Zoom Class
This is a big NO! Even when we are in a physical classroom, it becomes tedious to stare at the boring slides for an hour. Instead of delivering lectures in the same old boring way, you can opt for the alternative methods.
For instance, you can use flipped learning. This is when you record mini-lecture videos (of 5-10 minutes) for the students to watch anytime. In this way, students can involve themselves in a group activity during the zoom sessions.
For broader access, you can transcript the video, or caption them or create a bulleted outline of the topics and the times when they are discussed on the video.
2. DO Create a More Active-Learning & Discussion Environment in Class
We are not saying that you should totally stop giving lectures in Zoom classes. However, what we are saying is, to get students to work actively with the class concepts for exam preparation.
One good strategy to break up a lecture is to ask your students to answer questions in few words in the chat box. But tell them to wait till you give the signal.
This will get you a lot of original answers. You can check your student’s understandings of mock exams and also give them a break from the slides. You can also create anonymous class polls, or ask students to annotate a whiteboard or a zoom slide with stamping tools and drawings.
3. DON’T Ask Students to Use Tech Tools that You Don’t Understand
This is important. If you want your students to use a tool, make sure that you are confident to use it on your own. Yes, it is understandable that a lot of faculty members are not accustomed to the tech tools with the abrupt shift in remote classrooms in 2020.
However, in the post-pandemic era of 2021, you should be able to explain the basics of the tech that you are asking students to use. Also, it will be a mistake to assume that every student is “digitally savvy” or they are better at using tech tools than you. Some of them may not be very much aware of the tech tools.
Thus, it will be helpful for all the students if you take a few minutes to explain any new tech tool that you are using. A short video link of how to use the new tool will help them learn about it.
4. DO Show that You Care
Show that you care especially if you notice a change in any student’s behavior. As we said earlier, this is a very crucial time for every student. They need all the help they can get from their teachers.
Invite students to connect through email. Ask them if there is something going in and if they need any kind of help. Talk to their parents, not only about the mock tests or practice tests, or entrance exams. But also, about their overall mental health and well-being as well.
5. DO Try to Follow the Routines as Much as Possible
We all have been affected by the sudden change in our daily schedule. So has been the students. They were used to spending their time and schedule in a certain way.
To cope with the changes, they need a support system. Someone that will make them feel that things are somewhat normal like the good old days. And you can do that for them.
Don’t give them surprise online mock tests or sudden practice mock tests that change their schedule at the last minute. Also, provide opportunities for the students to express their feelings.
Education has gone through a lot in the last one and a half years. It is still going through numerous changes. Thus, there are a lot of hasty approaches, trial and error, and general fatigue amidst both students & teachers as well.
However, it is important to remember that as a teacher, don’t sacrifice communication with students. If there is one thing that we have learned during the pandemic, it is the importance of connecting with one another.
This is true for online coaching classes, mock tests, practice tests, and online exams as well, especially when the whole class takes place away from the campus.
Thus, try to reflect on what to keep and what not to do while teaching with tech. It will be beneficial for yourself and the students as well.