December so far has been an eventful month. After much dithering, our primary section reopened for offline classes.
Goodbye ‘work from home’ and ‘hello school campus’.
The parents whooped and cheered but when it was time, many decided not to send their children.
- “Omicron is spreading and no vaccination as yet for the children.”
- “We are travelling.”
- “We are already out of station.”
- “We are unable to arrange for transportation.”
In a year and half, the country discovered the convenience of a virtual class. We could be present in one from anywhere in the country. Even from the backseat of a car. One kid logged in from an airport and stayed online, right till the plane taxied away.
As for me, I steeled myself for the new school routine. Jumping out of a warm fuzzy blanket early, on a chilly winter morning is an ordeal. So is the drive to and from school. The traffic snarls are legendary in my town. Honestly, work from home was a
test rest I never knew I needed.
Anyway, this new announcement brings me to the next evolution in pandemic teaching, hybrid classes.
So I have students sitting in front of me in school, masked and following the COVID protection protocols. Simultaneously, I also have children visible on my laptop, attending lessons virtually. So I teach like I’d normally teach my class. Or as normally as possible in the new normal.
It is wonderful to see the children in person and the interactions are awesome. Poor network is not a problem. No one is toggling with their videos or microphones and conversations are fast and furious. The online kids still struggle with that. Oh, and that applies for my trusty laptop as well. My heart skips a beat every time the message ‘your internet is unstable’ pops across my screen. Hot spot connectivity and data usage warnings can be nightmarish in the middle of the class. The scramble to connect on time and every time with the kids at home is a challenge in every way.
I am getting better with that and the art of multitasking which is tad more complicated than folding laundry while watching Netflix. Hybrid learning though has fuelled a sort of competition between my online and offline students for my attention.
WhatsApp classes figured, Zoom learning mastered and now this hybrid teaching. I suppose next term we may go completely offline. One thing is for sure, there will be no rainy day or a blistering cold day holiday like in the pre-Corona era. Classes now can be moved online at a click of a button. We had two when the roads were closed for mega election rallies recently.
Perhaps, this is what is meant by ‘living in interesting times’. We live and learn.
I wish the Wi-Fi in school was free too!
Lens-Artists: You choose
Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: A view