Online Peer learning through zoom picturesadmin
A PARADIGM SHIFT… New ways of teaching & learning.
Socially distanced yet virtually connected.
This is the fourth day since the lock down and working from home as a school head, has taken on new dimensions.
The first two days were exhausting, something I’ve rarely experienced on normal working days. I missed the buzz, the colourful classrooms & hallways. I missed the sounds of children singing in the music room or the energy of the children in the dance room as they learn new steps & rhythm. I missed the naughty glances, kids whispering “Principal Ma’am is on round”. Most of all I miss our Assemblies, the prayer especially. the inspiring videos & interaction with the school kids.
As for the staff, no longer could they give excuses of traffic jams, punctured tyres, vehicle breakdowns, as they had to report at sharp 8:30 for a physical attendance over ZOOM!!
As we progressed into day three & four, everybody came to terms with their new schedules, and our connections over zoom becomes more engaging. The human mind is quick to adapt and find creative solutions. For ease of communication the entire school staff was split into various groups department-wise. Each group had a designated head who took ownership of scheduling meetings and training the other members in how to conduct online classes over ZOOM. The school re-opening date on 3rd April has given us much needed time to train, plan, collect resources and do trial classes with fellow teachers to gain more confidence.
As for me, I couldn’t be happier. For years I have been telling my teachers to do peer observation, by walking into each other’s classes. I have without fail seen a dogged reservation in them to do and been disappointingly unsuccessful. All of a sudden the tables have turned! Now I see Social Studies teachers “walking” into an English teacher’s class or a dance teacher observing an Art teacher’s class. They have gone berserk. Now they are pleading with each other to send them “invites” to attend their ZOOM trial class. The result? I cannot express it in words. It’s a sheer delight to see them observing, asking each other questions and then giving feedback. The teachers have become students, and are learning fast. The next trial class is even better.
Teachers who I saw idling their time, are now racking their brains to make their lessons more effective & fun.
I saw a Maths teacher struggling to explain a sum, in the absence of a white board. The fellow participants of different subjects gave her suggestions as to how she could use a regular plain diary and use her phone camera for recording. It was a brilliant substitute for an actual board.
The IT team has been indispensable in sorting out operational issues and glitches & working round the clock to address teachers’ problems
A Maths teacher worked tirelessly to streamline ONLINE admissions using Microsoft Forms and converting all questions to fit the format.
Although the hours are now long & gruelling, the joy and satisfaction is visible through the pictures I share.
How long the lock down will continue, nobody knows. But at the end of this ordeal, the entire teaching community will emerge as being more creative and better equipped to deal with teaching kids, anytime, anywhere. And my school will have more leaders, both self taught and specially taught by their peers. The twenty first century skills of problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, communication & collaboration have all been practically learnt.
I couldn’t have asked for more !!