The role of a teacher is vital in a student’s life. While children get their emotional needs from home, it’s the teachers who acknowledge and understand them at school. They are the ones who nourish the child for a better future.
In other words, teachers also work as “parents” in the school.
From the ancient era, students consider teachers to be role models. Usually, they were made to believe that – teachers were always right. As children spend most of their day in school, the impact a teacher can have in a student’s life can’t be understated.
The famous student quote makes sense here
To the world, you may be just a teacher, but to your students, you are a hero.
So, What Happened Suddenly In 2020?
More than just any other calendar year, many people, including numerologists and astrologists, predicted that 2020 would be an unusually good year because of its unique number format 2020.
Life was going smoothly for millions around the world until January 2020, despite COVID-19 strengthening its grip in China. Offices were functioning well, people were moving around freely, and students were preparing for their final semester classes and exams.
In a matter of a couple of months, the pandemic started spreading very rapidly around the globe. All of a sudden, one piece of news dropped like a bombshell – schools are closing down in view of the massive outbreak of COVID-19. Parents started panicking, teachers were confused and stressed, and children were excited about the unexpected long vacations they were going to get.
As things continued to get worse day by day, institutional organizations came to one conclusion. There is only one solution – a drastic change to the new curriculum, that was e-learning.
So, everyone said goodbye to the conventional classrooms. Gone are the days of the old traditional schooling system.
Role of a Teacher Before COVID-19
For many years, all schools throughout the world have been following the standard traditional teaching style.
A teacher’s role in the traditional teaching style is of a lecturer where teachers would just lecture throughout the class, and students would listen. However, this is the most preferred teaching style both by the teachers and the parents due to several reasons.
Here we mention few reasons:
- Firstly, school is like a second home for children where the teachers take care of the entire day. Thus in the case of working parents, they can leave the students in the class and go to work peacefully. Therefore parents get a feeling that they are in safe hands.
- One primary focus of teachers is to make students prepare for their exams. Teachers are of great help to the different levels of students. While some may be studious, others may like challenges or some students may also be last-minute crammers.
- Teachers strictly monitor the assignments. It’s a practice that all educators follow in school to assess students’ performance levels to ensure all the students perform equally. It also makes the students aware of their accomplishments.
- Mostly, in the traditional teaching method, teachers make sure not to keep any visual aids or computer screens in the classroom so that the students don’t get distracted. I agree; in some cases, such as project-based learning, charts, blackboards, and other digital tools are being widely used. But the traditional classroom teachers don’t prefer to use such methods so that the students can stay focused.
- Another factor as to why this type of schooling system is widely accepted is because of strict discipline followed by teachers. All schools have their own rules and regulations. Thus, students in the school environment are expected to obey the institution’s law and guidance.
- It helps group learning. In a classroom environment, in many cases, teachers tend to modify their teaching style with group activities and learning. This helps students to communicate with each other and understand how others are learning. This not only enables their social skills, but it boosts their confidence level as well.
The Role of a Teacher Post COVID-19
Times have changed! The epidemiological impact is so high that it forced the whole world to change, so are educational institutions. COVID-19 has forced millions of people to sit at home and over 1.2 billion students out of their schools.
As explained above, the pandemic drama has made the learning system change so dramatically such that it made the schools go into the e-learning method across the world.
What’s e-learning? It’s an educational method of teaching where students don’t have to be present in the class. Instead, teachers teach the lessons online.
As you may know, the e-learning or distance learning concept has been around for several years but was not highly popular. But now, as schools across the globe have shut down, e-learning has become mandatory.
Because of the staggering impact of COVID-19 on the educational system, more virtual institutions are likely to come up, which will make education just a click away.
So, we should appreciate the fact that schools have made it an intellectual lockdown rather than an emotional one.
Here is a video how the education system will change post COVID-19
Teachers Will Become Digital Specialists Post COVID-19
Due to the concerns of the second wave of coronavirus outbreak, there are high chances that only fewer schools will reopen. Montisorries and lower primary schools will remain closed because small children don’t have the maturity or the ability to understand the concept of social distancing.
When some schools reopen, that means there will be more shifts. The reason is social distancing, meaning that fewer students will get accommodation in a single classroom.
So when coming to the point, some teachers may not be used to handling the camera at all, or they might not have the exposure to remote teaching jobs. Teachers have the ability to change and face hard situations, anyway.
To prepare themselves for digital classrooms, teachers need to ensure they are thoroughly familiar with the necessary tools and need to be internet savvy. Classrooms will be converted to Zoom. Homework books will be sent to teachers in the form of e-mail.
This is an experience teachers will have to go through, which, in turn, will make them digital experts.
UNESCO has provided many online educational resources. Some of the useful tools given by them are as follows.
- Schoology – Tools to support instruction, learning, grading, collaboration, and assessment.
- Seesaw – Enables the creation of collaborative and sharable digital learning portfolios and learning resources.
- Google Classroom – Helps classes connect remotely, communicate and stay organized.
- ClassDojo – Connects teachers with students and parents to build classroom communities.
- Moodle – Community-driven and globally-supported open learning platform.
Teachers With Great Creativity
Unlike traditional classrooms, in online classes getting the attention of the students is not an easy task. Every teacher has his/her teaching style. But if your teaching style has no creativity, the students will lose interest in online classes as they will be attending from home.
To engage the students in digital classes, faculty members have to be creative to grab the attention of the students. Easy distractibility is one of the main drawbacks of e-learning.
In the e-learning industry, they say
Navigational aids like arrows, icons, and buttons need to be well designed, clearly visible, understood, and easily navigated. These should not be filled in with too much creativity making it difficult for online learners to recognize what these aids are meant for.
Post-COVID Teachers Get More Exposure.
Because teachers will be trained towards the unprecedented transition, unarguably, it’s the best time for them to grab some new opportunities.
For example, it’s the best chance for them to get into the field of ESL and TEFL teaching, thus getting exposed to international teaching. Recruiters hiring ESL and TEFL teachers not only expect you to have just the relevant degree but also look forward to having the following.
- Your online teaching experience with Zoom or Skype or other competitive products.
- And how creative and inspiring you are because, as an ESL or TEFL teacher, you will mostly be teaching children abroad.
E-learning or distance learning provides both the above additional skills, which will be an added advantage in your future career path.
Better Work-Life Balance
Unlike in the past, the current situation has compelled teachers to do something different post-COVID-19.
Until the last academic year, they wouldn’t forget the morning rush to school, spending the whole day in school, and rushing back home to do their work, household chores, etc. Moreover, many teachers have children or adults to take care of, as well.
Working from home is not an easy task where a lot of interruptions can happen. But this is an excellent opportunity for the teachers to be more efficient by reconciling between professional and personal life. Additionally, they can save a lot of traveling time as well.
Fun-Loving Teachers From a student’s Point of View
Corporal punishments are a part of the traditional classroom setting. Students with inappropriate behavior, disobedient students, and those who are irregular in completing assignments all have to go through certain disciplinary actions. Teachers either handle such situations with their “magic stick” or ask students to stand outside the class. These are the two common scenarios in schools.
In online teaching methods, it’s time to say farewell to such punishment methods. Thus from a student’s perspective, a teacher post-COVID-19 could be jovial, light-hearted, and lively.
Of course, there are some challenges teachers need to face because technological glitch is a part of technology. Many teachers are concerned about several challenges they have to face.
For example, students residing in rural areas will not have access to digital tools and pieces of equipment like a computer, mobile, or internet connection. Handling digital tools might be low-hanging fruit for internet-savvy wealthy students, but what about the students who have come from low-income family backgrounds even in urban cities? If they have a mobile or a computer at all, it’s highly likely that rural areas’ connectivity will be unstable.
The second major challenge is if both parents have to go to work, there won’t be anyone to control them. Unlike in the traditional schooling system, everything was under the control of the teacher.
Social isolation can be a significant issue in distance learning, as schools are a place where students gather together and make friends. So no more PE classes, no more school cultural activities, and no more excursions.
Another setback is internet data. I can see some online classes have started in the last few days, and parents already started complaining of the internet running out of data. So what would teachers do in such a situation? It’s a problem that needs we need to address immediately.
Just last week, I heard an incident where a student made a brilliant excuse to get out of the Zoom online class by changing his name to “connecting..” so that the teacher will know that he has trouble connecting to the internet. Initially, though I found it funny, on second thought, from a teachers’ and parents’ point of view, such incidents are concerning.
The role of a teacher post-COVID-19 can be a challenge in such situations.
Also, The New Indian Express points out.
Academicians believe that though the online platform is easily accessible for students with many having laptops, smartphones, and other such gadgets at home, the new-age model cannot match classroom learning.
Students know teachers for their organizational skills and strict discipline. Amidst the smooth school year, the pandemic called coronavirus struck hard in the year 2020 on everyone around the globe.
Teachers and parents like everyone else were shocked to hear the news of schools closing down suddenly due to this epidemic going out of hand. Needless to say, the sudden outbreak of pandemic has taken its toll on the educational system.
At this point, people had no choice but to turn into distant learning, fearing the quick transmission and the second-wave of the disease.
E-learning is a perfect teaching tool if used effectively. And of course, it depends on students’ participation and their attitude.
There are considerable differences in the role of a teacher pre and post-COVID-19.
While in the pre-COVID era, the role of a teacher was that of a lecturer who strictly monitors the students’ classroom performances, the role of a teacher post-COVID will be entirely different.
In the conventional classroom setting, students consider schools as their second home and teachers as their role models. But in online teaching or e-learning, the role of a teacher changes completely – they become more creative, fun-loving, and online specialists.
Moreover, as teachers are working from home in digital classrooms, they can attain a greater work-life balance.
They also get an opportunity to get an exposure to international teaching because of the experience they gain from online tutoring and the use of other digital tools.
To add to it, there are a lot of online educational resources available for teachers, out of which, we have explained some of the tools given by UNESCO, above.
However, there are some technical and practical glitches that experts and teachers point out.
- The first setback is the lack of availability of online tools like computers and smartphones for students in rural areas.
- Secondly, teachers complain of not being able to control the students as effectively as in the traditional classrooms. The problem is that students tend to be distracted more in the home environment as opposed to the classroom one.
- Social isolation is also said to be one of the problems of remote classes. Here students miss group activities, excursions, collaborative cultural activities, etc.
- Running out of internet data and making excuses for not attending the class are also some of the teachers’ concerns.
The role of a teacher in the school is to prepare the students towards the exam by giving proper guidance and assistance in homework assignments. The teachers themselves have to prepare and plan the classes well in advance by arranging the classroom materials and giving feedback to students’ parents.
The aftermath of the pandemic will have an enormous effect on the educational system. School classrooms will be replaced with digital classrooms where teachers and students will be working from home. Teachers will be teaching students through online communication platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, etc.
Post-COVID-19, e-learning will be a common scenario in many institutional organizations. Teachers need to plan their classes well in advance. They need to prepare the syllabus and assembling all the required tools well in advance. They also need to be masters of the latest online teaching tools Google Classroom, Moodle, etc.
Teachers play a significant role in students’ life. The role of a teacher in the traditional school setting was of a lecturer, “a second parent.” He/ She takes care of the students, understands their needs and prepares them for the exams. Also, the teachers used to work with students in cultural and other outdoor activities collaboratively. While the role of a teacher post-COVID-19 is more like a person with digital skill sets and a lot of creativity to grab the attention of the students.
As remote learning will be a common scenario post corona, faculty members have already raised many challenges. The biggest challenge they face is the inability to control the students as they sit so far away, unlike regular classrooms. Also, distraction among students tend to increase as everyone is working from home. Moreover, many students in rural areas are grumbling about the unavailability of digital tools.