“There are no guarantees in life. But, it is a sure thing that you will get back what you give.” The lockdown set curtains to a normal life. Normal life! What is a normal life? It has been months that each soul breathing on the earth has adapted a different lifestyle. From washing hands to wearing a mask, every step of ours has been monitored by our own conscience. So, what’s the new normal?
Social distancing has been the umbrella which we have taken in our hands to protect ourselves. When it comes to our bread and butter- ‘Work from home’ is the new normal. When taken into consideration the new normal for teachers- well it’s an outburst of Pandora’s Box. Not those of evil creatures as the myth go. But this Pandora’s Box is an outburst of innovations, creativity and utilisation of minimum resources at a maximum level and above all an eruption of sacrifice. Teaching involves a lot of visual aids. Children learn better by seeing. Stationery shops closed no enough materials! But this did not deviate teachers to put life into a piece of paper and transfer it into a puppet or a camera that revealed concepts or a fan that had letters and sounds hidden in them. ‘Best out of waste’ was the only mantra embibed by our relentless and diligent educators. So, making novel things out scrap has become the new normal.
‘No, not the mobile, it will hamper your vision’. Was every parent’s classic advice to their children. But the new normal is children learning through Zoom or Google Meet. And at the other corner, is the teacher, fully equipped with the little resources. She has to make her lessons interesting and innovative. Teachers have taken multiple forms. They have become writers, actors and magicians with the motive to impart quality education to their children, some live in humble dwellings. But still they have shun their inhibitions made their little corner of their house palatial and eye-catching with a shower of aesthetics.
‘Online teaching’ is also the new normal. As mentioned earlier, classroom atmosphere is created through Zoom, Google Meet, etc. Laptop, hi-tech smartphones act as a catalyst in the teaching- learning process. But when a teacher with a humble salary faces shortage of sources to possess these devices but still makes good use of her smartphone, her contribution calls out for a big applause! The new normal has made us stringed to our phones and many a times, this 24/7 gluing to phones haves raised many eyebrows and a sigh of suspicion and a weird look that loudly echoes- ‘Why is she into her phone all the time?’
‘Me- time’, family time, holidays- sorry, what do these words mean? Sounds absurd, isn’t it? Each part of our homes have transformed into our place of work. The clock ticks, the sand runs through the narrow neck of the hourglass but working hours cease to wrap-up. Each minute goes in planning. There are incidents where plannings are made over the phone with simultaneous movement of the ladle sautéing the shallots. This is the new normal!
Walking that extra mile to bring a smile on students face is the new normal. Being creative in creating a fun filled environment for students is the new normal. Being a constant guide and counsellor for both parents and students is the new normal. The lockdown has barraged us with Himalayan tasks. But teachers have girdled up to swim against the tide and remained unmoved as steady as a rock. For those who think big, the sky is the limit. To strive for greater glory and earn laurels for their institutions has been and will remain the humble yet perpetual intentions of teachers who strive to render their service in shaping young minds. Living with this invisible demon may be the new normal, but we will wait at the horizon of hope, awaiting that day when the sun will shine once again when we all will live unmasked-fearless!
‘Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high, into the heaven of freedom, let the world rise.’