Teachers’ Day: ‘Real Celebration Is In Doing Our Job Everyday’ - Eastern Mirror
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Teachers’ Day: ‘Real celebration is in doing our job everyday’

By Our Correspondent Updated: Sep 04, 2020 10:22 pm

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Sep. 4 (EMN):
“I feel that everyday should be celebrated by being grateful, doing the things that we as teachers are supposed to do wherever we are planted, with a thankful heart; and that, for me, is real celebration,” said Lihnyu Konyak, an assistant teacher at Model School Mon, as Nagaland observes Teachers’ Day indoors, unlike previous years, due to the pandemic.

Speaking to Eastern Mirror on Friday, she said that the past six months have been ‘undeniably rough and challenging’ as teachers are forced to ‘adopt certain measures and techniques to reach out to our students which had not been very easy’.

Despite the difficulties, Konyak said, they have been successful to some extent.

“The one good thing that has brought a change in our working style due to this pandemic is that most of us have learned to use technology and some applications that we have never heard of,” she shared.

Konyak recalled how she had sent her students home on the last day of school before lockdown, with a prayer for their safety.

The digital teaching, she said, has now reduced the student-teacher interaction. “It is hard to adjust to an online environment because we have been used to real classroom environment where we could directly interact with the students,” she shared.

But these difficulties are not a burden ‘because our job is not just a profession but a passion’, she asserted.

“I love teaching and being a teacher makes me happy though not very wealthy; and I guess the latter is nothing without the former,” she said.

Ruth Zholia, another teacher from Nazareth School in Pfutsero, shared: “I take great delight in my profession and celebrate Teacher’s Day everyday with the little progress the students make despite the ups and downs.”

She maintained that this year has been difficult for everyone but not celebrating the day ‘formally’ would be an opportunity for the teachers ‘to retrospect, be grateful and acknowledge every blessing’.

Speaking about the bond she shares with her students, Zholia said: “Having a detailed profile of every student and having WhatsApp contacts of the students and parents is what I consider a special bond right now because a teacher ought to know the family to know the student.”

She expressed hope that her path will cross again with that of her students soon, adding that the experience would be ‘pure bliss’.

Zholia also admitted that the pandemic has opened her up to a whole new world of teaching, citing it as ‘an era that arrived without warning’.

“From getting ready at 7.30 am for school, to running about the corridors till late evening, and now sitting alone at the desk and tapping the keyboards to prepare notes, with no laughter, commotions, cheering or social activities,” she said, reflecting on the reversal inflicted by the pandemic on teaching.

According to her, getting in touch with the students in terms of sending notes online was a huge challenge as many students are from rural areas. The problem is compounded by unstable network as many students fail to access notes and information given online, she added.

“And not every family can afford android phones (smartphones). So this, I feel, is not just a challenge for teachers like me but also a massive burden for parents,” she opined.

However, she maintained that with the co-operation from parents and students, these challenges have eventually subsided.

“I am now able to send notes through WhatsApp group that reaches to all the students of my class and even able to conduct online test,” she added.

Zholia shared that a teacher is someone who gives hope for students’ future and therefore ought to be an open-minded person, be selfless, persevere and be positive in all aspects, and keep in mind that “all students evolve and not everyone is the same; accept everyone as your own and prepare a strong scaffolding”.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Sep 04, 2020 10:22:59 pm
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