Updated: Oct 18, 2020
We always see a teacher on the screen but can we ever imagine a teacher behind the scene?
One of my friend Neeta, who is a teacher, when came to know about the offset of online classes, which she has to conduct daily, went into deep stress.
"Stress! But Why Neeta?" I asked abruptly on a phone call with her. When Neeta opened her heart to me, it was quite brainstorming. She replied, "Yes, I am stressed. The stress, of having one laptop at home, to be shared with my 10th grader son. By all means, I have to choose him to be in a maximum comfortable position, being at the peak of study pressure.
The stress, of compromising my 3rd grader daughter's eyesight, as I don't have any other option than to make her sit in front of the television for long. The stress, of taking my husband's valuable time to upskill me technically for taking online sessions, and to assist me in fixing the glitches that pop up at the spur of the moment. The stress, of not preparing the lunch on time. The stress, of losing my own house's privacy. The stress, of surrendering my sleeping hours to make lesson plans and props for the best clarity of concepts. The stress, of forfeiting my dreams on how can I best utilize my cell phone to deliver the best lessons." Neeta stopped abruptly. " Oh! I didn't even realize, I spent a full seven minutes talking to you. Many many things are piled up to complete for today. Bye, dear. Will try to catch you later." murmuring this she disconnected the call.
For a few seconds, I kept staring at my cell phone's screen.
It took me down the memory lane. When I had to ponder the selection between the corporate world or teaching, I straight away decided TEACHING.
Like most of us who entered the teaching profession, I too looked at the best work-life balance, short working hours and most importantly, when we are in front of these young minds, we forget about every tangle inside - physically or emotionally. It is appropriately said that teachers down with the fever at home, take paracetamol and bring back the smile on their faces at the school. Their sick leaves are always encashed at the end of the session. They usually compromise on financial incentives just to give back their knowledge to society. Teaching was once said to be the most respectful profession.
But this pandemic has changed the whole scenario. The teacher on the screen has to smile looking at the wall. Yes, believe me, most high-graders don't even bother to switch on their videos during classes. And for tiny tots, maintaining their interest level on the screen is not a tiny task. So the teacher on the screen has a dual role to play - inside as well outside. No assistance for household, no assistance for school work, and adding to it, she is supposed to perform the role of a telecaller as well, to call the parents on fee default.
And what in return, 50% salary cut, sarcastic remarks by the parents on her vocabulary, on her voice modulation, on her pronunciation. The teacher behind the scene is stressed.
I wish if all the parents pledge to please spread a word of honor for the teacher, the Guru. Who is giving much much more than what she is getting in return. Waive her tiny mistakes and fill our children with the spirit of गुरुर्ब्रह्मा ग्रुरुर्विष्णुः गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः ( Gurubrahma Guruvishnu Gurudevo Maheshvaro). This is what is required more than getting big fat marks in the exam.
Salute to all the teachers.