KOCHI: When TOI asked about the newly-created troll pages and lewd cyber-attacks on teachers engaged in online teaching, Arooja -who started online classes for the education department through Victers channel on Monday – had only one thing to say.
“I am least concerned about trolls and comments. My lecture served the purpose when colleagues and students appreciated my efforts. I don’t have time for cyber debates or depression because I’m busy preparing for my next class on Wednesday,” said the teacher from GVHSS Poovachal in Thiruvananthapuram, whose experience spans over 14 years.
It was Arooja’s lectures and pictures that were mostly used by harassers in cyber space. It took her three days to prepare the opening session of online classes. “I had to prepare a script for the lecture and do several retakes in front of the camera. It worked as many students, parents and teachers inboxed me full support. Only teachers who take classes know how difficult it is,” she said.
With online classes becoming the new normal, teachers have to become a video anchor while teaching students. Teachers also admitted that it will not be effective like an interactive session in a real classroom. Many of them were given training to ease anxiety and take criticisms in a positive way.
“Online classes cannot replace classroom lessons, but considering the unusual social situation, they are inevitable. Creating memes and trolls on anything is a social norm and what police have unearthed is just the tip of the iceberg. There are several closed Instagram and FB groups among students that trolled teachers in a bad manner over the past two months for online classes,” said principal of Toc H Public School, Vyttila, Juby Paul.
Paul said many teachers were apprehensive about online classes. “It is not easy to take online classes because your words are being watched and recorded. Even parents are listening and the slightest mistake will be pointed out. Teachers, who lag in technological knowhow, were uncomfortable. We had to train and motivate them. Some of them panicked when systems hung due to low connectivity. They have to be conscious about their attitude, body language, tone to maintain interaction with students and explain the subject even more effectively,” she said.
Principal of Assisi Vidyaniketan, Thrikkakara Suma Paul said time constraint is a major challenge. “Most teachers are coming in front of a camera for the first time and it took time for them to adjust. They have to race against time to complete the topic assigned for the day, give assignment and clear doubts; which is not practical always,” said Suma.
Paul, who coordinates and monitors online classes in Toc H, said many teachers who have excelled in classroom teaching are failing online.
“We saw how some teachers got accolades for their presentation on first day. Truth is many teachers who have excellent track records in real classroom are not confident to take online classes” she said.