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Going Beyond Academic Learning During Lockdown

We are all in this together!

Going beyond academic learning has become more important than ever. The onset of the lockdown in our lives familiarized us with terms such as social distancing and lockdown. We learnt the importance of staying indoors to stay safe, washing our hands frequently, and the value of eating healthy to boost our immunity. Who would have thought that our families would be forced to stay indoors for weeks on end?

However, every cloud has a silver lining and the lockdown has been no exception. The resilience of each one, be it a child or an adult shone forth. We received a variety of pictures of all the members of the family pitching in and doing their bit in order to make the household chores easier.

The strengthening of the familial bond has been clearly visible and the memories created during this period will be cherished for years to come. 

Creating a Solid Foundation

Teachers are the backbone of any school and with the online learning platforms, they are bringing in a new possibility and expanding the learning horizon. Being academic learning is the base of any school, it is important to keep learners engaged with extra-curricular activities as well. Here are some tips teachers may follow during the lockdown period.

  Tips for teachers to ace learning during lockdown 

  1. Technical knowhowIn the new age, its technology that’s leading the universe from simple toys to satellite, so it is important for teachers to be well-versed with the technology or else the work will pile on for somebody else.
  2. Equipped with appropriate infrastructure- While planning your online session make sure all that is needed to run the class is in the place from Wi-Fi to your laptop charger. Teachers need to equip themselves with appropriate infrastructure.
  3. Manage your time- Teaching from home does not mean doing household chores along with the teaching process and vice versa. Manage your work and family time such that nothing gets affected. Your task is not an easy one. You are building the future of the world so make people know how critical your work is.
  4. Transform the existing pedagogies for remote learning- You know it all; all you need to do is transform the existing pedagogies for remote learning. While teaching online you are not teaching anything apart from the curriculum and syllabus. You are only changing the medium of teaching.  So be at peace and innovate teaching methods as you are not physically present but virtually.
  5. Multi-disciplinary projects- Engage children in multi-disciplinary projects, and use Science Technology Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) technique for giving out projects.
  6. Motivate children to bring out their latent talentsDuring these challenging times, it is important to help and motivate children as they are staying at home with literally nothing to do. These aren’t normal holidays when one can go meet their friends and family. We need to keep learners engaged throughout the day.
  7. Empathize with children- These are challenging times for all, especially children. Those whose exams have been cancelled are perhaps bored to death, with nothing to do: they cannot go out and play, cannot go on trips, or meet up with cousins and friends. Empathise with them try to understand what’s inside them. Don’t jump to lessons. Check with learners how are they feeling. Try to talk to their parents and get an understanding of the family. Try to explain a little about their child’s psychology during these testing times.
  8. Feel the joy of teaching-learning- You are a teacher, so who else would know better about the joy of teaching and interacting with your students? Just feel that joy and go ahead with the teaching-learning process.

 Going Beyond Academic Learning 

A third of a child’s waking hours are spent in school and his or her personality is shaped by the academic experiences provided there. However, it is not enough for children to score well in tests and assessments. They should also be getting a rich and extensive range of co-scholastic experiences for the all-round development of their personality.

Now more than ever, a child’s emotional and social development along with cognitive and physical development cannot be overlooked.

Academics is vital and schools are mostly concentrating on completing the syllabus within the timeframe. At the same time, if the schools are open at home then along with academic learning, we must also keep in mind co-scholastic activities.

It’s important for schools to channelize the sparkling energies of the young minds into activities beyond books.

What we did and why it worked?

To get started, we designed a day dedicated to activities that go beyond academic learning. We at SAI International Education Group of Bhubaneswar has involved teachers and dedicated a day for various creative activities to be performed throughout the day by the children, as well as, their parents.

To add colour to the monotony of the daily routine, we introduced activity classes, not just for our SAIoneers but for our extended SAI family as well. Here are a few things we did that you can implement too in your schools –

Expert session for parents

There can be a segment for parents as well, with the adults to also participate in the school’s expert session where the school can organize a session for the interest of the parents. These sessions can be about Business, Finance, Taxation, Cookery, Health and more.

Hobby session for both children and parents

There can be hobby classes for the children, as well as, parents and together they can participate in aerobics, dance, painting, art and craft and so on. This will not only enhance their skills but also create an everlasting bond between the parent and the child.

However, only designing online and hobby classes won’t make much of a difference; we need to keep a tab on the attendance of each child during the academic session and the hobby classes. We have to make sure that students remember the school is still open in every home. Children need to attend classes, take notes, complete the modules, and update the teachers on the same. If we can do all these things then we can truly say no child will be left behind and no pandemic can stop us.

What is your school doing to boost co-scholastic activities during these times?

Cambridge Supporting Every Teacher

How are you dealing with the current shift to the digital classroom? We have created a dedicated page with updates to help you in planning your digital lessons. Check it out here 

Get access to Cambridge Digital Resources, free worksheets, Webinars and tips to support teachers here

Encouraging Educator

Written by Bijaya Sahoo

A pioneer, a visionary, a thinker, and a man of action, Dr. Sahoo is a man with a passion for excellence in education. Dr. Sahoo’s philosophy, ‘Every child is a leader and can make a difference to the world’ defines his roadmap for the years to come. His long term perspective includes imparting quality education in pre-schools, where Howard Gardner’s principle of multiple intelligences will be practiced. His plans also include setting up a world-class Teacher Training Institute, and assimilating the best practices from across the world through active collaboration. A greater vision remains and that is the setting up of SAI International University for Education, Management, Business and Liberal Arts.
Let’s Build a Better India Through Education.

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