Pedagogy of post-covid world. Are teachers prepared?

Shuffling through the newspaper, varied advertisements on online classes for students caught my eye.

Definitely, there is genuine concern for educational opportunities among students during this unprecedented time. Owing to its significance, several editorials have addressed this issue comprehensively, covering challenges to initiatives to way forwards.


However I thought, “What about teachers? Are they prepared?”
There have been ground reports of unconventional teaching methods, posing challenges for educators to teach effectively and/or to cater to different needs of each student.


The needed technological knowledge, requirement of innovative pedagogies are overwhelming for many. Moreover, teaching goes beyond learning to collaboration and critical thinking, something which seems far-fetched through online education.


Perplexed by solutions to such mounding difficulties, like a shining armour, my friend told me about “Gurushala”

Gurushala is an initiative of Indus Towers Limited and Vodafone India Foundation, implemented by Pratham Education Foundation.

Launched in 2019, it strives to positively impact the learning levels of students by building the capacity of teachers to use technology and innovative pedagogies in class and outside the classroom.

Through its egalitarian motives, Gurushala in a short span of time has partnered with 35+ institutions to motivate and support the efforts of 23,000+ teachers from more than 15 states across India.

This feat is due to its several unique features:

And they didn’t stop here. With determination to contribute to the goal of ‘quintessential Indian education system’, Gurushala has been assisting the teachers as well as the students to adapt to the contemporary world’s dynamics by significantly adding to the compiled repository of
multiple resources in Gurushala’s Digital Content Library. This expansive library supports them by providing comprehensive and targeted resources to aid in the teaching-learning process especially in the time of the lockdown.

All the required sources at one place, feels like a blessing. Isn’t it? But, this doesn’t even stop here. Am not even kidding.

They also have courses which teachers can complete to get a nuanced understanding of various teaching strategies. These courses cater to the ever evolving need of a 21st century teacher.

They have a repository of learning resources, enriching courses, host innovative sessions, workshops and provide collaboration platforms. But, are they credible?

They have actively engaged with experts from UNICEF Chhattisgarh programme and interacted with personalities like Padma Shri Dr. Prakash Baba Amte and Padma Shri Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on their take on evolving education and how we should approach the same with support of technology.

That does give some credibility. But, why not check out their website and features, then decide on your own.


There’s a complete new world; full of knowledge to explore. Don’t settle on an article by just some other random person. Explore the platform and think for self.

Strange Things

Strange things happen in this peculiar world !

We shower love, when it can’t be received.

We suddenly care more for the gone, and troll the bereaved.

There’s time to tweet comforting words, but none to offer a comforting shoulder

There’s aplenty energy to yell in vexation, but miniscule of it to be kinder

Eternal rest pumps the generosity from those living

As perhaps, the breath is found unstimulating

Could there be something wrong in such inexplicable (un)humanly operations?

Should we not do some contemplation?

The answers won’t be found here.

It’s an internal battle, one self has to hear

FRAGRANCE

pexels-photo-326284.jpegFlower never propagandize her fragrance, but her own fragrance spread through her surroundings, imparting beauty and soul to everyone that associates. Making the world, a place comfortable to abide in. Howsoever, no matter to what extent she sheds her soul to embrace others, the plethora of beauty still resides within her core and hence makes everyone fall for the grace.

All captivated by her external beauty, most overlook the inner purer soul, but to the Gardner, every cell of her existence is precious, because he is the one who understands the uniqueness of the untouched pure heart. Truly enchanted, wishing only the best; without expecting anything in return; for the core- the fragrance.

The New Boss

There’s a buzz around the office of a multinational company regarding the new BOSS.

The new person’s charismatic profile has already captivated the attention of all, making them all eager to work under the new administrator.

However, is the entirety same as speculated or is there something more to it? Is the new boss exactly the way they all imagined?

Read ahead and join the ride along with the company’s employees. A ride of breaking the stereotypes around the “Boss”.

Disclaimer: It’s a 6 minute read.

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Hustle about the news

“Do you have any idea about who is going to be the next CEO of the company?”

“Only information I have about the person is that he was earlier positioned as the CEO of a telecom association”
replied Raj curtly to the query of Mohan.

Raj and Mohan have been working for this MNC, “Pastime” which manufactures favoured sports wear, for about 15 years.

Raj’s crooked nose; rough patchy skin; dark-narrowed eyes, scanning everyone’s work were just appropriate for his job of being an executive manager. He was tagged ‘loutish’ by every one except the female colleagues and his acquaintance Mohan, who was the general manager. 
The impassive man used to be passive around the working ladies, he believed that they were the key to set equality. Mohan admired Raj for his this attitude.

“Today is a big day, i am retiring as the CEO, it’s an emotional day, but am elated to announce that the company is going to have a new, meticulous, highly skilled leader to handle my position, the candidate is awarded with Padma Shri; has done MBA from Harvard University; at the age of 28, was the youngest billionaire; also mentioned amongst the top 10 businessmen of the world by Forbes magazine in 2013 edition…”

“Is this man real or a fictional character, so many achievements at such an early age”, 
”He must be the gene found once in an epoch”,

“Looking forward to work under his histrionic intelligence.”

While, Mr. Duggal was giving the introductory speech for the future head, on his day of official farewell, every one was amused by the qualities of the successor.

“I know you all are looking forward to work with Ms Seema Shergil , who is also known as ‘The man in the men’s world’, she is an inspiration not only for the females , but also for the males living in the society, ‘She is the Man’, her work is…”

 

She is the man 

“She is the man”, the words were a thunder-clap to the ears of coterie. They could not hear anything beyond it, all the words by Duggal sir were fading into oblivion.

The people were same, but the words and ideology was different now.

“How can a woman make decisions regarding sports wear? 

What does she know about it?”;

“How can a woman be the man in the men’s world?”;

“Now a double X chromosome is going to rule us? Don’t you know the second X chromosome is the ruler of insanity?”

“What are you saying pals, what about being a Padma Shri, youngest billionaire title, her excellence in work, did you forget all that?”, enunciated an assertive voice.

 Everyone looked at the direction of the tone, and there was standing Raj, and behind him was Mohan who was uttering these words.

Mohan was a silent man, who never whispered a word from his thick yet soft lips. His red-flushed cheeks, deep dark brown eyes, his placid smile, lean, tall body, made him look like a sensitive person, but he never used to speak anything except work. He was considered to be the assistant of Raj, always giving nod to his words, although both were positioned professionally at equal levels.

He, taking a stand today was a revelation. 

”Can’t we just respect her for her work? I feel privileged to work under her. I am sure there is a lot to learn.”

“C’mon are you out of your senses? Let’s face it, their species can not handle pressure with ease.” said an unexpected tone, that of Raj.

The day was the day of revelations, unprecedented spin of events, happening progressively with the turn of each page. The leaves of the book were bringing out unanticipated discoveries.

“Raj, after hearing what you said, i guess, i reckon you wrongly.”;

“I am just saying the truth”;

“This is the truth? Then what about you admiring working women?”;

“I do admire them, but not as my boss”;

“That’s hypocrisy”;

“No, this is life”;

” I can understand it lucidly; equality, empowerment, all these were and are just terms for you, words mentioned in the dictionary, words which seem good to speak about in public.”

“Yes! This is it, you got me right” said Raj aggressively.

All this while, Mr. Duggal, unaware of the exchange of conversations amidst his introductory speech, was now going to introduce Ms Shergil to the horde. 

”The wait is over, you all must be excited to meet her, the exceptional expert, the leader, the connoisseur, the man, your new CEO, welcome with applause, Ms Seema Shergil. ”

The Kalpana auditorium was echoing with conditioned applaud.
 From the penumbra of the curtains enclosing the entrance to the stage, stepped forward a unique soul. 

She was not pretty as princess, but was beautiful, her confident face depicted her assured, assertive nature. There was something about her that swayed her critics. It was not the way she looked, but the glow reflecting on her face, charm of knowing what she is doing and is going to do.

The light on her face reminded the saying by Buddha, “To succeed, you have to make the light of yourself, and one day you will glow.”

“Now, i know the feeling of meeting a prodigy.” said someone from the crowd.

“Let’s see what she wish to say” spoke Raj

 

Changing  perception. Winning minds

“Good evening to all. No need of felicitating  me with bouquet, garlands or bow in honor. I am here as your acquaintance and not as your boss. We are a team. I thank you for accepting me as part of this group. You and i together can make ‘Pastime’ to reach the pinnacle of success, as dreamt by Duggal sir.”

“Her words are spell-bounding”;

“She nailed it”; 
”Surely, she is the man”, perspectives were changed again.

“I told you Raj, working under her is going to be great”;

“It’s too early to comment, Mohan”,

“No one is perfect”, articulated Raj

.

To this, Raj’s secretary, Mohina replied,”Sir, but her saree is crisply ironed, each pleat is finely made, hair nicely groomed, posture is firmly erect yet her body is flexible, she is perfect.

“

In support, Mohan said, “It is believed, the way a person dress, is the way a person thinks. You also believe in this, don’t you? You told me about this belief a year aback, just repeating your words.”

“Ah! Don’t smirk” urged Raj

.

Meanwhile, Ms Shergil was done with her speech and had shown her desire to have an interrogatory session.
”… feel free to ask me anything, we need to work together, border of hesitation must be broken.”

Mohina, who was already leading the fan club of the new CEO, catechized, “Ma’am, how do you manage to work effectively yet effortlessly?”

“That’s flattering! In reply to your question, i would like to share my key to success i.e. loving what you do, or do what you love. I followed my dream and money, fame, success followed me. This love, passion for my job makes me work effectively. Though efforts are put in, but, the lure to learn more in my field makes it seem effortless.”

Applauses were real now, as real as the applauses bestowed at the time of victory of Indian cricket team in the world cup.

Raj’s mind was now sure about the efficiency of the lady, but his heart was not ready to give up.

 He gave a situation to her, “Ma’am, you have an unprecedented mind, am sure you would be able to give solution to this situation; If our rival companies sell their products at half rate than ours and we can not lower our prices to such an extent as it would cause us heavy loss, what will you do to make sure that we do not lose our position in the market without suffering any loss at the profit-rate.”
 He smirked.

“There isn’t any solution in which market value and our profit value sustains. Raj is doing this on purpose.” argued a colleague.

“I know, she has the answer, i am sure about it.” said Mohan.

The hall was buttoned up, to hear her response.

She smiled, “This is easy. All i need is the best advertisement campaign. Marketing sells. In addition, our manufacturing cost is higher than other organizations, this implies that we don’t compromise in quality. All we need to do is make people realize this. Our institution has a brand value, many other co-operations wish to share an assignment with us, we will talk to such organizations and make a deal of promoting their name with our own, for this they would invest and we could offer deals to the consumers, deals like ‘buy a Pastime sweat shirt and get Yacoo’s lawn tennis racket free’. Such offers are always lucrative. Some people would buy our product for the first time because of gluttony of the deal, and later they would be lured to buy only our products in order to have the best quality. This way neither the market value would be lost, nor there would be any compromise with profit-rate.”

Raj was stunned. His heart also surrendered to the beauty of brain.

1200 people at the venue and there was tranquility. Everyone was dazed by her wit. The moment was serene, as if, it started snowing and snow absorbed the sound waves.

In this deadly silence, filled with expressions, Mohan broke the quietness and applauded with pride.
And soon the hall was radiating cheers and laurels, not only honoring the adept lady but also announcing the bright future of the company.

Spooky Spinner

This is my first blog post and I would like to share a weird part of me. I quite often experience vivid dreams, at times nightmare. Some of them evoke goosebumps, some are just funny, while a few can’t be even described in a particular domain.

But, the one I am going to share with you all is a concoction of horror, adventure, thrill, mystery and weirdness.

Disclaimer: It is a 5 minute read. Also, all the details penned down are exactly as they proceeded in my dream and the information is unaltered.

If you are reading this post at night, I hope you sleep tight even after reading this. #savage

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It all started with me deciding to volunteer for conducting a class program on life and cultural skills for an orphan’s school; for a month; in a place far away from the city. (There was no name in my dream, just a barren place, with very low population density, afar from the world of civilians, devoid of telecommunication network.) But, probably it was the peculiarity of the place, the adversity wrapped within it that lured me to give in to this social opportunity)

Unaware from the truth that my virtuous adventure would soon turn into an ordeal, I headed to my destination with my constant zeal.

 

The Closed Door

It was my fourth day (probably, it was not that clear in dream) in the school, when the trail to uncanny events began.
Like a regular day, I was teaching life skills to the 12 year olds in the lower storey of the three storied dilapidated building. The construction was that of 1860’s time with series of arched windows in a row and a gable. To be honest, it didn’t seem to be a proper premises for education and its sight set off trepidation. However, my fervour to volunteer in this social enrichment program, made me naive to the initial ghastly signs.

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While, interacting with the students, I heard noises from the top floor.
That floor always remained bolted and sealed. I was told by Ms. Anika; who was the head teacher and also the only other teacher of that school; that the last floor stored scrap and was filled with dust. She warned me to not open it. Any queries regarding her questionable anxiety would be left unanswered.
(in dream, I felt the urge to open the closed door, but I didn’t do it, probably was too engaged in my work, and then only four days had passed…anyways, moving on)

I got out to find what was happening and rushed towards the third floor. When I reached the end of second level’s stairs, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a group of children, aged around 8 years, trudging out from the once closed door. Those kids didn’t appear like any other 8 year old.
Pallor faced, sunken eyeballs, wrinkled face and the most terrifying part was their eyes: the pupil was positioned on the top and the white portion was visible the most. They walked like a zombie and produced growling sounds repeatedly. I was frozen until one of them looked in the direction of old ceiling fan, just above me and triggered it to fall down. It missed me, though it awakened me to senses and I ran downstairs to protect my students.

Bolting all the windows of the classroom, I asked everyone to stay inside, while asked Nina, who was the fastest runner among the batch, to go find Ms Anika and tell her to come along as soon as possible. My colleague had gone for her regular walk in the nearby woods, she had said that it helped her to unclog her mind. Meanwhile, I took a wooden stick and stood outside the latched door of classroom. Protecting those souls was my duty now.

As, I was standing there with unprecedented courage and feeble heart, my heart pounded at the speed of light as I saw those dreadful beings nearing the ground floor entrance. I didn’t know if I would be able to outpace them, but I was not ready to give up.

 

Mystery of Third Floor

Anika rushed into the building, just on time and controlled those different beings by spraying a liquid onto them along with showing them a crystal that emitted rays.
She ordered me to stay inside the classroom with the children and not to come out in any condition, until she says otherwise. After 67 minutes, she came back.

I was horrified, but managed to keep those little souls out of this tension. I looked at her; with an eye filled with tremor as well as loads of question. This time she said, “I will tell you everything.”

Night had eventually fallen after a long day, we were sitting in the porch and children were sleeping in their rooms.

She was telling me the story ( i don’t remember this part clearly,  probably I was genuinely terrified as those beings were really scary and my vivid dreams have the ability to give me goosebumps) But, I do remember that she told me that those were evil spirits with blend of zombie, vampire and evil witch. They had plethora of power which transcended into evil supremacy because of their evil intentions. They killed the program teacher who was appointed before me. The villagers had left the place out of fear. But, the school had no choice, running away was not an option for these orphans.

I asked her if they are so powerful, then how did she managed to control them.

“Every one has a limitation; a flaw, a loop or a curse. The evil spirit is slave to tulsi leaves’ extract. Tulsi is a auspicious plant, considered refection of good spirits; who are called the protector. And I don’t know much about the crystal, inherited it from my mother, who assisted the good spirits in controlling the activity of evil spirits, just like, I do.”

“So, you mean that their existence have been hidden behind those closed doors for years”

“Not just years, but centuries. They don’t grow old, their, vampire part gifted them with eternity. However, their lockouts have been different for different era. Also, the ones locked upstairs are not the only ones, their are more. But, you shouldn’t go into that part. It’s safer for you to not know everything.”

“But, you promised…”

“Your safety, is primary over here.”

“Alright (with dissatisfied expression, I was getting more and more curious). But, what did you do with them for the period of about an hour. Like, I must know, if I.. have to handle it myself, someday.”

“ There’s a process which is used to decrease their power and send them into sleep induced state, they don’t sleep normally. Sleep weakens their energy. But, you don’t need to know the whole process.”

Meanwhile, (a scene from top floor flashes into my dream and its shown) one of the evil spirits was awakened from the induced sleep and was banging on the sealed door of the ‘third floor’, trying to come out of it.

( I woke up aghast at that sight in my nightmare and it ended)

P.S : Welcome aboard! Please share your experience of reading my dream and joining in my journey. Also, do suggest if I should take this thrilling tale further and give it a structure of story.