Meet Reeta Bali. A science teacher at Central School for Tibetans in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Last year, she won the National Award as well as CBSE Award for her contribution in the field of education. Since then, students in her town are eager to join her school. And why not? She is credited with making science learning joyful for her students by using innovative techniques. Her students have developed an app for people with hearing and speech impairment. An environmentalist at heart, she has also played a key role in developing a herbal garden in the school.
Her teaching methodology is not limited to speeches in her classes. She believes in ‘Innovative and joyful learning methods’. Besides experiments, she uses drama, discussions, animation videos, etc., to keep her children interested in her classes. Even now, during pandemic, she is thinking of a number of innovative ways to teach her children online.
“I am developing videos, not just subject related or educative, but videos of all kinds, so that children find them entertaining and not boring,” she explains.
Teaching Challenges during Covid-19
“It’s a very challenging situation for teachers as well as students. When students sit at home, they feel depressed, and tend to react very abruptly in the online classes. So, we have to take care of these issues while conducting online classes. In order to address these emotional issues, I try to make my classes interesting for my students. I have also developed videos involving my students. This way, children feel connected with their school, teachers and classmates. Together, we have developed many videos including the ones wherein students are educating people about good hygienic practices to be followed during this pandemic. This activity has taught students skills like camera-handling, video editing etc.”
Dealing with online challenges and abusive students
There should be counselling sessions for abusive students. This covid-19 situation has changed the complete scenario of education in the world. The discipline that we can inculcate among students in schools cannot be done online. If we are teaching and students are lying on their sofa, that’s not discipline. And there’s no way we can find out if cameras are off. Also, there are some students who login and then perform some other work. We also have to understand that children are not used to this situation. They are kids after all, they want to take advantage of the situation. So, I think, these children need to be counselled properly.
Life post the National award
Life has not changed, but now, I feel a sense of greater responsibility towards my society, like offering my services to them during the present pandemic crisis.
However, my award did have a good effect on the society that I live in. A lot of people now want to admit their children in our school. It is a Tibetan school and hence, there are fewer seats for Indian students. But parents want their children to study here since the school has a teacher who has won a national award.
Views about NEP
Students will now be able to choose subjects of their choice. Plus, they will learn vocational skill during school life which is great.
I think NEP will give rise to innovation among teachers. Digital platform will also see a growth, and focus will now be more on e-learning, etc. Digital learning has to be encouraged since we need to be prepared for the future. Who knows when the next pandemic may strike.
Students love her
On Teacher’s Day, her students made a video, Acharya Devo bhava (Tribute to teachers) which she uploaded on her YouTube channel. The video speaks volumes about the kind of bond she shares with her students.
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