LockdownStories: Meet The Inspiring Teacher

Teachers are just not confined to schools. They play a bigger role in one’s life. They are a source of inspiration and guidance. In fact, they form an extended family of the students. A school is more like a second home to the students because a major portion of their waking time is spent here where teachers mould their character and personality.

Teachers loved by students have a special bonding with their children for which reason many intellectuals have been objecting to online classes proposed to be held the whole of this academic year, as part of measures to check the spread of Covid-19. The absence of physical presence would have an adverse impact on the teacher-student bonding as they would not have much interaction with each other which can also wean them away from studies.

To avoid detachment from students, a teacher in Tamil Nadu felt that she should visit her students and instil confidence in them during this pandemic. Without giving any second thought,
V. Mahalakshmi travelled all the way to the students’ houses, one after the other. She teaches Tamil in a state-run High School at Naduveerapattu, 15 km from Kadalur.

There as many as 700 students in her school and she has been visiting them, one by one, for the last 15 days, completing all her daily chores early.

“All these students have been promoted to 10th class without writing the 9th class annual examination. Schools have been shut due to the pandemic but private schools are conducting online classes. Students of government schools do not have smart phones and so, online classes are not being held. So, I felt they would get dejected for not being able to go to school and moreover, if their parents get them employed for trivial jobs, it will become more complicated. So, I started visiting each student at their home and speaking to them as well as their parents,” she said.

“I have been telling their parents not to get them involved in any work. Instead, I told them to see that they focus on academics. I also am briefing them about the Corona protocols to be followed,” she said.

“I also come from a very poor family. I became a teacher after overcoming many hurdles. I know about the trauma of children in poor families and I am trying to see that the students do not get detached from academics. For the same reason, I am visiting their houses. For those having phones, I formed a WhatsApp group and am trying to keep them engaged. I have been telling them to watch YouTube channels for specific topics. It is more important for me to develop a bonding with the students. Else, they will lose interest in getting back to school and also not be able to focus on studies. These students should appear for the 10th class Board exams and so, it is necessary that their zeal, enthusiasm and interest are not lost,” she says.

Hail Mahalakshmi for her concern towards poor students.

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