In our quest to make life normal for all our students, we made sure that we followed the school routines as much as possible says Surabhi Goel, CEO, Schools, Aditya Birla Education Trust in a conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).
This word has changed the world in a short span of time. This holds true for the education world too. Well, as a school we always have a ‘Plan B’; ready for any contingency that we may face. However, this unprecedented situation threw us all in the wide sea of uncertainties, yet, the Aditya Birla family, both at the K12 international school, Aditya Birla World Academy and The Aditya Birla Integrated School, a school for children who learn differently have displayed exemplary commitment to their students! Our members of the staff simply outdid themselves and worked beyond the call of duty.
This has been a time for many firsts as this pandemic situation nudged us to venture into unexplored arenas and realise our own strengths. In our quest to make life normal for all our students, we made sure that we followed the school routines as much as possible. We started online lessons from the very first day of the lockdown. Here, I want to share about the several silent workers at both our schools.
1. The Events Team – We can proudly claim to be the first school to have had an online Graduation Ceremony so that the students do not miss out on anything. Despite being online, it was a heart-warming experience and the students will cherish this memory for a lifetime.
2. The teachers working with children with special needs – It has been exceptionally challenging. The therapist shared home program/ modules with the parents. The teachers formulated academic portion in a quiz format and e-certificates were awarded to the students. The teachers also conducted a zoom session with the younger students to know how they are feeling. It was wonderful to know that our students were helping their parents in cooking, engaged in painting. Our school for special needs successfully conducted, for the first time, final exams online for both junior and senior school.
3. Counselling Cell- It has been a pillar of strength. A COVID Well-being Journal was shared by the School Counsellors with all students and parents which included games, activities, and mental health tips to keep that positive energy going.
Counselling services were opened out not just to the students and parents but also to the entire staff by creating virtual spaces where they were just a call away for students, parents and staff.
4. Outreach- The marketing team put up an array of Instagram activities like favourite movies to binge-watch, activities/books that make me happy, etc. engaging the entire school staff to create various videos to spread social messages like ‘Stay Home, Stay safe.’ The Student Council also organised a ‘Game Day’ for the student body.
Different games like Kahoot, Bingo, Quiz and Antakshari were played to keep the spirit alive.
5. Training- The Management is continuously providing the teachers with professional development sessions to equip themselves with online teaching and learning platforms.We have scheduled weekly Professional Development sessions where our Technology Coordinator and Integrator provides much-needed E-Learning support to the teachers by upgrading and refreshing their knowledge of various Educational Tools.
Different de-stressing activities have also been planned for staff to engage and stay connected informally like sessions of dance, cookery, flower making, etc.
There may be days when we get overwhelmed with this new normal. However, in these trying times, something magical happens and we know that it is all worth the effort! Our students have shared a video expressing love for their teachers and how much they miss them. Not just that, the Class Representatives shared a video of gratitude for the teachers. One of our school parents had conducted an online birthday party for their child and the children were asked to sing a song. All the children sang the school song which speaks highly about the bonding the children have with the school!
It is the time to connect, time to reflect and a time to savour. The connect that we have forged amongst us will remain intact in the future too. Well, I can say that we are still at sea… but, with our safety nets on.