It’s a new world.
The first day at school (yesterday – June 10) for my daughter involved an hour long session for Parents Orientation. My daughter, my wife and I sat in front of my laptop awaiting for the session to begin. Today (June 11) the working day begins.
Several parents logged in, tried playing with the settings. Muting audio and toggling the video settings. The pre-primary coordinator introduced us to the school, its founder and the principal. The principal made a brief statement welcoming us to the school’s family. She said that the times were unprecedented for both parents and teachers. She asked for our support during the first few days as we both adjusted to not being physically present.
We were asked to turn on the cameras and the students got to see their teachers for the first time on a video call on Teams.
Our laptop died on us right in the middle. It took us a few minutes of worry to switch to the mobile phone app. Afterwards, my wife took it to another repair shop as the guy who repaired it earlier was out of Pune for a two day visit to his parents. We got the laptop repaired in the evening.
In the QnA session thereafter, a parent asked if the school could start later in the day as kids wake up late.
Parents use the Teams chat feature to get other parents’ mobile numbers and started a WhatsApp group. My efforts to try and quit WhatsApp remain difficult. The conversation in the evening turned towards how unfair it was to have kids studying in Nursery take their class online. News from Karnataka added fuel to the fire.
Many parents felt that physical presence of teachers (who were trained for this) was needed. The stress on the parents has certainly increased. Working parents would find it difficult to sit with their children.
There is a triplet in our daughter’s class. Do the issues multiply 3x for them or do these things get better with scale?
The classes for the first two weeks is just an hour long. They begin with a “morning assembly”. That is followed with a 5 minute break. The first class begins at 9:30 am. This goes on for half an hour. This is followed by a 15 minute fruit break. Then there is another class for half an hour. This is followed by a 5 minute break. The day ends with a “closing assembly”.