Mrs. Shalini Kadwe, Principal Director of Wisdom High International School, Nashik
“When you find your Passion, hold on to it like your breath. You will find your purpose in …. Life. Live Passionately, Live Purposefully”Mrs. Shalini Kadwe
Being a teacher is incredibly challenging even in the best of times. But with the coronavirus pandemic ravaging in India, many teachers have had to adjust to a once unimaginable reality. This includes managing online instruction through Zoom, Google Classroom, and other platforms, even when not every student has access to the internet. It also means addressing the new classroom disparities, such as spending extra time with students whose parents are working “essential” jobs and don’t have time to help them with schoolwork, training family members to use online learning platforms, day to day counseling, etc. Since the closure of school buildings, educators, children, and families have been thrust into new roles, have had to make tough decisions, and have been fighting waves of stress caused by near-constant feelings of uncertainty. But together we are keeping our heads above water. So far, throughout the pandemic, one thing that has become certain is that the functioning of schools is essential for the well-being of students in all aspects be it educational, mental and spiritual. As an educator, I took it up as my responsibility to maintain this learning opportunity with my students. My pandemic story comprises of learning and picking up skills to provide my best to my students, studying new age technology and making sure that I inculcate it all in my own process of teaching and learning.
Every day I play a role that goes beyond teaching- sometimes I am a friend, sometimes a mentor and most of the times a counselor but most importantly, every day I make a difference and help in the best way possible for me right now. While I was working on all these aspects, as a principal, I could have not overlooked my duty towards my staff without whose support none of this would have been possible, In our school, we function as a family and because of the same we made sure to be a constant pillar of strength and support to each other, we trained our in-house psychologists to address various needs of our staff, created a WhatsApp group to share urgent needs and emergency messages for medical and other issues, through which we helped many families to overcome the struggles of the pandemic.
One of my biggest learning points was the loss of a beloved staff member who was a part of our family for almost 14 years. This brought us closer together and helped us realize and reinstill our purpose. This pandemic is not just a reminder of how trivial our lives are, but it also throws light on how we must learn to live together, survive together and come out stronger.