In this episode of Teachers’ Voices, Gillian Hayes discusses the difficulties teachers have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, from pedagogical challenges to dealing with changes in their own households while trying to teach online. Nina also hears from three inspirational teachers – Rocio from Buenos Aires Argentina, Diana in the Gaza Strip, and Asma, in Gwalior, North India – about their experiences of teaching and learning throughout this time.
“Many of our concerns have been about kids, and how we make sure that they’re still learning. It’s wonderful to hear the discourse turn to thinking about those who are doing the teaching, who are providing that care and that education.”
First we hear from Rocio, who teaches physics and chemistry in a secondary school on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Rocio describes an imaginative way she has faced the pedagogical challenge:
“With the help of some of my colleagues from the science department we created a science box. I even took some of those boxes to the students’ houses. The most important thing was that they could touch something, everything is in the cloud these days.”
Next we hear how Diana, an English teacher at a United Nations school working with primary school children in the Gaza strip, has had to cope with distance learning despite the frequent power outages and lack of internet connection:
“One of the moms told me that she goes to the dentist, because the dentist clinic has an internet connection, just to attend the session with her son… Palestinians, parents and kids, they have determination to learn, regardless of our circumstances and conditions.”
Finally we meet Asma, a biology teacher in Gwalior, North India, and hear about the challenges she faced to engage students during the pandemic:
“Flipped learning made my classes super interactive. I was [also] introduced to the concept of Pecha Kucha. Pecha Kucha literally means to chat in Japanese. It is like a show and tell concept.”