S R Dalvi (I) Foundation

Mental Problems faced by Teachers During Lockdown

Change is good, but what if the change happens overnight? The covid-19 pandemic overtook the world in few months, where the government took the precautionary measure of announcing lockdown. It was undoubtedly, a necessary step to be taken. But what everyone initially thought to be a 21-days lockdown has now been unsettling for more than a year. The majority of industries have shut, while the surviving ones also have their own set of struggles. One of such survivors is the education firm.

Teaching has always been considered one of the most sacred jobs in the world. The designation gives birth to many other jobs. But, in times of the pandemic, teachers have gone through a setback. The crisis might not be as triggering as the health industry, but the mental breakdown of teachers is indirectly affecting the young minds whom they are teaching. Listed below are some of the common factors alarming the psychological problems faced by teachers during a pandemic:

  1. Quick transition: The sudden switch to digital learning has made teachers adapt to a new mode of teaching. The young generation of teachers was tech-savvy, while the aged ones faced a problem adapting to the teaching software. Lack of quality training of these applications made them feel inadequate.
  1. Increased working hours: To conduct an online lecture, a teacher has to be prepared with PowerPoint presentations and video content. Hours are spent in creating, maintaining, and improving distance learning. Keeping the students’ interest is a real challenge. The drastic increase in work has caused impairment to the sleep cycle leading to anxiety.
  1. Pay-cuts: In India, teaching has been one of the underpaid jobs. Lockdown has further increased the crisis with pay cuts. Management of the schools and colleges are unable to pay the cited salaries in the name of a pandemic.
  1. Lack of e-learning affordability and adaptability: Teachers in tier 2 and tier 3 cities have complaint lack of resources like the internet, smartphone, laptop, etc. to conduct online lectures. Further, even if a teacher gets herself/ himself access to this resource, it’s difficult to expect the students to have them, whose parents are daily wage earners. A teacher does feel bad when there’s a discontinuity in learning because of these issues.
  1. Insufficient vernacular content: Tools and content are easily available in English. But when it comes to Indian vernacular languages, there’s a scarcity of them.
  1. Self-Questioning: For years, teachers were used to classrooms and being in direct contact with their students. But now, their relationship has changed to online mode. It is creating distress and confusion because they are unsure if their student is following and understanding the instructions behind the screen.
  1. Bullying: Any form of harassment is wrong, no matter with whoever it happens. In 2020, a video of students bullying a teacher went viral on social media. It was disheartening to see a man who has always led respectable positions getting trolled.
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