This April, just like hundreds of other students, I entered the first day of my new academic year at Podar. I entered my 12th grade as an IBDP 2 student, and byentered I mean I visited all my friends and teachers, in the comfort of their homes, through my laptop interface!
Being an IBDP student, I was initially stressed when I heard that we were going to have online classes full of April. “If we are not going have formative assessments (FAs), what were my predicted grades for universities going to be based on?” “Will I still be able to ask questions during class, or will teachers simply speak?” My mind stumbled upon so many other questions, but they were all resolved on the very first day of school.
I can personally say that I have loved every moment in the month of April during my online classes. I never felt like I was not going to school! What made my experience even better was the fact that online schooling in many ways was even better than going to school physically.
- DAILY ASSEMBLIES
As IB students we would often start our day with only attendance in school and then shift from one classroom to another to attend the lectures. However, this month, students would make a presentation every day and conduct an online assembly on any topic they wished to before lectures began. A concise, yet thought-provoking, presentation followed by a discussion amongst students on a range of topics, from how to explore our creative side during quarantine to simple ways to become more sustainable, early in the morning helped energize us after waking up.
- ENHANCED LEARNING
School ensured that during some lectures, guest speakers would be invited to conduct a session that ran parallel with what we were learning during school. For example, during a Biology lecture, we had the opportunity to interact with a doctor, who not only explained to us an entire anatomy concept immaculately but also answered all our questions regarding female reproductive health. It was a great interactive session since it broke the monotony of learning from a basic text-book. Likewise, the school also scheduled a webinar for the entire IB cohort with Mr. Brian Chanen, an international IB educator, who designed the entire IB English curriculum. With his nonchalant attitude, he gave us helpful tips on how to approach our exams while being confined at home.
- ONLINE GRADED ASSESSMENTS
We did not have to bear the tension of giving examinations, after sleeping late from studying, under a fixed time duration. Instead, our teachers gave us diverse weekly assignments, like solving worksheets and doing research projects, to complete and upload for assessment. This induced us to be responsible and self-disciplined because we had to pay attention in every lecture and regularly study to complete our work as opposed to simply studying a day before an exam. My parents could also monitor my progress as all grade reports were sent to them.
- MORE “ME TIME”
Going to school can be extremely exhausting. We are expected to wake up very early, travel kilometres to reach school on time, attend 8 hours of school with some small breaks, and then return back home to do all our homework. Our school was very considerate to reduce school timings and give us a break after each and every lecture! I could unwind, rest on my bed, and relax my eyes from the strain of the computer screen during that time. Moreover, with a long lunch break, my family and I ate lunch together after months and strengthened our bond during these tough times.
Launching the Podar Media Club
If it weren’t for these amazing online classes, I would have died of boredom during April! However, since we are in our summer break, I realised I had so much more time in my hands and wanted to ensure that I used it productively. Therefore, I decided to begin our very own school’s Media club that is open to the entire Podar family to be a part of.
Student, Parent, Teacher, Alumni, I would request you all to send us blogs, articles, paintings, videos, and photographs on school-related experiences that you have had before and during the lockdown. This platform has been made for you all to share your interesting, unique experiences, which will inspire others and spark positivity amongst this pandemic!
This blog post is written by Chahak Pahwa, a Podar International School, Santacruz learner.