As the nation battles COVID-19 pandemic, we are constantly facing new challenges. The lethal virus has forced us to adapt to the new situation created. Although, with changing times there arise new opportunities but we cannot ignore the fact that these circumstances pose new challenges and leave us more vulnerable than before.
One such domain where the challenges are severe than opportunities is the realm of Teaching. Right from the beginning of the lockdown period, schools and colleges have been shut. The paradigm shift from classroom teaching to online learning has put a majority of the teachers in dismay due to their lack of expertise in using an online platform.
However, this has provided the students an opportunity to disturb the teachers in between their lectures to look cool among their friends. Over the period of time such cases have been increasing and it looks like there is no stopping to it. To understand more, we reached out to the dignitaries of various colleges & asked them about their opinion on an Increase in bullying of the Professors by the students during Online Classes.
Opinion from the Editor
Ms. Sujata Mehta
Founder & Editon-In-Cheif, Eduvoice India
Teaching is such a noble profession & I feel disheartened whenever I come across such incidents. I firmly believe that the teachers/professors already are under tremendous pressure of teaching the students through online platforms. Moreover, such incidents tend to shatter their confidence which ultimately affects their performance.
In my strong opinion, such incidents happen due to two major reasons. The first reason is the lack of engagement in the classes. The lack of engagement in the class encourages the students to indulge in different activities. A majority of the students in such cases look forward to disturb/interrupt the professor to entertain other students.
The second reason is the teacher’s inability to handle the situation. During the classroom teaching, the teachers could simply point out at the students misbehaving and could ask them to leave the class or could punish them in a manner they seem fit. However, that’s not the case on online platforms. Due to the lack of proficiency in using the software, the teachers find themselves struggling to deal with such situations.
A majority of the teachers are not aware of the fact that being the host of the meeting, they can simply mute everyone and focus on teaching their subject without any hindrance.
Last but not the least, the colleges/ universities should conduct training sessions for the teachers in order to up-skill them in the online platforms.
In conclusion, it would be right to say that learning how to operate the software and planning the content can do wonders for the teachers struggling with such issues.
Opinion from Top Dignitaries Across India
Amity University, Ranchi
Professors getting bullied in online classes is a signature of a Teacher being weak and lacking confidence. We don’t need to control students but engage with them on intellectual level to bring out what he would love to work on. Our failure in creating this positive engagement offline or online leads to distraction and only then children resort to wrong ways. Engaging them is an act with clarity based mix of art, Science, compassion, empathy and goal of the class. One such incidence can be an aberration, and should be either neglected or noted for corrective advice offline later, but a repeat should be tackled differently making him realise that he would miss the connect of topics in the class. Further mischief may be followed by warnings letter and personal counselling. Removal from the classes remains the last resort.
Now a Professor should never even think that he can be bullied. He has to prepare better for the class in case students do not pay due attention. Making things interesting, with related examples and stories of success and failures from day to day life makes life easier. Engage them with quizzes, witty questions, comparison with similar events, text readings, flipped class experiment, surprise tests and incentives all work. Professor should work on their proper English, grammar, accent, throw of words, use good phrases and quotations, show pics, designs, audio-video clips and SMILE to manage the class. Academics and delivery has to be mastered by the Professor. I therefore strongly feel that, only those with Passion to teach should join this profession. choice of Career has to be based on inner interest, Skill, personality, values system and differentiating skill. This Model is referred to as ISPVD for Career options based on Career Tree model given by us. www.five-to-eighty-five.org.
Wordperfect English Academy
The teaching fraternity needs to ponder on why does a student bully during the online class.
Firstly, the student knows he is not physically present and so the teacher cannot harm him in that way! Secondly, may be in the past he had annoying experiences with the teachers. So there is high resentment. He will consider all the teachers as not at all good however that teacher teaches with his heart and soul. Some times bullying is a shared fun in a class – Mob psychology.
Thus, to overcome bullying, teachers have to have a good rapport with every student. Teachers have to learn the art of remaining calm during the class and not give strong reaction – Every action as equal and opposite reaction. Teachers have to understand the whys and hows behind the behaviour. The moment the bully feels that the teacher is more of a friend and guides him in every possible way, he will definitely soften his approach towards not only this teacher but also others.
I haven’t seen a friendly and highly knowledgeable teacher getting bullied. I quote this as apart from being a director of an organisation , I am also a teacher basically.
Head Of Department
Aligarh Muslim University
There are certain reports about bullying of professors by students in on!ine classes. Although I have not come across any such incident in my university and I do not expect such behavior in any old universities but may be possible in some new specially private colleges and universities. There are two reasons for this behavior. One the students paying huge amount as fees feel no respect for teachers but are afraid of reacting face to face in normal teaching. Here in online teaching since the student is not face to face with teacher he becomes bold. However , in India’ I still feel it can be controlled by having better relations between students and teachers specially in private colleges and universities.
Former professor and chairman
Electrical engineering department
Dr. Sunil G. Deshpande
Head Of Department
Assistant Secretary (Retd.) M.S.B.T.E.
In management field, “How manager shall deal with so called “Informal Leader” concept can be useful for such students also.
Teacher shall deliberately involve such notorious students actively in teaching learning process. By entrusting responsibility like, group leader, presenter. responsibility of completing any academic task under their leadership but under your supervision etc.
In fact these are students who are disturbing teaching-learning flow. They are like this, due to non-recognition of their personalities. They may be slow learners and become a point of criticism. So put them to task by giving small authority but loaded them with responsibility of completing task to regain their virtual status of leader
Dr. N. K. Garg
Manipal University Jaipur
Bullying is a learnt behavior. It may be a coping mechanism for people who are going through a stressful or traumatic situation. It may also be learnt from abuse or prejudice-based attitudes at home. It may well be an outcome of an individual’s insecurity. Often people who bully others have at some point been bullied themselves or are currently being bullied.
Those who are being bullied should know that they are NOT the problem. The reason people experience bullying is not because of their sexuality, gender identity, race, appearance, disability or any other unique factor; it is because of the attitude towards that factor. It is therefore desirable to change is attitudes and speaking to the person who is bullying can be a really effective way to avoid bullying. It should be an important parameter of FDP programs to sensitise people involved in online classes.
Virtual education world is facing quite a lot of hurdles and increase in bullying of the teachers online being one such demoralizing aspect . Not only dignity of teaching fraternity is at a stake but also students fail to learn. In my opinion few strategies to be adopted to overcome or minimize it can be as
• Educational institution need to chose online class software tools carefully to minimize the chance of such cyber bullies
• Faculties should be oriented and trained to handle such situations.
• A privacy and data protection policy can be established by the institutions
• Involvement of parent and keeping them updated about the classes can help as many schools are following this
• Rules to be followed ‘netiquette’ when online can be drafted
• Faculties must recognize that their role has changed to a newly appointed virtual learning experts whereas for students remain the same learners whom you have to engage virtually instead of classroom
• Faculties need to engage the students as when they see them struggle
through new applications, they tend to become more disengaged and
pranksters get the opportunity
few ways to engage :
To make the students attentive assessment can be conducted
o Complementing and involving them in different online activities can be
o Students should be given live breaks to have interactions among them
o Class monitor can be appointed who watches online misbehavior and then
reports to the faculty who takes appropriate action against those students
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