My list of favourite teachers is dominated by those who would share jokes, goof around and make fun of me. They would occasionally (only when they deemed fit!) blur the lines between student and teacher.

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While that may be too much to ask from a teacher, I still think that a teacher who steps into the shoes of a friend once in a while is the coolest. And guess what comes out of that? I would never go to the cool teachers’ class without doing my homework. I was obsessed with performing well for their tests. I knew that that’d make them happy, and who doesn’t want to ensure the happiness of their friends!

But this article is not about being friends with your children. You have been in this wholesome, fulfilling (and tiring) profession long enough to know what works best. Being your children’s friend is just one of the many advantages you would get if you decided to equip yourself with the digital skills necessary to make do in the new normal.

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When I was 10 years old Gmail was our Instagram, Facebook, and Whatsapp. All the forwards that we now make through Whatsapp, were done on Gmail during my childhood. And one day, a trainee History teacher chose to share her email address with us. She was thus integrated into 5-A’s close-knit forward network and became the class’s favourite teacher. Every class she taught had the same thing to say, and unsurprisingly everyone also decided that History was their new favourite subject!

Click here to read a cherry-picked collection of Top 5 Mathematics storybooks for young learners.

Children are glued to the internet and technology more than ever before. Hence, knowledge of these—even expertise in them—becomes necessary to be their best friend. But that’s not it. Digital expertise will help you in accessing and sharing a wide range of material that would grasp the restless child’s attention.

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Santhalakshmi Ma’am from Amazon Public School and Atiya Wahab Ma’am from Dawn High School, Hyderabad took the task of upskilling themselves seriously. In order to learn how to use internet tools effectively, they enrolled for our three-week course and managed to keep at it till the end!

There were a lot of new things to learn, but their perseverance now gives them an edge over others. They know what their children are doing on the internet and can even relate better to them. And this goes a long way, now they know precisely what would rivet the children. Maybe beginning with a reference to a trending song or a clip of a viral video is all it would take to channel your child’s energy into the lesson at hand. Even when they are at the receiving end of your rage and exasperation use a few slang words to stay friendly, relatable, and most importantly, cool!

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Click here to read our list of slang words that every aspiring cool teacher must know.

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and read up on some technology, youth lingo, and trending memes, and don the hat of THE cool teacher!