Teacher paradigm shift in the new normal – Manila Bulletin
It’s no secret that education systems here and abroad have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. And while we often hear about students and parents struggling with online learning, teachers also have their share of challenges.
From preparing lesson plans to conducting lessons and handing in homework, teachers need to ensure that the quality of learning remains even in the absence of face-to-face interactions.
A different preparation
One of these teachers is former journalist and TV presenter Julius Segovia, who teaches various communication subjects, in particular TV production, principles of journalism, visual journalism, multimedia performance and news production in four different universities.
Before the pandemic, he prepared his lessons a few days or weeks before they were actually delivered to his students. This time around, its turnaround time had to be longer.
“You have to prepare and complete all modules for the entire semester before classes start,” Julius said.
Another journalism teacher, Melanie Moreno, agrees that she has had to overcome obstacles in order to be able to teach her classes, not only to keep things in order, but also to ensure the learning of her students.
“Preparing for lessons during this pandemic is much more difficult than before, because the concern is not limited to making sure that the learning will be transferred to the learners, but also to making sure that it is actually delivered to them”, explains Melanie, who teaches at a public high school in Cavite.
Meanwhile, R-Jay Cayton, an Alternative Learning System (ALS) education mode teacher, finds the preparatory work more complicated than before.
“The planning part is complex now since the courses are online. My audiovisual equipment, camera and microphone must be tested at least two days before my class. It used to be the day before because I just needed to prepare my visual aids, ”R-Jay, who teaches basic English to mostly adult learners.
Challenge course conduct
As a TV reporter and online show host, Julius is used to speaking in front of the camera. And while he doesn’t expect the camera to respond to him, he knows his messages are getting through because people are reacting to what he says on these platforms. This is not necessarily the case for online courses.
“Students don’t have to open their cameras because it consumes more bandwidth. With that, I don’t know if I’m really talking to my students or if I’m just doing my monologue during class discussions, ”he explains. “(Students) will receive modules instead of virtual meetings. This means that you have students with different learning modalities. Medyo nakakalito ‘yun his part ng teacher.
Classes for public schools are scheduled to start on October 5, which coincides with World Teachers’ Day. But even before that, Mélanie had already tested her online course, especially for her grade 10 students, to identify issues that need to be addressed.
Like probably many teachers, Melanie describes this “impersonal” method of learning as quite difficult.
The teachers themselves say that having good internet connectivity is a major problem in delivering their lessons.
“Not all families can really afford the expense (to ensure a stable internet connection). The stability of the Internet in our country is (also) really difficult, apart from the fact that the presence of the teacher in the learning process is in fact compromised. The (limited) presence of teachers affects student learning across studies, ”says Melanie.
In addition to the fluctuating internet connection, R-Jay is also disturbed by unnecessary background noises he hears, as these are distractions for him and his students.
Change in the evaluation of student learning
It is common for teachers to hand out seat assignments and quizzes inside the classroom. Since there is hardly any classroom to talk about this school year, teachers had to make adjustments on how to ensure that their students actually learned or would learn their lessons.
“I am forgiving in terms of deadlines. I give students sufficient time to complete the required exit, but we strictly follow the protocols regarding late submissions. They get deductions if they submit late, ”says Julius.
Melanie’s early preparations have had their payoffs so far.
“Even before the classes opened, my learners and I were involved in various online projects. We struggled at first. Over time, we were able to establish an organized system, however, using only FB and Messenger, which are accessible even without internet data compared to other educational applications available nowadays which require internet access, ”shared- she does.
Manage virtual classroom behavior
Keeping an entire class attentive has always been a challenge for teachers, especially at basic education levels, but the “new normal” has given it a whole new dimension.
Like Julius’ students, it’s not all Melanie’s turn to turn on their cameras; Yet teachers are finding ways to manage their classroom behavior.
“I engage them in discussions. Sometimes I ask them to open (their cameras), usually at the end of the meeting, just to make sure they’re paying attention. Other than that, their results reflect whether they learned something or not, ”says Melanie.
R-Jay, on the other hand, controls his students by remaining silent when they are chatty.
Hopes for the “new normal” in education
Ultimately, teachers hope that everything about online courses and blended learning will prove to be beneficial for students.
“I hope that students will realize that they should work hand in hand with their teachers to continue the online courses. It’s the best for everyone else. Hindi and blended learning approach with a lot. (In) the same way, challenge din ito para sa mga guro, especially his mga hindi techie, ”Julius says.
“With careful planning, honest and realistic feedback for the treatment, I believe the education will always be effective. All it takes is adaptability and synergy, because life shouldn’t end with the virus. Rather, it should open up wider and more positive possibilities without compromising the precious lives of our teachers, students and other stakeholders, ”shares Melanie.
R-Jay’s students may be of age, but he still hopes the pandemic and the sudden change in driving lessons won’t stop adults from continuing their learning.
“(I hope my students) will value themselves more, so that they can dream bigger for themselves (because education promotes equity). “
Hello and commitment
Clearly, teachers have found ways to continue the student learning process, refusing to give up their calling even in the midst of the pandemic. BDO Unibank is one of them to regularly serve the community in these difficult times.
As part of its commitment to continuing education amid the pandemic, its rural banking arm – BDO Network Bank – supported the Department of Education’s health and safety campaign for teachers and learners, by donating one million P1 of rubbing alcohol and washable masks which benefit 1,105 public schools, as part of the “Brigada Eskwela” program.
On the other hand, as part of the Balik Eskwela campaign, BDO Network Bank employees were encouraged to donate school items (shoes, bags and school supplies) for teachers and students at DepEd. In addition, under this program, ICT equipment worth 420,000 P (laptops, desktops and scanners) were donated to DepEd thanks to the rural bank’s partnership with the BDO Foundation and the Foundation. SM.
Like dedicated teachers across the country, BDO looks forward to weathering the pandemic, so learning experiences can eventually resume safely beyond people’s homes and inside real classrooms.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE DAILY NEWSLETTER
CLICK HERE TO JOIN