September 30, 2021
by Kimberly Deaño
From face-to-face to a sudden distant learning situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic shoots the entire country, educators have transcended from writing on blackboards, whiteboards, and presentations into a more technical way using different platforms such as Schoology and Google Classroom. Some used the modular type of education, and some combined modules and online classes, known as “blended learning”.
In this new set-up that was abrupt, teachers faced great challenges in new educational systems used by different institutions in order to reach out to the students in different parts of the country.
As the pandemic spikes the country, several teachers were forced to quit or either laid off due to the decreasing students, safety concerns, and schools closed down.
Teachers were considered front liners, like doctors, nurses, soldiers, etc. for they have extended their hands in delivering essential learnings as public servants in the education sector and even looking out for their respective students in this crucial time. Monitoring students via emails and social media platforms to ensure the safeness and wellbeing of each, moreover, educators reach out to parents and guardians to consult school-related matters.
The limited resources, workloads, struggles in giving modules, online classes connections – were just some of the burdens being carried by teachers. Education Secretary Leonor Briones has said,
“I hope that we will all be challenged to continually do what we can to bring and create innovative and daring methods of teaching so that we can bring education to all our learners” as she recognizes the important role of each teachers.
In an article from Manila Bulletin, Teacher’s Dignity Coalition (TDC) has called on the government and the Department of Education (DepEd) in helping teachers especially in the case of being affected by the pandemic –
“It’s World Teachers’ Day once again and the DepEd, as always, will continue pretending to celebrate the value of their front liners”. TDC added, “Teachers don’t only have a voice on matters of education, they are ethically bound as mandated in the Code of Ethics for Teachers”, “crafted by our best Filipino minds to protect our teachers from exploitation and neglect and to further guarantee their well-being, yet administrations and the DepEd have been treating it like it isn’t worth the paper it is written on.”
In another article by Manila Bulletin, they have interviewed some of the teachers. Here is one of them:
“Masaya at mahirap ang maging guro, lalo na ngayong panahon”, says Darwin Calimlim, a Master Teacher 1 at Las Piñas East national High School as many teachers have become anxious with COVID-19. Participating through various webinars especially those dealing with digital education and technology, he added “Ngayon sa lahat ng mga natutunan ko sa webinars, palagay ko, ito ang magsisilbing gabay at pag-angkop sa mga teknolohiyang kinakailangan natin bilang isang guro”. Although teachers have gone through hardships in this new normal education setup, Calimlim expressed his hope to beat the challenges and to open up new opportunities, he says “We must embrace it, adopt it, and go beyond it”.
In teacher’s month this year, students extended their heartfelt appreciation for their teachers through greetings by sending them through social media outlets and some by emails, texts or whatever means they have just to say their “thank you”. They recognize and admire the struggles their educators have gone through especially with the situation the world is going through.