IT is now officially the vacation period for public elementary and secondary schools in the country. In the past, vacation time was one of the happiest times for students, teachers, and parents. It was a break from the school routine and all the academic requirements.
But what a School Year (SY) this was. SY 2020-2021 would be remembered in history as a year where most students learned outside the four walls of the classroom. It is also the year where students moved up and graduated without seeing their classmates and teachers in the classroom. There have been discussions on several social media accounts about the Alternative Delivery Mode (ADM) and the content of learning materials printed and distributed to the learners. And there have been instances when classroom teachers received the harshest comments on the content and delivery of learning materials.
It is also a good time to listen to the thoughts of teachers for the SY 2020-2021. Here are some realizations of teachers for the year. Some of my friends in the elementary schools said that the SY was the most challenging learning setup. One even said that the SY was very stressful for all the stakeholders. A teacher even shared that the new normal was a nightmare and was worrisome, especially in the K-3. In addition, the absence of social interaction in the classroom among teachers and students has affected the delivery of lessons.
On the other hand, my teacher-friends described the SY as a discovery and an experimentation on teaching-learning processes. Everything under the principles of teaching was summoned and tried to be applied on the ground by my friends. But since the setup is really new, even teachers are also learning to adapt and master the new normal.
But my teacher-friends agree that the SY was life-changing which provided opportunities for them to be better teachers and individuals. The situation made my friends visit their students and learn about their situations. These visits have deepened their understanding of the environment affecting the delivery of their learning modules. The realization that not all parents can teach/coach their children is one of their takeaways during the visits due to various reasons. One major reason is the economic conditions of families. Working parents have less time to teach their children using their learning modules. And this is understandable. My friends believe that compassion and understanding for the learners should always be accorded.
My friend-teacher friends wish that the next SY should have more time for face-to-face practice, especially at the elementary level. If not, there should be more learning options for teachers and students aside from ADM. More learning platforms should be developed and introduced for both teachers and learners. And most of all, my teacher-friends said that being an educator is a duty whether that be in a normal or new normal setting. Kudos to all teachers of SY 2020-2021.