poem grade 1

A Reflection: Our New Reality as Teachers

As the nation (and the world) salute our medical frontliners, we recognize and accept there are other “heroes” out there who also need recognition. Each one deserves to be praised for his or her efforts as duties are carried out while most of the country remain at home under strict quarantine orders.

One of our Grade 1 students, little Margharite Llamas, decided that there is another group of unsung heroes who need encouragement. She wanted to ensure that their spirits are also lifted in this time of crisis. Margharite came up with an inspiring poem that her mom emailed to her class adviser. This poem is dedicated to the teachers.

The country was placed in enhanced community quarantine with a suddenness that caught everyone flatfooted. It was a good thing that classes for most of the country’s Basic Education levels were almost over. And as the country abruptly suspended classes, lessons needed to be transformed and transferred to remote learning platforms. It was the only option for the teachers with the strict stay-at-home order.

But the teachers rallied. With the short time given for preparations, they all put their heads together and lessons intended for face-to-face were altered to be sent over the Internet. It was now time for emergency remote learning.

Lessons had to be broken into chunks; bite-sized pieces that could easily be absorbed by the learners. Even though these Gen Z students are characterized as being adept with technology, some form of disorientation had to occur. Another consideration is that the learners would be working on the materials generally unsupervised by the classroom teacher.

Teachers now need to dig into their bag of tricks, revisit their craft and reconstruct materials while at the same time considering the home situation of their students. It was a hurdle they had to work on with little time to prepare. And it would seem—if we are to anticipate that in our new normal—in the foreseeable future, classes could still be suspended for an undetermined period.All teachers at this point are already busy planning, training, and studying again to hone skills in order to restructure lessons.

Our teachers provide a service vital to the community. It hopes to educate the youth not just to cover those essential competencies, but to inculcate values that will provide a strong backbone to handle challenges ethically, and to be analytical and critical, as well as to be self-aware with a highly developed conscience.

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of education. The youth we teach today could be the future frontliners, future leaders of communities or even nations, or even future scientists.

Education cannot take a backseat in a developing country. Our teachers understand this.

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