A Teacher for a Better Normal Essay Sample
I have only seen her through a 15-inch screen. Her voice coming out from the side speakers every morning at 8 AM sharp.
"Good morning, class!”
Then she would go on teaching our lesson for the day. But a lot more goes on behind the screen.
Ever since the pandemic hit the world, her life was also turned upside down. She had to relearn everything she knew about her profession. Realizing that it is not just her computer that needed upgrades, she looked for ways for her own upskilling. She knew that this so-called ‘new normal’ education needed her to adapt and adjust. She also knew that it was not going to be a walk in the park.
So, she did her work. She improved herself. She developed the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills that she needed. She explored the Internet for all the software and websites she can use for her classes. Thus, she discovered NearPod, Slido, Quizzizz, Kahoot, PearDeck, and all applications under Google Suite. She received her certificate as a Microsoft Certified Educator. Webinars, training, online courses…she did them all. For her profession. For her students. For me.
It might sound surface-level for some people but coming from a developing country, the Philippines, that suddenly found itself being demanded to adapt to the needs of the times, the shift from traditional learning to online distance learning (ODL) is a huge deal. Our education system is not made for ODL. Some would say it is rather outdated. Only the most advanced (and expansive) schools in our country like Ateneo de Manila University, La Salle University, St. Tomas University, University of the Philippines, and the international schools are equipped with that kind of setup. The common masses did not have the resources for ODL. Not all students had the gadgets needed to take their classes nor did teachers. The country was not known for its fast and reliable Internet speed and connectivity. That is why for several months before the start of classes for the School Year 2020-2021, students and other concerned groups and organizations campaigned for an ‘academic freeze.’ It was what they saw as a solution that could have been adopted until the digital divide was fully resolved or the curve of COVID-19 cases has been flattened (Sape et al. par. 10). Yet, the country’s Department of Education (DepEd) did not see it as a solution citing that prolonged absence from formal education can cause a decline in the motivation of students to continue learning when the time came for the traditional face-to-face classes (Malipot par. 4). The Secretary of Education, Leonor Briones, herself said that prolonged delay in the opening of classes is detrimental to children. Ultimately, education prevailed.
Thus, it was put on the shoulder of every teacher in the country to step up. And my teacher sure did.
She is patiently teaching us every week through her laptop using the appropriate ICT skills that she learned by herself. And through the eyes of a student who is also coping with these dramatic changes, she is doing a great job.
Every morning at exactly 8 AM, I sit in front of my laptop excited for her to open the link of our synchronous class through Zoom Video Conference. I give her a big smile as she admits me in the class because I know that we are both going through hard times in the middle of a pandemic. That smile could improve her morning, I know because the smile she paints on her face definitely improves mine.
This past year has not been easy on anyone. But as I sit there in front of my laptop listening to my teacher, I realized that I have learned more than what my 15-inch screen can show. She has taught me resilience. No matter how difficult these times are, they are just that. Time. And time will always pass. These trials will pass, and we will all come out of this better, hopefully. She taught me how to look for the silver lining, even if it looks dim now, the light will always come through.
Most importantly, she taught me how to love learning despite the circumstances we are in. Education must always continue. Dreams should not be crushed by a virus. Knowledge and wisdom will always prevail. A teacher who is dedicated and committed to achieving this is exactly what we need. These new normal times need more teachers for a better normal. I am proud that I know one.
Malipot, Merlina. "Academic freeze pushed, rejected.” Manila Bulletin. 17 September 2020.
Sape, Ervine B., Aquino, Bianca Mae R., Olivar, Andrea Isabel G. n ‘academic freeze’ is the best option for Filipino students for now. CNN Philippines. 1 June 2020.