Friday, June 26, 2020

How My Teachers Adjusted During Unstable Times in the 80s

The last few months have been really busy for me. I feel five years worth of work was crammed in just 3 months and I'm so grateful for all the help we've been getting across other teams, the partners, the communities, teachers and parents. Thank you so much and we can only all get through this together.

Moving forward from the lockdown we've all been through, the reality is we all need to find and adjust to a new normal. No one knows when this pandemic will end and I read that it will take at least a year for a vaccine to be made. The virus will not adjust for us, we will need to adjust how we do everything and one common question across the world is -- how do we continue to teach our children?

Last week I interviewed some of my friends who are public school teachers. I asked them how they are adjusting to the new normal. They shared with me the adjustments they are doing with the curriculum and the creative ways they are doing to continue teaching. They said that teaching cannot be done purely online. Some form of connectivity is still needed so that the students can get their homework (through Google Classroom) and instructions from teachers. It's only when they do assessments that they'd need to meet the student directly online.

I asked myself in the past week if there's a similar situation I've been on where my teachers had to adjust how they teach drastically. I realized that time when the Philippines was politically unstable. I was in fourth grade when the EDSA Revolution happened and years following that were many coup d'etats and then years of blackouts until I was in college. You can say the education I got was not perfect and our generation probably missed a lot of the curriculum that was set out for us.

Super cute Miggy teaching counting by 5.

The months leading to the EDSA Revolution meant classes were suspended often. My teachers adjusted how they taught us and mind you back then we only engaged with them face to face. They would pile us with homework whenever we had class. One of the homework was collecting newspaper clippings and writing a reaction to it. I remember that time because I failed the Philippine map quiz since my parents didn't allow me to go to school for awhile. I never felt that my learning was incomplete.

My parents were very conservative about my safety and that meant missing more days when the coup d'etats happened. I remember it very well because one happened on my birthday. And the same way my teachers adjusted to the situation. When the blackouts rolled in I remember typing homework on my Mom's Olympus typewriter by candlelight. Not having everything was not a deterrent to my learning.

So not having everything is not a deterrent to continued learning. The tools available for us now is actually a better means for teachers to engage with their students. The teachers can design their lessons, put the resources (on Google Classroom -- learn here) and have the students get it when they go online (how do you think millions of kids play Mobile Legends?). Teachers nowadays have the means to reach their students easily, unlike when I was a kid back in the 80s when I only saw my teacher inside the classroom.

Want to learn more? Check out my post on online learning and working remotely. And check out what the Malaysia Ministry of Education has done to provide tools for teachers and students.

#CB//81 #WFH61 #StuckAtHomeDay/111 #StayHome #BeKind  

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