THE “NEW NORMAL” WAY OF LEARNING
Being a teacher and a student in this time of pandemic is very challenging. As a teacher, it is not easy if one is not knowledgeable enough in technology. “New Normal” way of learning is not easy at the beginning, because of the needed connectivity between teachers and the learners is not guaranteed virtually. When it comes to this form of education, this requires more effort from students and more patience from teachers, vice versa. We all know students ultimately need to listen to their teachers. The teachers who are approachable and understanding will listen to their students’ needs and still try to give their best even through messages.
One real challenge is that some students do not have Internet access at home, which is also a tough reality even among teachers. The demand for Education of the young during this pandemic is highly priced. In our school, at Escuela Dominicana, Zamboanga City, we are using Blended Learning. At first, it is very difficult to use technology, especially to the kids. Some of the students are using Mobile Phones in order to attend their classes’ every day through asynchronous learning. New Normal is very challenging but we try our very best in order to reach out of the student’s capacity to learn.
From the beginning I am afraid to meet my students during online classes. I don’t have confidence to teach in a class, to students assigned to me. Firstly, because their parents are listening, too. These parents are excited to meet their child´s teachers. They are more active in asking questions about the lessons. After two months of Blended Learning Study from home, the students adopt the new learning system through technology overtime. They are all excited to have asynchronous learning every day even once a week per subject. They can raise questions in the online class, and they actively participate. It is easy for them to be apt as technology comes easier for them. Being a teacher, you need to give your time to make your modules every day. You need to prepare your lessons well because not only your students are listening but also most of the family members do. This is my experience of being a Christian Living Education teacher.
Aside from being a Religion Teacher, I am also studying in order to finish my education course. There, I know how difficult it is to be a student because of the connectivity or accessibility of internet/wi-fi availability. Most of my classes have such similar difficulty with internet connection. I wonder how my students can learn in these kinds of classes. All learning process is practically alone or tutored.
The fact that some have good internet connection, it gives us the chance to discuss with my classmates and ask them about particular lessons or about certain modules. It is the goal of every educator to aspire to give their best to impart knowledge, each, are trying their very best to give right direction to their own learners. This time, it is centered more on student/learner and not much on the teacher despite that they give all their knowledge to their students, entirely different from face-to-face learning.
Sister Edelita S. Sibongga, OP