THE NEW NORMAL IN TEACHING
With the declaration of COVID -19 as global pandemic, the different sectors of society started to prepare ways and means to continue operations despite being in quarantine. Staying at home has become one of the best ways to slow down the transmission of the virus; thus, the trend now is online transactions for business, medical and other social services including education. Knowing that this pandemic has no end in sight yet, the educational leaders braved the storm to face the challenge of online teaching as the new normal.
As early as May, a lot of seminars were offered to teachers to help them in the transition to digital teaching with the use of GSuite in Education and varied online applications as teaching aids. SPAS teachers diligently joined those FB live seminars, Google meetings, Zoom conferences and the like. Both the instructional leaders and the teachers ventured into this so-called Google Classroom and Google Meet, being the main venues for the transfer of learning. Not only on online pedagogical strategies, classroom management and cyber discipline but also in writing modules as another means to deliver instruction through ink and paper the teachers were trained. The two months that follow were used to listen more to sessions on the agenda of online education, mastery on the use of the digital tools in teaching and demonstration teachings using them. When classes started on August 12, SPAS teachers proved that their efforts and technical know-how had come into fruition for they successfully executed their teaching work in a distance teaching based on observations. Current concerns like experiencing low internet connection and sudden power interruption arise during the online session. These are inevitable yet understandable. Some students cannot open their Google documents or links for reasons they do not know. For such concern, the subject teacher or the ICT Coordinator can be consulted to provide assistance. Now, to promote partnership with parents, the academic team will launch the Virtual Parent-Teacher Consultation come September 4. It will be a collaborative effort of parents and teachers in addressing the students’ difficulties in their studies as well as problems they encountered using their laptops or computers. Their meeting of minds will be surely be significant in ironing out concerns that students, parents and teachers as well, encounter in distance education. Hence, in this new normal, it is imperative to mention the support and the assistance that the parents or guardians extend to their children and to the school. Without them, SPAS: HOME Program will be in vain. This early, everyone- administration, faculty and staff, parents and students, who altogether journey towards the much-awaited end of the pandemic, deserves hurray and pats on their shoulder. There is neither retreat nor surrender! Hats off to you!