The closing of the school year is soon to come, and everyone at SPAS gets ready for the year -end ceremonies and preparations for the next school year.  At this time of writing, the students have only three weeks to conquer their academic tasks and then, the much awaited time of long rest will be theirs.  It will be a big relief to the students, teachers and parents that they can say “Thank you Lord, we survived the year!” As vanguards of the online education, the teachers are well-commended for their job.  As our partners, the parents are truly appreciated for role they played in the distance learning of their children. The students, on the other hand, are also noted for the efforts they expended in order to learn even without coming to the real classroom.  Truly, cooperation, collaboration and understanding among them have been crucial to the success of SPAS’ 1st year of online education.

               Online teaching is really a tougher job than teaching in the old normal, but SPAS teachers took all the challenges of it for the love of their profession, dedication to work, and love of their students.  For that, every school and family really owes gratitude and thankfulness to our front liners for education, the teachers.  Without God in them, without the right attitude towards dealing with the crisis, and without perseverance in the performance of duties, the school will fail!   Also, the institution recognizes the efforts of the academic leaders who pushed them hard to achieve success of the first year of online teaching. They are the instruments for the actualization of SPAS goals and objectives for education even at this pandemic time. 

               Looking back at  the time when the SPAS: HOME Program started,  confidence in one’s capability and the noble aspiration for the perpetuation of the calling to teach was in the heart  of  each teacher, yet there was also the big fear for the uncertainties that will affect the physical health, families and job.  It has to be noted that the immersion into this new normal had been dealt with immense courage and strength of character of the personnel, most especially the teachers who constantly  combat the pressures of digital teaching, and who muster energy to face and handle the demands of the new situation in relation to both work and personal life.  Moreover, inevitable number of concerns sprang from technology use, remote class management, guidance and counseling, minor disciplinary cases and health issues as well. 

               On the more personal side, mental stress is real. Typically caused by anxieties, disappointments, confinement at home, loss of face-to-face social connections, it comes in a cycle of  saying hello, let -me –in-and-see-your -strength , and then  bidding goodbye to us  or loving to stay in us.   The fear to get infected when going outside the house, the rising cost of goods, the continuous cases of infection reported day by day, health services that are difficult to avail , loss of job of a member of the family , bad political news, and a lot more add to the mounting worries.  Attacks on the mind, emotions and the whole body of these “free radicals”, if we may say it, definitely lower our defense system.  So , before they could put us down, we fought them off  with the shields  God has equipped us such as:

  1. love and support of the family members and  loyal friends who  stay through rainy and sunny days;
  2. resilient spirits to battle against the adversities brought by the pandemic and the conviction to emerge as  victors in overcoming them;
  3. inspiration and motivation to continue doing the best in work performance or in any undertakings;
  4. personal qualities such as
  • cheerful attitude towards life and optimism for a new beginning
  • openness and humility  that provide avenues to reach out to others ,  to give and receive help
  • patience in waiting until the 11th hour and going the extra mile for self-love;

and the most important of all is …

  1. the Catholic faith strengthened by online Masses and other spiritual activities provided by the school and the parish where we belong as well as our personal relationship with our Savior.  Without it, winning this battle will be in vain. 

It is really one big advantage working in a Catholic School like St. Peter the Apostle School, a golden experience sustained by love for the school, passion for teaching and commitment to the mission!