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Learning Together at a Distance

“In this time of ambiguity, we are tested but show our creativity, commitment, patience and care to reach students so their learning will not stop. The pandemic does not hinder us teachers in making a difference– in changing and touching someone’s life, inspiring others, and leading them towards a better future.” shared 2019 Teacher Fellow Mike Clementir of St. John Elementary School in Cagayan de Oro, on transitioning into the first few months of SY 2020-2021.

With each day that passes, teachers discover more and more about the changes that shape learning in the new normal. Courageously adapting to different circumstances brought by the pandemic as well as recent calamities, and continuously transforming the ways to best reach Filipino learners. Support from parents and the students’ extended household, composed of relatives or neighbours, greatly contribute to education continuity. The partnership between teachers and guardians is instrumental in the success of learning at home.

In the last two months, Teacher Fellows have started implementing TFP’s Functional Literacy Program (FLP) in their placement areas. Developing the basic literacy and numeracy skills of young children by providing parent and student learning materials, activities and support via alternative delivery methods while face-to-face instruction remains limited. This year’s FLP reaches 290 parent / guardian and child pairs across 12 of our partner schools.

“While there are those struggling, I have also met parents who have dedicated so much to let their children continue their schooling amidst the pandemic.” said 2020 Teacher Fellow Kate Flores of Kapuso Village Integrated School in Leyte, Tacloban. During their school group’s reading assessment for FLP, where the Fellows were allowed to hold a few house visits, ‘Cher Kate was surprised to meet a child in his school uniform at home. She saw how the child’s mother prepared for their arrival even if it was only for a short time. This kind of initiative and effort from parents show how important their role is, especially in this new normal.

“The parents and guardians are our main partners in ensuring that learning happens at home. A partnership can only be successful if both parties are willing to go the extra mile and take responsibility for the learning of our beloved students. This is a good reminder for us teachers to guide them on how to be effective facilitators of learning in their own homes.” ‘Cher Kate adds.

Like ‘Cher Mike and ‘Cher Kate, teachers continue to navigate this school year with resilience and hope. Learning to address and persevere through the challenges that exist and could await us, together with individuals who are deeply motivated to help children build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. Supporting each other to create teachable moments, at each turn and in different ways, helps make the long journey ahead brighter.