As we draw closer to the start of the new school year, teachers, and community leaders continue to rigorously prepare for a reimagined learning experience. We continue to face the changes and challenges of the new normal: navigating the shift to distance learning while safeguarding the health of our communities. In these crucial times, we look to our frontliners in education to bring insight and spark hope amidst uncertainty.
“Teaching doesn’t stop just because we are displaced from our classrooms. There will always be a need for learning regardless of the situation, and at the heart of this process of learning will always be the teacher.” said Teacher Fellow Belle Vinoya (‘19) of Bacjawan Sur Elementary School in Concepcion, Iloilo when asked about the importance of her work as a public school teacher this coming school year.
‘Cher Belle, together with co-Fellows ‘Cher Mae Patio and ‘Cher Celine Santos, have worked closely with school leaders and community stakeholders to address their students’ learning needs. Initiating several activities to capacitate co-teachers in conducting reading remediation programs as well as to address issues on children’s rights not only at the school level but also extending it to the community.
“During this pandemic, where we will be facing a very unique school year, the Fellows are helping teachers cope with the new normal by conducting online Learning Action Cell (LAC) sessions on topics such as mental health and web-based communication platforms. Personally, the Fellows have shown me what it’s like to be an ideal teacher. They are an inspiration to other teachers especially when it comes to commitment.” shared Rogie Espulgar, School Head of Bacjawan Sur ES.
Despite the different challenges faced by our communities, we must rally together and remain committed to ensure learning continuity. Mr. Espulgar adds, “Education is every child’s right, and it must continue even during this pandemic. Of course, we are prioritizing the health and security of our learners; thus, we offer several learning modalities which are most appropriate for our learners. It is more productive to engage these learners in learning activities of any form, rather than let them pass through these challenges without giving them options to continue their education.”
It is in the face of adversity that we find the opportunity to demonstrate and build resilience. Learning happens beyond the classroom, and it is also in these times of uncertainty that we can teach our learners to overcome challenges with courage and hope. To prepare for the new school year, in the new normal, together and for each other in the service of excellent education for all Filipino children.