The impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the aspect of education urged Higher Education Institutions (HEI) around the country to address, in their own terms, new challenges and devise responses geared toward circumventing disruptions in education. Through the integration of flexible learning systems, we were able to pivot to remote learning and successfully dismiss calls for “academic freeze”.
Since the commencement of the first semester this academic year, students have never been more actively vocal in expressing their sentiments towards the hurdles of distance learning and the things it entails. Teachers, however, appear to have minimal representation in asking for consideration in a time where every constituent of the higher education community are equally struggling.
While we maintain that every situation is a case-to-case basis, there are times when we direct our frustrations caused by the challenges of education in the “new normal” to our teachers whose role became undeniably more difficult due to added efforts in making sure that quality education is, nevertheless, delivered to students.
This is far from depriving students to voice out their concerns in this war against the educational consequences of the outbreak; rather, to raise awareness that our teachers are not the enemy. As a matter of fact, they are also adjusting like us, exhausted like us, having feelings of burnout like us.
And so, the efforts of our teachers who spent the last months attending trainings and orientations, adjusting syllabi, preparing, posting, and/or delivering modules and lesson plans must not be undermined. As students, we can contribute in small ways by practicing promptness in submission of requirements-unless reasonable exceptions set in; attend, as much as possible, synchronous learning sessions; address concerns the right way- talk to the right persons, at the right time, and at the right platform.
It goes without saying that teachers are no strangers to adaptation. To constantly adjust when placed in whatever type of teaching environment, among other factors, is implicitly written in their job description. But more often than not, we fail to remember that both instructors and learners- in a sudden and unprecedented crisis- require the same amount of support and appreciation.
In this time of pandemic, our educators are out in the battlefield taking the frontline, needless of recognition.