Covid-19 has changed our lives, that much is a fact. Normal routines and habits had to be adjusted, changed, or erased in order to adapt to the current situation. Seasonal activities had to be postponed for the safety of all. As June entered, it was accepted that students will have to adjust to the online distance learning framework, which meant that face-to-face instruction was no longer required of both students and teachers. The teacher had become the highlight of a lot of questions and concerns. How will they continue teaching? How are they preparing? Are they capable of transforming a traditional set-up into one found virtually? It was a big change, with hesitation and resistance, but also with a willingness and desire to continue the learning journey with the students.
The CODE (Claret Operative Distance Education)has allowed the teachers to deviate from their normal routines and practice new strategies in order to engage the students despite their physical absence. While it is still more effective to engage students face-to-face, Claretian teachers have come up with unique ways to encourage the students to participate and enjoy their online classes. Each teacher has his own unique style. Here are some of the types of teachers teaching in Claret School of Quezon City:
- The theatrical teacher- This teacher can act very creatively in front of the screen. Voice-changing, facial expressions, big movements, and others are just a few of this teacher’s skills in order to engage the class. Movement and sound play a big part in compensating the senses that are limited in a virtual classroom (such as smell, touch, and taste). It is natural for a Claretian teacher to be seen speaking in a loud and clear voice, with hand movements to match, and showing funny or frowny faces in order to get the students to react.
- The playful teacher- This teacher allows games to thrive in their class. Using online apps like Kahoot, surveys, and even the whiteboard and marker games, allow the students to interact with one another as close as they would in the regular classroom. Time-based and first-come, first-serve activities are avoided, to allow everyone to participate and enjoy the class activity. Points are not the goal, rather, it is their clear understanding of the lesson given.
- The props teacher- This teacher has an arsenal of toys, gadgets, and other unique items at their disposal. Perhaps there is another “mini-teacher” (in the form of a stuffed toy) in the classroom, or he uses the items as a springboard to the lesson. Using real items bring about student connections and get them to think beyond what is inside the classroom.
- The storyteller teacher- Students love stories. Teachers sharing stories about their personal experiences connect students to their own personal learnings and find a connection with their teacher. Students start to share their own stories when they hear the stories of their teacher’s experiences.
The bottom line of all of these is that the teacher, despite the distance, creates a connection with his students. Seeing a student smile, or laugh, or nod in agreement, or shake his head in disagreement (with a profound explanation), are the indicators that they are ‘present’ in the class. No matter how far, and no matter the situation, it is the student-teacher connection that inspires children to learn. Bringing color into the lives of students is a teacher’s passion, and Claret School’s faculty are ever ready to guide students in their learning journey.