My mother, 59, in the new normal
It was 3:30 in the morning and the light was still on in the living room as I made my way to the bathroom. I was surprised to see my mother still at work on her laptop, knowing that she was already on it when I went to bed at 11 p.m.
She told me later in the morning that she had been awake all that time because she was having difficulty familiarizing herself with the tool they would be using for the next day’s webinar. She was also busy editing modules submitted to her.
My mom is a division supervisor in English at the Department of Education in our city. She is 59 years old and is planning to retire next year. Since teachers were tasked to construct modules or create online presentations for their subjects due to the pandemic, it has become harder for my mom to do her job.
She is tasked to proofread localized modules submitted by the teachers in different grade levels in our division. It became her responsibility to make sure that the contents in the modules for Grades 1 to 12 were accurate and comprehensive. Thankfully, there were efficient teachers willing to help her edit these supplemental modules.
Truth be told, technological advancements have immensely improved our ways of communication and made it possible for us to continue with our work at home amid the pandemic. However, not everyone can easily adjust, especially those who grew up when computers and the internet did not exist.
Don’t get me wrong, my mom is computer-literate and knows the basic tools. But she has been having a hard time adapting to the pace of the 21st century and to the new normal. It has become a daily routine for her to call me or my sister to assist her in locating files her colleagues had sent in Google Drive. We would be around, too, whenever she joined a webinar, to assist her with what to click to install an application needed for their meeting, or to download the file needed for the presentation. My mom would stay up late at night to ask us to coach her on the tools she needs and the step-by-step process to make certain applications work. She even has a small notebook to take down notes so she won’t have to call us anymore if, in the future, she’d have to do the same process again.
At her age, my mom’s eagerness to learn and adapt to this new normal is inspiring. Not just her, but every teacher in DepEd who has a similar experience. Their passion for teaching did not stop just because the conventional way of doing it has abruptly ended. They painstakingly pour all their efforts into giving their best for their students.
At this point, most schools are in the process of printing their modules and activity sheets, just like what is happening in our school now. Some are preparing their online presentations for those who will opt to have a blended style of learning or online class. We are not yet 100-percent prepared, but I know we are getting there.
To students who will be getting their modules or will be attending online classes starting Oct. 5 (and even those who already have started), please bear in mind that every page of your module and each slide in the presentation is a product of your teachers’ combined efforts. Reciprocate their efforts by giving your best in comprehending and answering them. Each teacher has played a vital role in making this mission of reaching and teaching Filipino children possible despite the highly contagious virus in our midst. Salute!
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Fernebert L. Ganiban, 24, is a senior high school teacher at Muñoz National High School, Nueva Ecija.
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