Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Home Positive Living Online classes Year 2: Yay or nay?

Online classes Year 2: Yay or nay?

Three teachers explain the pros and cons of this new normal.

While President Rodrigo Duterte recently approved limited face-to-face classes in 120 private and public schools located in areas at low risk for COVID-19, the rest of the schools in the country continue to conduct classes online for the second year in a row. It’s a wise decision, given that the highly transmissible Delta variant is now the dominant variant in the Philippines, and those aged 17 years old and below have yet to receive their COVID-19 shots. 

With a year of online teaching under their belt, are teachers better equipped at giving virtual classes in Year 2? My Pope Philippines asks five teachers.

Emelyn A. Cañeres: Grade 7 Mathematics teacher, Sauyo High School, Quezon City

How did you prepare for the second year of online classes?
I made time to create video lessons, which I upload to YouTube, and worksheets as well.

From your experience, what are the advantages and disadvantages of online teaching?
Advantages: Students can just watch my YouTube videos if they fail to attend the class. I won’t have to discuss the topic again. And checking their works can be easily done because of Google forms. (Read: We Asked Teachers: How Are You Adapting to Online Learning?)

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Photos from Dacast and (background) Freepik

Disadvantages: You can’t really tell if the students listen to you when you are discussing, since not all them open their camera. You also can’t really tell if they are the ones who answer their worksheets.

Would you want to go back to face-to-face teaching?
Yes, I would definitely want to go back. Distance learning is so exhausting because you have to prepare a lot.

Hannah Lois Raquintan: Pre-school teacher, Greenmeadows Learning Center, Quezon City

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Photo from Freepik

From your experience, what are the advantages and disadvantages of online teaching?
I think one of the advantages of online teaching is the quick communication between me and the parents. Since the parents know that the only way to communicate is through email or Viber, they always check their emails and Viber to get updates.

Unfortunately, though, there are some parents who abuse this. Some would even message me at 11 pm, asking about stuff to bring for the morning class.

Please compare students pre-pandemic and during the pandemic.
As a preschool teacher, I can say that the kids are excelling now primarily because we require the parents to stay beside their kids during classes. Having a learning partner beside each child will, of course, help the teacher in teaching concepts to the kids. (Read: Mcdonald’s Sets up ‘McClassrooms’ for Online Teachers)

One downside to online learning is the lack of social interaction among the kids. They see each other in class but they are not given enough time to interact like how they used to during face-to-face classes.

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Photo from GREGS Video YouTube

Kathleen Princess R. Aldama: Freshman and senior high school English teacher, Our Lady of Fatima University, Cabanatuan Campus, Nueva Ecija

From your experience, what are the advantages and disadvantages of online teaching?
I think that one of the advantages of online teaching is that teachers are becoming more creative when it comes to utilizing technology in discussions. From my experience, I have tried using interactive apps, which encouraged my students to participate in class.

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Photo from NoypiGeeks

Based on my experience, online teaching becomes really difficult when the teacher encounters problem with internet connection and issues with gadgets such as desktop computers or laptops. Communication becomes difficult most of the time in online teaching, especially in talking to students and encouraging them to attend in synchronous sessions and to submit requirements on time.

Would you want to go back to face-to-face teaching?

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Junior High School (JHS) students inside the classroom (Photo from Rio Deluvio/Manila Bulletin)

Yes. I would go back to face-to-face teaching if possible, because I think I can easily assess my students’ performances in that setup. In online teaching, I often find it difficult to see who among my students is really performing well and understanding the lesson, as well as who among them is not doing good in their academics. Even though technology helps in online teaching, it also somehow becomes a barrier to learning at times.

Glorie Ann Lei Zuñiga: Grade 3 Reading Teacher, Ateneo de Manila Grade School, Quezon City

This is the second year of online classes. How have you prepared for it?
During my first month, I attended trainings and workshops for newly hired teachers. Aside from that, I also asked my co-teachers whenever I need extra help in using some Google Apps and locating online documents/ teaching materials. The trainings and guidance from my co-workers were a huge help in my preparation for this school year.

From your experience, what are the advantages of online teaching? Disadvantages?
The only advantages of online teaching that I can think of are: teachers get to have more time for their personal/ family lives; applications like Google Forms do the checking of exams instead of us doing it manually (sometimes); and schools are now reducing paper waste since most of the documents nowadays are sent via email.

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‘BLENDED LEARNING’ From her home in Calamba City, Laguna province, a Grade 2 pupil dressed in her uniform takes down notes as she attends online class, conducted by the private school in Makati City where she is enrolled. (Photo from Chris Quintana / Inquirer.net)

One of the biggest disadvantage of online teaching is having a short period of time to teach lessons. For my subject, the students only have 1 hour and 30 minutes of class time per week to learn about Reading. In my perspective, that is not enough for them to master the lessons/ topics. Another disadvantage of online teaching is limited socialization time for the students. We do provide virtual group activities for the students to socialize, however, it’s just 15 minutes of class time. Lastly, a common observation from us, teachers, is lack of maturity among students. Students these days behave as if their level of maturity stopped since they’re all caged in their houses for more than a year now. These three things greatly affect how a teacher manages her class. (Read: Filipino Teachers Share Their Experiences in Winning APTE Best Practices Award)

Would you want to go back to face-to-face teaching? Why or why not?
Yes, I would want to go back to face-to-face teaching because of these reasons:
  • It will help me get to know my students well. Like how they actually behave inside a real classroom, how they interact with their friends/ classmates, and how they would react to different situations.
  • Teachers will be more motivated to work because they can easily talk to their co-teachers and coordinators before/after class. Having a friend at work, that you can regularly talk to, helps a lot in staying motivated.
  • Learning is more effective during face-to-face classes because the students will be more focused since there are less distractions in the classroom (no games, NO PETS, and no toys).
  • Students and teachers are more comfortable in the traditional classroom set up. The teacher-student relationship will naturally occur and learning will not be forced.
    Activities in the classroom are more engaging than virtual activities. Classroom activities also promotes connection among students.
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Photo from Deaf e-news

Dolores J. Biñas: Grade 7 English teacher, Quezon City Science High School, Quezon City

This is the second year of online classes. How have you prepared for it? To upgrade teachers, DepEd offered a lot of webinars to ensure fully equipped teachers in terms of technological skills, student-teacher relationship and emotional stability to adapt to the new normal setting.

From your experience, what are the advantages of online teaching? Disadvantages?

Advantages:

  • Develops the listening skill, focus/attention of students..
  • Students learn at their own pace through asynchronous sessions.
  • Develops discipline and responsibility among students.
  • Teachers are challenged to prepare creative and functional internet- based activities for students.
  • Strengthens the relationship of students and parents.
  • Enhances the skills and imagination of the students

Disadvantages

  • Teachers have no assurance of the activities of students
  • Honesty sometimes is questionable
  • Limited interactions among students and teachers
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File photo of a public school teacher arranging chairs 1 meter apart to allow physical distancing in classrooms. (Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler)

Would you want to go back to face-to-face teaching? Why/why not?

A strong YES for a F2F teaching because the accuracy of assessing students’ performance and learning is reliable. Teachers are assured of developing students’ intellectual capacity and emotional stability. (Read: ‘Musickwela’ Concert Raises Funds For Remote Public Schools)

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