September 07, 2020
Early mornings. Late nights.
New set up. New curriculum. New materials.
Much to be done. Limited preparation time.
These are but a few words to describe the challenges teachers, young and experienced alike, are facing all over the country. What adds to these challenges is that they are also affected by the pandemic season. These still don’t account for the seemingly unequal treatment teachers receive from their own students, especially when they make mistakes or when online classroom difficulties arise.
This pandemic has made clear to many of us what truly matters. For teachers, it has likely crossed their minds how far they are still willing to go or how much they are willing to sacrifice for their students in light of the new normal in the educational landscape.
For some it was the spark they needed to reignite the passion for teaching, which may have been dwindling. Or it may be the confirmation that this is just a job and there is a way out. For others still, it clarified how much hope and faith they have for and in the next generation.
What is clear is teachers have been called to serve and asked to deliver such an overwhelming task in the middle of a pandemic. And that’s really asking a lot.
While we can’t do their work for them, we can support, encourage, and appreciate them for all that they are doing!
How? As simple as: “THANK YOU PO!”
Our teachers have made an impact on our lives one way or another.
We are grateful to the ones who have inspired us to dream beyond ourselves, to see the world in a different way, to push beyond what we thought were our limitations. That gratitude is well and good, of course.
However, have we thanked our teachers, past and present, by actually taking the time to tell them how much they have really made an impact on us? Have we actually told them in detail the moments and times they made us love learning and love being their students?
If they ever needed a reminder of their impact on the lives of their students, this would be the best time to do it. Go and message your teachers. Even if it’s been a while since you last talked, if they’re still teaching right now, find the time to let them know.
Our teachers are people, too.
Teachers also have families, hobbies, bills to pay, personal concerns, and shortcomings. Basically, they also have a life outside of teaching.
There is also a balancing act between passion and profession going on within. For some, teaching is their dream profession, and so they pursue their passion while being compensated. For others, it is more of a profession first that they’re finding ways to be passionate about.
When we do find the time to message our teachers, let’s not just leave a message and be done with it. Try to also learn about what life is like on their side of the screen. How’s their family? How stressful has it been since these all began? How can we pray for them? Which Kdrama are they into? Are they a plantito/plantita?
Just as life has been a rollercoaster ride for a lot of us, so it has likely been for them, too. It never hurts to extend genuine concern and care to a fellow human.
Our teachers deserve more respect than what we often give them.
This is not to say we do not respect our teachers at all. No. What I mean is they are often underappreciated for the amount of work and investment they put into each of our lives. How do we demonstrate mutual respect?
While the first two points have a lot to do with showing respect through words, the following are ways you can show respect through actions.
Be attentive in class. Be truly present, not just being present and then shifting to other tabs and doing other things. They took the time to craft the lessons, so you could understand these better. So please try to listen as well.
Be excellent and on-time with your requirements to the best that you can. It lessens the time they need to check requirements and gives more space to do other things, like their hobbies or eating with their families.
Be an example to your classmates. You don’t have to follow the crowd when they invite you to cut due to “internet issues.” Should the teacher get disconnected, don’t try to leave at the first minute. Help out fellow classmates who you know are also having a difficult time online.
Apart from these, what else can we do right now? Simple. Take a moment to tag them in this article. That might get the conversation rolling!
To our teachers in the past and present, to our friends who are teachers now, we say, “THANK YOU PO!”