Fr. ROY CIMAGALA,
March 26, 2021
AS we all know by now,
this is how most classes are conducted these days. Students are
given modules and they are expected to study them mainly on their
own. And whatever classes the teachers have to give, they are done
This, of course, requires
a lot of adjustments by both students and teachers. In the first
place, a lot of self-discipline is required from both. Teachers have
to see to it that they still are in control of the class, able to
deliver their lessons as effectively as possible and to closely
monitor the learning process of the students. Indeed, a tall order!
Students, on their part,
have to be strongly motivated to study mainly on their own and to
closely follow whatever online classes they have to attend.
Obviously, they need to be closely supervised.
It is indeed in this kind
of scenario that while all helpful and relevant technical skills
have to be resorted to, a great revitalization of everyone’s
spiritual life is needed. There is simply no way things can be done
and handled properly if the spiritual life of both teachers and
students would not be up to it.
Obviously, this adjustment
period will have its learning curve. But I would say that among the
first things to be done is precisely to instill in everyone the idea
that a lot of sacrifice would be needed here and that to make such
sacrifice is actually a vivid expression of love.
Unless this basic
principle is understood and lived well, we can only expect failure
in the learning process. The teachers, for example, should try their
best to prepare their lessons really well, considering that they
have to make up for the lack of physical contact which is the usual
way to conduct classes. They have to be more aware of how each
student is taking the lessons imparted.
As teachers, they are
expected to exert more effort to understand and to adjust to the
students than the students to their teachers. While the students
also have to do their part, the greater responsibility in the
learning process would fall on the teachers.
Thus, teachers have to be
extra kind and charitable to their students without, of course,
undermining their authority. As much as possible they have to very
friendly, with a very approachable presence in the online classes,
so that a certain closeness between them and the students that is
conducive to learning can be achieved.
So, teachers should do
away with the old style of projecting a strict and demanding image
toward their students. This is especially so since in a class there
can be a wide variety of the capabilities of students. We can expect
that the classes would not be as homogeneous as they used to be in
former times. The fast learners can be mixed with the slow learners.
Teachers should find ways
of how to motivate each of the students. This definitely would
require more than technical skills. A lot of prayer and sacrifice
would be needed here. We have to ask for God’s grace since we would
be dealing with many unknown and mysterious elements in this
It is important that even
by their presence alone, teachers can inspire and generate interest
on the part of the students who should see in them their genuine
dedication to the students’ welfare.