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Modules and online classes

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 online.

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 process.

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.