How are you doing today? I know you are very busy right now preparing for the opening of the next school year, but I just wanted to tell you that I’ve been thinking about you.
As you prepare for the next school year, I just want to let you know that you have done an excellent job last year. I was there when you first started your Kindergarten class. You pressed on the unmute button and enthusiastically introduced yourself to your students. You sang together to a greeting song, with each voice cutting in and out on top of each other. I have heard you often say, “Can you hear me?” and your students gladly respond. Then, 40 minutes after, you waved goodbye and sat in silence.
“Will I be able to make it through the school year?” Will my students be able to learn something with this kind of learning platform? Those were the questions that you repeatedly asked yourself.
I know all the work you have done and what you have put through so you can adapt to online teaching in a blink of an eye. And a year after, you are here, and I am glad YOU ARE STILL TEACHING. I thank you for making it through despite the challenges of the pandemic.
It’s Okay to Fail
It’s okay to fail and try the next day again. The shift to distance learning has allowed you to try a lot of different things. There were lots of trials and errors. Remember the challenges you faced with regards to connectivity? You waited for months to have an internet connection in your school. Your students can’t hear you clearly because they have a poor internet connection at home. Some of them don’t even own computers or laptops. Other students can’t join classes due to connectivity issues.
There were issues on Google Meet links that didn’t work out, there were scheduled brownouts in the community, students did not turn in learning materials because they don’t have a printer at home, and many other challenges. However, you never took these as hindrances to learning but considered them as learning opportunities.
Those challenges have taught you patience. It taught you to be flexible and be resourceful. I appreciate you for not giving up on your students and for continuing to try out new ways to help them succeed in school.
Whenever you feel like you’re not making any difference, always remember that growth takes time. I understand how you may feel discouraged about your abilities and progress in your teaching skills. You are working with students day in and day out, putting time and effort and lots of prayers into all that you do with them, but aren’t seeing the return. That doesn’t mean that you are not making a difference; it just that growth takes time.
During the entire school year, people deal with anxiety, stress, financial issues, and isolation. I appreciate you because you have always practiced one of the rules in your Kindergarten class, “Be Kind to One Another.”
I appreciate you for responding nicely to parent’s inquiries even when sometimes they can be too demanding. The smile you give to a parent when you greet them or talk to them matters a lot.
Thank you for finding ways to connect with your students, even as you’re trying to take care of yourself and your own family. The compliments you gave to each of them are constructive, motivating them to do their best.
Wearing the Right Attitude
Although students are a bit difficult to handle online and many learners fall behind and embrace giving up, you never fail to motivate them. You always try out ways to make your lessons enjoyable to them, and when they don’t respond, you make it your best to visit them at their homes despite home visit restrictions.
And, of course, just like every other year, some students have needs that are so big, and you just cry out to God asking for help how in the world you will ever be enough for this child. You may not be able to do everything for your students, but the attitude you show in class helps your students relax, remember, focus, absorb information, and learn a lot.
Your grateful heart also made a difference in the life of your students and your co-teachers. You taught your students to be thankful for the little things by making them write on their Gratitude Journals. It was a life-changing experience.
Rest: Our Secret Superpower!
I am pretty sure that you are tired and always looking forward to the weekend. Despite your busy schedule, I appreciate the moments you take to recharge and nurture yourself. Rest is genuinely our secret superpower!
Thank you for taking time to rest, as teaching in the pandemic was more than hard work. Remind your co-teachers to have the needed time for themselves as it is essential for their mental health. It is also necessary to have that required time for yourself to process your thoughts and feelings, so you can be there to support your students and be prepared to talk to them about specific issues in life in the coming school year.
Prayer Changes Everything
There were times that you felt overwhelmed with the teaching challenges. Most of the time, there’s just way too much on there- more than you could ever hope to get done in any reasonable amount of time. Sometimes, you don’t know what to do. Then, you turn to God and Pray.
Thank you for showing me that you can’t fix all your problems alone and that what you need most of the time is PRAYER. Your dependence on God’s enablement, His joy, His strength, His wisdom, and His power has allowed you to overcome all the challenges that come your way.
The way you follow Christ in today’s time can impact others to also rely on Him for help. Thank you for reminding your students and co-teachers of the importance of prayer. In this time of uncertainty, we need to work hard, yes, but we need to pray harder.
Lastly, continue doing the call of teaching and finish it well. Remember the famous story about the Tortoise and the Hare? Your students love to hear this story over and over again. This story is an excellent reminder of how we can start well and finish well. You may have started teaching during the pandemic, and everything was not going well for you. However, I appreciate you for making it through this year. The way you teach and serve now can inspire the teachers that come after you. May your life lead the way as an example of love and hope to the teachers who will follow your lead.
With Much Love,
This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project Season 2: Dear Survivor”. The initiative continues to respond to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis. The initiative aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. The “Write to Ignite Blogging Project” Season 2 is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, with Eastern Communications and Jobstreet as co-presenters, with AirAsia and Xiaomi as major sponsors, and with Teleperformance as a sponsor.