May 18, 2024

What grade do you give to learners who don’t do their assignments? How do you deal with students who give their teachers nothing to base their grades from? These are questions that may initially get a “fail them” kind of reply. Rightfully, teachers cannot simply give grades that are unearned. Yet again, there is the so-called humane education where teachers try first to discover the reason behind a child’s performance. In today’s educational context, it is not only proper to know, but also to understand the reasons behind a learner’s failure in submitting their requirements.
Our current situation does not need brilliant teachers who have vast knowledge about the curriculum. Of course knowledge is important. However, a teacher should be more than an expert in his or her learning area. Teaching is a humane profession, which means that one who deals with children in education should be kind, empathic, and compassionate, among other positive characteristics.
With the learning continuity plan of the government, some teachers seem to be under the assumption that it’s business as usual. They require learners to accomplish a number of tasks that affect their students negatively. As much as teachers are feeling the pressure to keep going and somehow replicate the school day in a home setting, this is not the reality. No matter how prepared a teacher you think you are, no matter how much technology your students have at home, replicating the school day is not possible. Digital equity doesn’t exist. Some students have no Internet access and may not even be able return their answer sheets.
We are in a difficult time. It’s not business as usual. The challenge to brilliant teachers is to adopt an approach that offers leniency and acknowledges that the distractions of distance learning are real. Teachers may reflect on the notion of rigor while they continue to challenge and support students. They can rethink grading and show more grace. This can help address the stress and anxiety of learners especially those who struggle with learning without the help of others. As teachers, we must balance rigor and support. The world has been thrown a curveball and this is when students need more support than rigor, grace, and understanding more than anything else. (JOCELYN S. PILAS)