March 20, 2023

There have been significant changes in the field of education over the past 10 years. One is the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, which was signed into law by the former president Benigno Aquino that paved the way for the implementation of the K-12 program.
In the past five months, unexpected events unfolded, which brought another series of changes – events that have sprung since Covid-19 pandemic. Since then airports, business establishments, and other government offices were temporarily closed. Others permanently closed.
The education sector is not spared. A good number of private schools have ceased operations. The remaining private schools have joined government schools under the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education in using various modes of instruction to cater to the needs of students all over the country. Despite the anxiety created by the pandemic, teachers employed various modalities in delivering instruction.
In Physical Education, there is the so-called spectrum of teaching styles which features 11 teaching styles teachers could choose from: command style, practice style, reciprocal style, self-check style, inclusion style, guided discovery, convergent discovery, divergent production, learner designed, leaner initiated, and self-teach.
The self-teach teaching style closely matches the teaching-learning environment which was created over the past few months and surely will extend to the so-called new normal.
Self-teach is known as the apex or epitome of independent learning since students do not rely much on the teacher. With the absence or limited face-to-face encounter between the teachers and students, students study their lessons presented in learning modules independently. The modules which are either distributed by teachers, taken from schools, or sent online and accomplished online are crafted in such a way that students could work at their own pace with limited supervision by teachers.
This new educational setup has reaped varied reactions from stakeholders most especially teachers, parents, and students. Most parents see themselves inadequate to serve as their children’s guide especially those in DepEd. Students and their parents with limited or no budget for laptops and Internet connection fear of losing chances of obtaining a degree. Teachers have had apprehensions relative to the amount of knowledge students are able to acquire as they learn on their own.
PE teachers receive a lot of questions on how practical lessons that require demonstrations by teachers and practical examination by students are considered a necessity for effective teaching and learning.
In an initial survey I had the privilege of conducting, the high percentage of teachers and parents who still prefer the traditional face-to-face instruction over the modular or blended learning is highly noticeable is. A considerable number however welcome the new normal trend in the delivery of instruction since they claim that a closer relationship has begun to develop between them and their children. Parents posit that the emotional gap with their children have been bridged since their children feel their presence and concern over their academic performance, learning tasks, and the difficulties that go with it.
In essence, one may surmise that present circumstances compel us teachers, parents, and students to be optimistic of the paradigm shift in regard teaching styles and teaching modes which require knowledge and skills in the use of technology that offers various learning management sytem options such as Google Classroom, Zoom, and Canvas among others.
Whatever is taken by educational institutions in general and teachers in particular must be well-thought of and how the teachers in particular will use them has to be well-thought of as well. Creativity, resourcefulness, and sense of responsibility over the choices made would redound to the future of the students in the new normal. — Jeffrey Aliga