By Gab Fullon
Everything was in full swing since the second semester started. Teachers and students proceeded with their online classes kicking off with a fun welcome-back-session and a quick recall of the previous semester. Starting the new semester on a good note requires days of preparation and the term break was just the perfect time for a healthy amount of training and planning. Here are some behind the scenes before we head on to the second semester
Take one: Faculty In-Service Training (INSET)
This Faculty In-Service Training (INSET) is not one of those webinars where the speaker’s audio cuts out and the speaker freezes due to interrupted internet connection. It is also not the type of online seminar where you pay expensive registration fees and then the organizers would use advanced softwares and interactive websites during the talk. NO. It is just a simple webinar with a simple set up: usual video conference, shared slide presentation and a resource speaker. Nothing flashy.
But this one is different. Trust me.
The takeaways from this INSET are far greater than any fancy softwares and websites any webinar could offer. The lesson speaks to the core of every educator. More than just a teacher-training-and-equipping session, it made the teachers ponder on the foundation of their chosen profession which is to equip learners with values and intelligence. The training emphasized the need for a balance between character and academics, and the importance of developing compassionate and emphatic students who treasure learning, rather than academic geniuses that lack character. The speaker ended the training with this, “We may have lost the physical and social part of class interaction, but our ideals and values must be kept intact.”
The INSET is entitled “Integrity and Identity of Educators.” Resource speaker is Dr. Severina M. Villegas, currently the senior consultant of the newly established UA&P’s Institute for Marriage and Family Development (IMFD) and the Program Head of the Institute’s Family Life Education Certificate Program.
Dr. Villegas specializes in character, moral and values education, mentoring,coaching, liberal education, and home-school collaboration. She pioneered programs such as Child and Adolescence Education, Values Education, educational Leadership programs and a lot more on many known educational institutions like UA&P and PAREF Woodrose among others.
Dr Severine Villegas delivered papers on Values integration, Educational Leadership (and many more) in Scotland, Spain, Taiwan & Korea to name a few.
Take two: Virtual Demonstration Teaching
Living up to our promise of a Modern Virtual Education (MOVE), we continue to explore ways where we can provide learning that goes beyond the limits of online classes. From flexible class schedules, consultation periods and a variety of online learning platforms and tools, we continue to seek innovative ways of creating a student-centered environment for distance learning.
A Virtual Teaching Demonstration was held on October 22 and October 23 where experienced teachers shared their best practices in delivering online classes. Teachers specialized in their learning area exhibited their strategies in lesson delivery; their online classroom management techniques; and, their tips on dealing with technical issues that usually take place during online classes.
More than just a showcase of effective teaching skills, the virtual demo encourages teachers to explore a variety of teaching-learning styles that focus on the learners’ needs. Not all of us have the breadth of experience as other teachers and this shows the importance of professional sharing in enriching an educator’s experience so they can provide the best learning experience to the students.
Take three: Curriculum Mapping
As part of our continuing efforts in developing industry ready students, the Senior High School department revisits our curriculum to make sure that gaps are addressed; goals are realigned to the standards of the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and our industry partners. We do this to assure coherence in the delivery of content across every learning area. Curriculum Mapping is regularly conducted before the start of the school year and is reviewed during the term break. This is a practice which allows the institution to assess if the goals are met, and assure that we deliver the services we promised..
Good take, pack up!
All these online learning platforms and tools are important so that learners, teachers and parents adapt to the changing mode of learning with ease. Moreover, we place our confidence in our teachers’ dedication in creating an environment where students’ needs and well being are prioritized.
The end of the school year is still a few months away, and together we will MOVE towards a productive, healthy and creative school year.