#AcademicBreakNow- the Teacher's Point of View

Crisis becomes the famous word today- be it financial, health ( physical, emotional specially mental) peace and order, territorial, and other 'essentials' to humanity. With many depressants triggering our sanity, one's mental health is at peril. Among the challenges present in our community, educational system faces greater drama. Large number of students call for academic break now. Why? As the increasing cases of COVID-19 became greatly alarming, crisis within each home arises. Mental health of everyone is compromised. As the clamor for academic ease become deafening, what is our stand as teachers? 

Just recently, one of my co-teachers got infected with that hideous virus. She was not the first victim in our school. And surely will not be the last. Being in the frontline, expose to people, vulnerable to this unseen enemy, armed with just mask and face shield, teachers are susceptible. These incidents brought sleepless nights, paranoia, and worst- depression to us. My anxiety level spiked higher whenever I knew of colleagues being infected. And to note that thankfully, none of my relatives became a patient. So what about the others who came face to face with such situation?

Why academic break? Learning must continue amidst pandemic. No child must be left behind. Teachers are flexible. Yes, yes, and yes. Let's sit and talk about the nitty  gritty of our scenario at school and home since many people judge teachers for their continuous salary despite having no face to face classes. This is my schedule weekly, regularly. On Mondays, Voluntary Online Kumustahan, after that typing of answer sheets and printing of modules. Tuesdays, I have to finish printing, then sort and staple, then pack the learners envelopes. On Wednesday, I have to distribute the learning packs while checking previous papers. Thursday, I have to check papers again ( this is the most taxing part of modular learning modality). On Fridays, printing of modules again while encoding grades. Saturdays and Sundays are for family but oftentimes other paper works and reports. And in between, you still have to answer queries, questions, and clarifications of parents about lessons they could hardly understand.

#StruggleIsReal if the teacher is technologically challenged. Almost every reports are done online and computer generated. Printer is a primary commodity, its costly repair and maintenance is a trend. Computer ink and bond papers consumption became so high that you have to personally shoulder finances of such. Personal and family time have been consumed to address school matters.

Do you need a breather, a break, an ease?

Some will say, you just need a sound time management. Yes.

Some will say, you have to know your priorities. Yes.

Some will say, set your schedule. Yes.

Yes, teachers would cope. We are mature enough. We are professional enough. This is our job.

But try wearing our shoes. Try wearing the shoes of students. Try wearing the shoes of the front liners.

Every person is special. Don't be a judger. At this trying times, what we need is compassion, empathy, and love for each other. Be considerate to your students, to their parents, to your co-teachers. Don't forget to do your part- observe health protocols, stay at home. This too shall pass.

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