By: Marizel D. Esperanza
Santa Cruz Sub-Office, SDO Laguna
Santo Angel Sur Elementary School
The only permanent thing in this world is change. From more than two years in remote learning, we are now back to our former setup which is the face-to-face classes. Adjustments must be done in every area of our life – from the broad area of education which is our curriculum to having these students back inside the classroom.
Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic had left a huge impact on education. There are learning deficits that happened due to the physical restrictions during those times. The question is, how are our students cope up in this post-pandemic setup and dealing with their studies in the new normal?
Learners being back to face-to-classes can cause distress to them on how they absorb the discussions inside the classroom. For a student who has a lot of missing assignments and for the student for whom remote learning has been a positive experience and is excelling there, this setup would somehow affect the way they perceive themselves. Some students may experience disappointment when returning to the building and school will not feel the same due to distancing and safety protocols.
Another would be our learners with pre-existing anxiety about school may have experienced decreased anxiety during remote learning but will likely experience an increase upon returning after a prolonged absence. Some learners when called during recitation hardly speak up. Some may not even try to stand up and answer the question of their teachers.
Not being able to work on their assignments and not focus on their tasks might be a result of lack of sleep, poor eating habits, and not enough exercise. Our learners during remote learning had the liberty of working on their tasks whenever it is most convenient for them. As education requires us to absorb knowledge and turn this into skills, stress can come with it.
With the class disruption for a prolonged time, anxiety and depression are some of the things that our students may have experienced and/or are still experiencing now. We need to consider this in assessing the behaviors of our students toward our class. The COVID-19 pandemic had taken away a lot of lives from the world – some of them might have been a loved-one of our students. Physical isolation from their friends, teachers, and family members could also be a contributing factor to this.
Psychological stress among the students was also an effect of the pandemic, making it difficult for them to focus on studying. They expressed feelings of anxiety, burnout, loneliness, homesickness, grief, and hopelessness. Some students, especially those not actively engaged in remote learning, may have anxiety about their ability to successfully re-engage and overcome missed learning.
We can conclude that the well-being and human relations of our students – not just them but also everyone — were greatly affected. Through confinement and distancing, it became clear to students, teachers, parents, and administrators that rapport and emotional connection, community, and presence were all fundamental.
These and more are the things that we need to patch up one by one. This transition back to normal will not be easy. Everything needs time to heal. We must allow our students a chance to open up and express themselves. We are all in the same boat. Let us – as educators – support our learners by being there and providing the support that they need to be able to reignite their proper behavior and passion towards studying.