DepEd Balanga City

Discipline: A Call To Change

Written by: Liza Marie S. Nery, Division Music Coordinator/Teacher I

Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, once said “The only constant in life is change”. This is true in all aspects of life. We start out as kids and grow to be adults. Our behaviors change as we progress through life. Our circles of friends change. Our habits and outlooks change. Seasons change.  Schools of thought that we once stood by might also change, for better or for worse.

Our idea of education has been formed throughout the years through our experiences in it. For many of us, our recollection of being in school might probably start way back when we were in Kindergarten. We started out learning the rudiments of arithmetic, language, and reasoning. Eventually as we progressed through primary and secondary education, all the way through college, we learned more complex concepts. Now that we are in the field of teaching, most of us might have noticed that policies have also changed in response to ever changing times.

Discipline as we know it has also changed. As children, we were taught the value of obedience to authority. We were punished for not turning in our requirements on time. We went through humiliation for seemingly petty grievances. How many of us can remember standing facing the wall, or maybe standing outside the classroom, or being hit by a stick or a chalkboard eraser flying at the speed of light?

We are now at a crossroads. In the recent years, there has been a paradigm shift where educators are expected to employ a more compassionate approach to learners. Educators are expected to be understanding of learners’ deficiencies. Educators must take a softer stance when it comes to difficult students. All these changes are meant to safeguard the mental and emotional well-being of the learners. But where exactly do we draw the line?

With the still ongoing onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, educators and learners alike have been forced to adopt new measures in order to keep the process of education going. Lessons are now being conducted in the confines of Zoom and other similar applications. From one angle, this might seem a godsend. On another angle however, it is like opening a can of worms. Paying attention is one of the basic etiquette learners pick up in school. What happens then if from the comfort of their own homes, learners no longer feel the need to pay attention to their educators?

Recently, a certain class session went viral on social media when a professor was offended when he found out that one of his students was playing a game in the middle of the lesson. There are many more instances of this happening and it is a hard pill to swallow for us educators who only want the best learning experience for our learners. After all, they are the future of this country. It is therefore imperative that beyond adapting to changing times and policies, we should strike a delicate balance between rigidity and leniency.

The pandemic has taught us how unpredictable the times may get. Change is, after all, constant. It is, however, never an excuse to not do our roles as educators in ensuring a bright future not just for ourselves, but for the future generations.

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