DepEd Balanga City

CHALLENGES OF NEW FACE-TO-FACE CLASSES

By: Dr. Maila M. Capulong, Senior Education Program Specialist

The advent of COVID 19 vaccines brings light to the darkest moment in the education sector in recent history. Having most teaching force and students vaccinated, the “new normal” face-to-face classes slowly opened. As students began attending physical classes, several concerns emerged. Some of these are: student’s readiness, student’s attention span, and difficulty in hearing.

STUDENT’S READINESS. Shifting from online or modular learning to face-to-face classes is quite a challenge, especially on the part of the students. Being confined in the comfort of their homes, students may feel uneasy inside the classroom. Thus, the education warriors should invest in making the classroom conducive and friendly. In terms of what and how to teach, pre-assessments will help teachers to identify where to start and decide on what strategies should be used. Teachers should expect the least.

STUDENT’S ATTENTION SPAN. Students’ attention span is undeniably an issue even before the pandemic. Now that students often or always rely on mobile phones and the internet, keeping their focus during class is herculean. Given the situation where students are thinking more about the notifications on their social media accounts rather than what is written on the board, teachers should be reinventive and creative at the same time. Knowing the students’ interests and including them in the discussion will help the teachers get the attention of the students and stay with them for the whole period.

DIFFICULTY IN HEARING Teachers and students are obliged to wear face masks and or face shields inside the classroom. These procedures will help to avoid the spread of the deadly virus. While minimum health safety protocols like wearing masks and shields are doing a fine job in decreasing the rate of transmission, its only downfall is the difficulty of hearing. As we all know, the heart of learning is listening and speaking, and if there is a challenge in the said macro skills, understanding is impossible. One strategy that teachers may use is the use face shield during discussion and a face mask during an interaction. They may also use lapels to elevate the volume of their speaking voice. To better understand the questions of students, the teachers may ask them to write their questions on a piece of paper and give it to them. If there is a promising budget for the classroom, teachers may install microphones for each student.

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