Written by: Guia P. De Jesus
Teacher III, Cupang Elementary School
Children have individual differences. Each has his own way of accepting, adapting, regulating, and relating to others. This individuality plays an important role on how children vary in their approach in various situations. For instance, this pandemic that has brought birth to a new modality in learning. Some children may take in stride how they do schooling today while others might be experiencing a great deal of struggle doing it.
As children vary in their temperaments, sensitivities, strengths, and weaknesses, teachers may tend to have more stress in ensuring that these differences will still be catered and considered even in distance learning. This is not easy at all. Teachers have already a ton of workload yet still have to see and serve this vital need of the learners.
An approach that is safe to include in this new modality to cater to the emotional well-being of the children is to include strategies that are emotion and context specific, personalized, and responsive. Unconventional flexibility is a must on the part of the teachers. The best approach is not to use stand-alone pedagogies, instead, inclusion of skills embedded in the curriculum in all settings which engages all significant others. At this new modality, the significant others would include parents and/or guardians and the environment to which the child currently lives.
Schools cannot do this alone. It is vital for families to understand that they are a significant role player in the learning of the child at this crisis. Unhelpful parenting practices should be properly addressed and managed appropriately. A substantial shift in the mindset of everyone is crucial. This mindset is about giving value to the children and their feelings. Children who are nurtured with love and importance are able to regulate their feelings better. Parents, teachers, and school administrators can adopt new strategies to help children during this crisis. These children are counting on us, adults to be there for them now more than ever.
As teachers, this is such a crucial time to become more committed to the vocation of education. Nurture the hearts as you continue to nurture the minds. This is the best way to embrace children while they try to cope with their academics even in this time of great uncertainty.