EVELYN C. ESCAL
San Pascual Elementary School
Even though our learners have not yet fully recovered from the learning gaps and difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, they are once again facing other challenges caused by the looming El Niño Phenomenon in our country. Moreover, teachers begin to worry about how to effectively teach the remaining Most Essential Learning Competencies despite the shortened class hours. But, how can we cope with this difficult situation and how can we adapt?
This climate crisis is something that cannot be ignored. While we strive to provide quality education to every learner, it is also our duty to ensure their safety and health. In a study conducted (J. G.Laurent and E. Eitland 2018), it is stated that higher temperature exposures, ultimately increasing children’s chance of experiencing heat stress. High temperatures and humidity have been associated with adverse impacts on physical education by triggering cough and asthma. Warmer classrooms have been associated with worse indoor air quality perceptions and self-reported eye, throat and nose irritation. Furthermore, Heat impacts cognitive function acutely and chronically, including reaction time, information processing, memory and reasoning. Thus, high temperature affects the learners’ academic performance as well as their social and emotional well-being. It is noticeable that students tend to be unmotivated and unfocused when sitting in a hot classroom. Also, some become more aggressive and restless. These were only some of the possible reasons that urged the Department of Education to order the shortening of class hours while we experience intense heat caused by the looming El Nino.
While at this state, teacher must learn how to manage her time efficiently and think of effective solutions to deal with these challenges. Teachers have a lot of workload and tasks to do other than teaching. There are reports that need to be completed and to be submitted on time. One of the toughest challenges a teacher faces in this kind of situation is how to manage her time productively. Having knowledge of proper time management is important to a teacher so that she can ensure that she and her class can successfully complete each task set and achieve each goal. Making a to-do-list can be helpful. Learn to prioritize your work. Determining your priority can help you improve your teaching and become more productive. Decide which is the most important, and do the tasks one at a time. Above all, our learners must be at the top of our priorities.
Teaching and learning with a limited time are indeed challenging. Pupils go to school still sleepy and sometimes with an empty stomach. However, their hardship and perseverance should not be wasted. Every teacher must ensure that every child goes home with a wealth of knowledge and skills learned from the lessons taught in each subject. For this reason, a teacher goes to school with a well-prepared lesson plan, appropriate and interactive instructional materials, and equipped with effective teaching strategies.
Teacher might struggle with lesson planning because she only has limited time in this difficult circumstance caused by the abrupt change in class hours and schedule. Try to eliminate unnecessary tasks in your daily routine; give your pupils tasks that can be completed in a shorter time; provide group activities that can be easily done yet interactive; lessen word problems to solve, follow time strictly and avoid making students wait until everyone in your class is done with a task. Give homework for follow up.
As we expect that this situation is ephemeral and will soon return to its normal setting, the teacher’sadaptability skills can help them deal with and overcome these difficulties brought about by the looming El Niño Phenomenon.