October 5 caps a month-long celebration of National Teachers’ Month in the country. It is also World Teachers’ Day and after more than a year of their work and life being upended by COVID-19, our mentors are truly deserving of this break.
While some countries have reopened physical classrooms, many are still on remote learning which makes honoring teachers trickier than just handing them an apple, chocolates, flowers or greeting cards. How did you plan to remember your teachers today?
No budget? No problem. There are ways to make your teachers feel special without you having to spend, and there are other ways that can bring a smile to their faces and warm their hearts without you burning a hole in your wallet.
#1 Free Online Courses with UP
Did you know that the University of the Philippines has an open university as part of its 8 constituent universities? Through UPOU, the multi-awarded state university pioneered in online teaching and learning. Now with COVID-19, it aims to play a leading role in the study and practice of open learning and distance education by offering free online courses to train teachers.
UPOU’s free open and online courses for online teaching include: (1) Google Classroom and Course materials Conversion to Online Teaching; (2) Designing Learning in Online Teaching; (3) Virtual Classrooms; (4) Open Educational Resources for Online Teaching; (5) Assessment in Online Teaching; (6) Learner Support in Online Teaching; and (7) Quality Assurance in Online Teaching. These courses are available at model.upou.edu.ph, plus other free online courses on various areas. Completers of the courses receive a digital certificate.
For love of lifelong learning, do your research and help your teacher sign up for the best course for him or her.
#2 Discover Canva together
With remote learning, teachers are discovering that they need visual aids to keep their students engaged. Just talking in front of the camera, as if they are still in a classroom, is no longer enough. But many teachers are having difficulty digitizing their lessons, let alone make them visually appealing.
This is where you come in. Show teachers the free tools online that they can use and make their lives easier such as Canva. You can also offer to help transform their lesson plans into presentations that they can edit and reuse for many more years to come. If each student in the class agrees to take on one lesson, that’s more than a dozen lessons done and your teacher just crossed over to high class teaching via Zoom in the time of pandemic.
#3 Nominate your teacher for an award
Check out awards programs for teachers in your community, province or city. Many local government units launch such programs and there are also private companies that do so such as Metrobank Foundation. Did you know that teachers when chosen can win as much as P1 million in cash net of tax? Now that’s a life-changing award.
It’s not easy to make a nomination, and you will need to put in a lot of effort including writing a good essay, getting testimonials, and putting together documents to prove your teacher is worthy. But if your teacher deserves one, go for it, and get your classmates to help too.
#4 From greeting card to a health card
Your greeting card is a nice touch, especially when handmade, but considering the times, how about a health card instead? Starting at P700, you can get a health card for your teacher that will be welcome when the unexpected and emergencies happen. Try to pool the cash with other classmates if P700 is a bit steep for you, or you would like to get a more expensive health insurance plan.
Two public teachers I know recently caught COVID 19, and because they live together, they suspect one infected the other and they were likely exposed when they had to go to the school to submit lesson plans. In just a few days, they spent all their savings and one had to be admitted to the hospital when she was tagged as a severe case. No doubt a health card or two would have been a welcome relief to them.
#5 Food as the way to a teacher’s heart
This is true for anyone as a warm meal or baked goods are sure to be welcome. Even with remote learning, you can send your surprise meal to your teacher’s home or at school when he or she next reports in. If you can cook or bake, homemade will be a plus. But if that’s not your skill, there are food delivery apps that you can use, and to help stretch your allowance, make good use of promotions available.
No job is easy in the pandemic, but I still place teaching as high up in my list. Research shows that many teachers considered quitting and retiring after last year, and sadly many did. Some schools even had to close their doors. The pandemic has been tough on us all, and to help us get on the other side quicker and smarter, we need heroes like teachers to light the way. Let not this day go by without saying thank you, and showing them that they are appreciated beyond words.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.