TEACH

How to Conduct Online Classes

Because of COVID19, and enhanced community quarantine, most schools are planning to do online learning or distance learning with their students.

In this blog post, I will share my experience about conducting online class using Zoom to first graders.

Please take note that this is an informal online class set-up.

Before the class:

1. Decide which program should you use for this class. Make sure to maximize its features.

In my case, I used Zoom because it is free and I can invite a good number of students there. You can easily explore the other features of Zoom. Discover how these features will help you. I really like its breakout group feature.

2. Be detailed about the online class instructions.

Create a simple poster or reminder about the class. In your reminder, include the following details: a. date and time of the class, b. the app or program to be used, c. meeting ID and password, and d. materials needed (if there are any). 

Do not forget to list the materials that students need during the class. Inform them if they need notebook or papers, and coloring materials.

3. Be ready with your teaching materials (slides, videos, audios) and your equipment as well. 

Double check whether your internet connection is good thru speedtest.com. Double check whether your laptop and other computer accessories are functioning well.

When it comes to teaching materials, make sure that your slides are suited for your young audience. Review your slides. Also, your videos and audios must be new and relevant to your students. These materials must cover the skills for the day. Also, make sure that your instructions would be simple for kids.

During the class: 

1. Set your classroom rules.

The first five minutes of your online class must be about classroom rules. Be mindful of the following when setting up rules.

a. How should the student respond when she has a question? (Thumbs up, Use the Chat Box, Use the Microphone etc.

b. When should the student Mute or Unmute her microphone? Would the teacher unmute the mic for all?

c. When will the student speak? Would you call them by names? If yes, how?

Note: Always remind the students to look at their screen. Sometimes, they tend to multi-task. When your students know that you are keen about this, greater are the chances that they would really pay attention.

2. Set the objectives for the day.

Let your students know what specific skill would you teach them. For a 40-minute class, I believe one essential skill for first grader will do.

3. Inform the students about the flow of the class.

You also have to tell them the flow of the class.

Sample Online Class Flow:

  1. Rules
  2. Objectives
  3. Energizer/Motivation
  4. Lesson Proper
  5. Evaluation.

For longer online classes, a five-minute break is okay.

After the Class

1. Remind the class when the next online class would be. 

It is important the students and parents know when is the next class so they would look forward to it. They would be mentally-prepared for the next class. Remind them when and how would they submit their homework if there are any.

2. Allow your students to ask questions. 

Always encourage students to ask questions. Since they are too young to type, they may use their microphone to ask questions. If there are no questions, then you may formally end the class.

3. You can ask feedback from the parents about your class. 

Evaluation surely helps you on how to plan your next activity.

 

It is really difficult to conduct online classes to younger students. But still, we should know how to adapt to this situation. At the end of the day, all we can be is to be more flexible in daily challenges when it comes to education. Naks!

I pray that you may conduct your online class well. If you have queries, let me know.

TEACH

Pros and Cons of Online Seminar for Teachers

It’s the 43rd Day of Enhanced Community Quarantine in the Philippines. Since everybody is mostly at home, some private companies are taking this opportunity to reach out to their possible clients.

In the field of education, there are several publishers who gave free online classes and seminars. These are offered to the teachers who are working from home. For teachers with reliable internet connection, this free online course and seminar is a great opportunity for them to work on their professional development. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, some teachers still exert effort on this. 

However, as I scroll my newsfeed on Facebook, I realise that there are pros and cons of online seminar given to teachers. Everything is in local context and is based from what I have witnessed for the past weeks.

Pros of Online Seminar

  • It is convenient. One can attend a seminar at the comforts of his home. Also, the attendee does not have to travel.
  • It is free. That’s it. Everything is accessible online. Materials are given online, too.
  • There is immediate feedback from the speaker. They also answer questions during their live discussions.

Cons of Online Seminar

  • Learning is not guaranteed because the attendee may be distracted while attending the online seminar. It is not assured whether he is really listening or not. Unless, he is very dedicated even no one is supervising him. (Who knows?)
  • Is there really free online seminar? Some facilitators of online seminar do not give the digital certificate to their attendees. Since it is free, some courses online (in the PH context), take time to provide feedback to their learners.
  • Lastly, it is easy to procrastinate especially nobody will supervise your progress. Only deadlines are given. Hence, it is quite challenging for procrastinators.

In my opinion, I still prefer the traditional seminars for teachers. I can be more attentive while I listen. I feel the sense of responsibility since I exerted time and money to attend that seminar. Still, since there is a COVID 19 crisis, this is not applicable to all. Maybe, I will try to look for more courses that will suit my learning style.

Share your thoughts, friends. What do you think? :>

PERSONAL

A Month with First Graders

Imagine yourself teaching 32 five-year old students. Sounds fun, right?

Two years ago, I resigned in my first school simply because I was asked to teach sixth graders. I got hired to my second school to teach the same grade level. After a year, I got transferred to fourth grade. This year, I was asked to teach in grade one.  I got no ideas what else lies ahead. I couldn’t absorb the reason why I was asked to teach first graders. I even asked God several times, “Lord, why me?” I struggled to accept this fact.

Now, one month has passed. I am still teaching the same faces which I reluctantly accepted. Good thing, as time passes by, my soul starts to adjust to this new environment, faces, and struggles.

My first week was really tiring. I almost cried after our third day in school. Teaching primary grade was no joke. It took all my energy and being (and self-awareness, btw). I got no time to rest. We had to set the routine, show examples, and discuss every single thing every day. We had to open their lunch boxes, water bottles, and some food wrappers.

It’s our job, anyways, but compared to my previous classes, this is more challenging.

After one month, I have these realizations that no other experiences could give.

I love how innocent kids are. We had this class activity before wherein kids need to draw their family. As I observe them, I noticed that one of my students drew her family, their house, clouds, and a face between two clouds. I asked her, “Who is that?” (I was referring to the face on the sky.) She answered, “That’s Jesus.” I replied, “Why did you draw him?” She said, “Because He’s always watching us.”

First graders are simply cute. In our first week, I received a letter from my student. On its envelope, it was written “Teacher Darna.” It should be Teacher Derla or Miss Derla. But, I didn’t find this offensive, though. It laughed after reading it because my last name sounds like Darna. Maybe, in my past life, I was somehow a superhero.

Kids will always say you are cool, beautiful, or sometimes, ugly–and they mean it! This just showed their honesty. If they do not like something, they say it. But, if they find something or someone attractive or cute, they will never hesitate to tell it. They are fond of giving complements, letters, and cute reminders of their  love for you.

I can say that I am adjusting, but sometimes, incidents happen. These events could be a turning point for me whether continue performing well or simply look for something that will work better. Which is which? I dunno yet. I am still in the process of learning and adjusting. Pray for me, folks.

How’s your life, so far?

 

Sending you good vibes,

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LIFE LESSONS

Live, Love, and Teach with a Purpose

Most students are back in the classroom. For us in St. Paul, classes resume on June 19. I thank God for having time to blog about the theme and topic I’ve been itching to share with you, guys: my work. I studied Education major in English back in college. Since my course of study is related to English, it was easy for me to get full-time, and even tons of part-time jobs. But, it never ends there.

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Live

I live by the quote “Live life with a purpose.” I totally adhere to this because our social purpose keeps our heart moving. As an educator, I have always had this goal of supporting the greatest advocacy in life — teaching. I’ve considered the English language as my forte; thus, teaching English is my life’s purpose. I’m lucky that I discovered this early. Some have taken time in knowing what their true passion is.

It was in the summer when I started to teach English online. I decided to teach English that time just to  make my vacation worthwhile. I had nothing else to do. So, I decided to teach ESL foreign students. Luckily, I got hired and experienced new working environment. However, after few weeks, I decided to quit for I did not see my purpose in just merely teaching them online. I was not motivated to teach because I only teach for a living, not as a passion.

 

Love

I quit not because I was tired but because I did not see myself growing and doing a socially significant task. I felt like a robot that catered to the needs of human beings. This was the reason why I searched for another company that would cater my goals, purpose, and at the same time, my forte. That was the time I searched for another company and found Learntalk. They do almost the same thing as what my previous company did, but what makes them different is their contribution to building a nation.

In fact, recently, they had a training program that included the Jesuit Volunteer Philippines Foundation, Inc. (JVPFI). Last May 25, 2017, Learntalk gave teacher training about the use of  English in the classroom to these volunteers. This allowed the volunteers to be more knowledgeable about using English effectively in teaching.  Valery, Learntalk’s training manager, told the volunteers to keep their students engaged and interested.

 

Teach

This partnership allowed the Jesuits volunteers to learn  how to handle students using the Learntalk methodology and how to write lesson plans based on British Council standards. They were taught strategies in keeping their students engaged in discussion. Long and boring discussion was discouraged. Indeed, Learntalk’s mission, “English for everyone,” is true to all. As a teacher, I am amazed on how these people show concern and pay attention to the needs of the  nation. They continuously extend their services by communicating with the Uruguayan government so they could also provide English lessons to public schools.

How I wish I could do things such these. But now, I am still confined in the four corners of my classroom, still, teaching English to first graders. I am new to teaching to little kids. Hence, it is really something challenging, but something that I look forward to. Currently, my partner and I are in the process of finishing our materials for the entire school year. By the way, I am also on the process of planning a unique design for my classroom. Do you have any suggestions?

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