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School Leaders in Time of Pandemic

School Leaders in Time of Pandemic



by Jeane C. Democrito

School leaders are empowered by the agency to potentially manage a school and its resources. They confidently set goals and visionary on attaining them. Inevitably, major change happened due to pandemic. It was March 14, 2020 when the first national lock down was implemented. It was not gradual change but a sudden change in the workplace. Chaotic situation aroused. That time, school year 2019-2020 was about to close. A lot of questions in our minds existed. COVID-19 had a great impact from the start, unexpectedly, a totally different challenging situation. As I remember, higher officials in the Division Office intensified communication with us. A radical change of procedure and processes was overwhelming that led to the utilization of online platforms.

They started empowering us again from the difficulties at hand brought about by the outbreak.  We frequently attended several webinars simultaneously and were trained to be adept to technology. Health protocols were highly emphasized and strictly implemented in all school activities. The first time that we practiced working from home and holding faculty meetings virtually. We were made to design our Contingency Learning Plan. NEAP provided us tools to help us decide for our Learning Delivery Modalities. We modified our requests from AIP and APP. We revisited our SIP. It was a distinctive set up.

With the complexity of things around, school leaders remained calm, reliable, decisive and possessed strong personality in dealing with this major change. We acted as model in taking control of the situation since most people were affected emotionally and psychologically.  We acted on it as fast and as efficient in helping them to accept the new reality and cope in this new challenging situation. We were developed professionally in motivating and inspiring people in our workplace.

During this outbreak, Division of Iloilo City emphasized that school performance should not be affected. Stress caused by the situation should be managed well by school leaders through empowering the members of the skeletal force. This was the functional working group of active people composed of department heads and master teachers. We collaborated and cohesively worked closely. We created environment where everyone felt involved and a part of the cohesive whole. We were observant to teachers’ reactions, especially to those who were vulnerable and sensitive. We provided support to teachers’ development that made them engaged willingly to their work.

Continual and effective communication with teachers was very essential. They relied so much from us for updates, information, instructions and guidance from this ordeal. School leaders proved that they were fully in charge, assuring teachers of their perception that was moving towards the right direction. With this, we gained trust and build enthusiasm for them to respond positively. Made them feel as the best contributor for action planning. Discussed among with them of their suggestions and inputs for reassessment and adaptation of plans. Through these, we were generating the highest level of performance in giving quality service to stakeholders.

We are now moving forward, more focused, collaborating with other school leaders, sharing and adapting best practices. We created open-mindedness to reality; have the clearer overview of the situation; and have provided support for learning opportunities to teachers to be more inspired and motivated. Indeed, teachers become skillful, well-equipped, trained, agile, goal and result-oriented for an ultimate result to students’ quality education.


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How Teachers, Parents, and Learners Can Positively Deal with the Pandemic

How Teachers, Parents, and Learners Can Positively Deal with the Pandemic

by Geraldin L. Taroballes, JMNHS

Uncertainty, joblessness, panic, anxiety, hunger, discomfort, and depression. These are the words that one can immediately think about if we talk about the pandemic- the COVID 19. Many things have changed from the widespread of this disease. There is now limitation in mobility such as having a smaller number of public vehicles that cater large number of commuters. People need to walk for hours just to go to work as mass public transport was suspended. Job security is under attack specially those working in entertainment and recreation industries, food and hotel industries as well as those who are involved in the construction sectors.  People who used to earn daily need to depend on the government for monetary assistance and the list goes on and on.

 With the incoming school year, teachers, parents, and learners need to face the reality that almost nothing is going back to normal unless a vaccine will be developed and utilized. However, education is a basic human right and despite the pandemic, no one must be left behind. With many Filipinos who are below the poverty line and who were badly afflicted by this phenomenon, will they be able to avail quality education? 

 This article wishes to share some thoughts on how teachers, parents, and learners can positively deal with the pandemic. 

 For the Parents

Be open with new opportunities. It is sad to say that the pandemic has affected almost all kinds of trade. Workers involved in land, air and sea transportation, food and tourism industry and the like are all affected by the pandemic. The once secure source of income has dried up with no other available means as source of living. This is the time that the affected parents can be more innovative in finding other ways to earn a living. They might resort to online selling, selling goods or selling barbecue in stalls and the like. 

 Learn how to “teach”. Parents have become busy with finding food for the hungry stomachs of their children. Sometimes, they have forgotten about other responsibility such as monitoring their children’s academic status. It is the high time to learn how to “teach” their own children as the Department of Education is going full blown to online and modular modes of delivery. 

 For the Learners

Be more responsible. Learners usually joke around and say that they like going to school because they get to have their “baon.” With this pandemic, learners may level up and be more responsible when it comes to learning as they need to read through the whole text without the usual guidance of a teacher in a face-to-face scenario. They can independently follow schedules regularly and not make an excuse that their schoolwork can be done haphazardly because of the absence of a teacher.

 For the Teachers

Be flexible. Old dogs are hard to teach, they say. However, this does not exempt Generation Z and the millennial teachers as they could also become stubborn when it comes to accepting new things from the Department of Education. They should have an open mindset when it comes to change.

 Learn continuously. The online mode of delivery is not usual in the Philippine setting. Thus, there are numerous technical things that need to be learned especially if we deal with distance and/or online teaching and learning. With less than two months before the opening of class, teachers can spend their time wisely and productively in learning the craft.

 For the Teachers, Parents, and Learners

 Pray. There is nothing more powerful than prayer. God is in control and He knows what is best for everyone. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” Jeremiah 29:11

 The challenges brought about by the pandemic is different to each person and each family. Some are blessed to be at the comfort of their homes watching Netflix while other families struggle to even feed themselves a decent meal because of the loss of income. No one is exempted from the ill effects of COVID-19. Let us just hope and pray and work together as one Filipino nation in winning the war against the invisible enemy. 

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