Dreamslaying and Teaching: Quarantine Notes 2

This is another entry – called “Dreamslaying and Teaching,” where I bring out my thoughts on the ECQ from the perspective of an average teacher.

I wake up in my room and I start to read a bit. Afterwards, I have to begin setting up my online classes. It’s somewhat tedious; but it was alright as I was doing it all in the comfort of my office home.

            Or home office. Honestly, it doesn’t matter: While it is currently used as an office by a foundation, it is also a huge house at the same time, complete with its swimming pool, garden, and mango orchard. They didn’t change the water in the swimming pool for months now and they preferred to treat it with chlorine instead – if COVID-19 didn’t come into this world, no one would have bothered to drain the pool.

            News flash: The pool’s dry now and it revealed hazy white walls and flooring. According to a caretaker from one of the neighboring houses, this was how old pools look like – he said that all pools use tiles of one sort or another in order to make it easy to maintain. Considering that I never had a pool inside our house at any point in my life, I had to take his word at face value.

            If this wasn’t a day in the time of enhanced community quarantine, I would have been out and about doing my various errands for my new home. Or maybe I would have been teaching my lessons inside a physical room.

            Speaking of the classroom, it’s a very different environment now. Everyone has to adjust to the reality of working and studying from home. There’s no more smooth desks or glare from the projectors, and definitely the sharp smell of the whiteboard markers is missing. Instead, it’s the gacha colors of applications and “live faces” of students who study their lessons through Zoom.

It’s so empty.

            I still have to adjust to the realities of online teaching, despite the fact that I’m supposed to be well-versed with technology. In a way, I’m lucky that most, if not all of my students, have access to decent internet. I’m also fortunate that many of my students are willing to put in the work, which means that we get our objectives done and dusted.

            Even though I am already an elementary school teacher for five years now, I still sometimes wonder why in the world I am teaching. I guess with the pandemic coming down hard and the fact that I still have to pay off my loans (well, it’s a necessary and unfortunate fact of human existence; at one point or another, you’ll have to incur some debt in order to get a house as well as all the necessary furniture and appliances – aka start a new life), it seems that I am set for another year of messing around with the futures of children.

            I freely admit that I’m not the best teacher out there. I don’t think that I’m an inspiring figure or anything; I also don’t think that my students even remember my lessons (though apparently they do sometimes, based on my chats with my former students). However, I can attest that I tried my best.

            Whether that effort was enough to attain the objectives of my teaching profession is a completely different matter – which is best left to the pedagogy experts out there.

            When I see my students actively ask for feedback and show their interest in doing their writing tasks (despite their lack of relative novelty and their relatively long lengths; let’s be honest here, you don’t call one 50-word paragraph an essay), I know that there’s something that works correctly.

            I know that there will be people who won’t understand why students should learn writing even in these trying times.

            I still think that writing, reading, and literature in general is a great way to process and make sense of the world that we’re in right now. I also believe that these three things are a viable method of understanding the current situation.

            So, I’ll just go on and hope that my students learn a thing or two along the way.

            After all, the process is just as important as the destination.

I write other things. Hope you enjoy reading them too! By the way, if you want to read the previous installment, read it here!

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