We have TIME. This is perhaps the only luxury which the pandemic has so generously provided us, time because almost all other aspects of our lives are put into an abrupt halt, and we are left virtually speechless and almost not knowing what to do in what we may call an abundance of time. As an educator, time is a blessing, whereas before the covid-19 pandemic hits us, we barely have time for ourselves, and even for professional improvement because of the demands of our job as public school teachers. But now we have time, one of the most important things which we should undertake in order to make our tie productive is research.
Of course, undertaking research endeavors in these tough times are limited. Now is not the time to conduct far-reaching and more scholarly forms of research, with individual mobility limited to essentials. What we are given now is basically the time to conduct online researches, checking for relevant materials on the internet (which is sometimes frustratingly becoming a repository of shallow academic outputs). And let us not take the issue of internet access into the loop of this discussion because almost all educators have the most basic device in their hands the entire day (cellphones of course). There are many ways to conduct research, even the social media platform which we have grown accustomed to (Facebook) is virtually a vehicle for research as it has become a medium of sharing information (and in a real-time talk) between and among individuals.
According to a publication by ALBERT SHANKER INSTITUTE, research and evidence can be used as guiding tools by teachers in times of the pandemic as these could very well provide for a more responsive, innovative, and engaging new knowledge and information that could suit the needs of our learners (Kerr and Schwartz, 2020). Now, why is it important for teachers to become more engaged in the conduct of simple research in the time of pandemic. Below are some of the considered reasons:
1. Teachers are expected to become public health experts right now, as people are expecting that they know better the health situation, better at exercising the health protocols and standards set forth by the government. And it would help greatly if teachers would know simple and basic information
2. Technological specialists and experts. Because the dictum is determined by different learning delivery modalities hinged on technology, therefore, being the deliverer of learnings and competencies, teachers are and should be experts in these technologies
3. Masters of distance and online learning. Even without the proper training as constrained by time and resources, teachers are expected to become the frontliners in this type of LDM. Parents and learners alike do expect that teachers are easily adept and knowledgeable in online learning, providing the right tools and information that will make these all the more effective.
These are but just three of the basic reasons why we have to learn more, know more which would only be possible if we read more, and conduct research more often, even it means spending more time browsing through the internet. Anyway, these kinds of research would likewise teach us to become more discerning, a good step towards growth and improvement. #DM