[By: Reymond D. Ramos]
The education sector is one of the most affected societal subdivisions due to the pandemic. Since the sudden shift from traditional to distance learning, employees have been continuously subjected to immense adjustment and different challenges as well as continuous scrutiny from society. The employment of different ways to cope with the existing challenges and added reinforcement regarding the new modes have been continuously practiced since then. However, it is inevitable to not notice that there is still an existing gap between the capabilities and existing resources of educational sector employees and the demands of the new setting.
In line with this, it is in the best interest of the administration to protect the staff and equip them with essential knowledge regarding the nature of the pandemic and how to effectively deal with the adjustments it comes with. It has been more than a year since they have implemented this current work arrangement, and honestly, we cannot guarantee their entire safety since the virus is continuously evolving to more dreadful variants. The best that we can do is to continuously provide our employees with appropriate and effective equipment to lessen contact with the virus, enact strict protocols and disseminate accurate information.
Provided that the institution is still effectively functioning amid the pandemic, it is also important to not disregard teachers’ and principals’ professional development since it is now when we need it the most. It is noticeable that maneuvering the new designs of technology poses a challenge to our dear educators especially those who are in the older age bracket; being used to the traditional method in decades of service, it is not easy for them to transition quickly to distance learning methods as well as operating technological equipment.
In view of the foregoing, the education sector has launched multiple online seminars and training to equip the teachers with additional knowledge which they will be needing to adapt to the sudden changes in modality. In seeking to have their capabilities improved, our teachers attended various programs on top of preparing for students’ lessons, addressing their concerns, and finishing paper works. Our teachers, who are the backbone of the educational sector may feel overwhelmed with everything; after all, they too are just normal human beings and are subject to the panic and anxiety caused by the uncertainty this pandemic brings.
However, it is not enough to only have our employees attend activities which cater towards their improvement, we should also be devising ways on how to motivate them. According to the trends of today’s studies, an employee should be motivated so that they would be able to produce higher quality outputs and to be productive. Since teachers are deemed as the backbone of the educational sector, we should focus on how to elevate their morale and motivation so they wouldn’t feel alone and restless in this battle against the unknown.
This is not a mere matter of practicality, because there is the risk of job burnout; this type of exhaustion will diminish their efficacy and will defeat the purpose of professional development programs. How do we motivate our employees who go beyond and above only to still deliver the same quality of work despite the challenges? We need to establish trust among them and the system and make them feel appreciated. We should encourage more activities that promote balance between personal affairs and work, giving the teachers the chance to prove themselves and initiate activities and establishing rewards in the form of small gestures of recognition. ###