Gone are the days of passive learning when education was strictly teacher-centered and students heavily relied on pure lectures and direct instructions. Time and innovation have changed the course of the learning paradigm transforming one-way discussions into active learning, bridging teachers and students to achieve progressive education in the modern age. The 21st century has become more challenging for traditional educators who are honing a completely different generation – the millennials and Generation Z glued to the fascinating technological advancements of today’s era. Not to mention the game-changing consequence of the current pandemic transforming our old ways into the ‘call of the future’. Hence, gone are the days of passive learning as it is more proven in this time of discomfort that teachers can acquire knowledge from students too!
Dr. Myrna Gutierrez, an Accounting instructor from Southville International School and Colleges shares the biggest challenge she had to conquer in her entire teaching life. The beginning of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) due to the COVID-19 pandemic inevitably transformed her teaching style out of her grit and dedication to beat adversities that will affect the learning pace of her students. She said with conviction, “Accountancy is an intense course with a demanding curriculum to boot. I realized that any abrupt and prolonged suspension of classes would seriously hamper my students’ development. And this would endanger their chance at passing the CPA Licensure Examination. It was a choice of trying Online Teaching or to wait for the resumption of regular classes. For me there was no choice; learning had to continue.” Southville has gone 100% online immediately upon the government’s order to stay at home. It was a smooth transition for most of its people but some people regarded online classes very much foreign to their teaching routine and capability. Nevertheless, Dr. Guiterrez braved all its underlying technicalities starting from scratch and struggled like a new student on her first day learning a subject. She is no exemption to doubting her own age as she adapted slowly and embraced her mistakes, having her students in her heart as her utmost motivation. “It takes time. I needed a lot of help.” To her surprise, she survived what she considers a new-fangled teaching experience through the help of her entire class, leading to a collaborative teacher-student journey battling the uncertainties of the COVID-19. To Dr. Gutierrez, teachers are meant to be students twice and those committed to teaching must likewise commit to lifelong learning.
Southville College of Business Dean, Dr. Victor Manabat is proud to have dedicated teachers like Dr. Myrna being instrumental to the success of its graduates who notably achieved 5x higher than the national passing rate in the recent CPA board examination. “I have seen how Dr. Gutierrez performs in class. I have been a witness of her dedication to her craft, her commitment to giving the best education to her students. I thought I have seen everything she has to give. I was mistaken. Here was a teacher who, despite her age, was willing to raise the standard of modern teaching. She is a true mentor who will strive not to fail in her calling . . . for failure is truly not an option,” Dr. Manabat commended. Her journey shows that no one can cling to the old. A paragon of her kind knows exactly that we are locked down in our own small world of thousand opportunities we are bound to explore. Gone are the days of what used to be; amid the dramatic collapse of all systems and the world that literally stopped and shifted, we are yet to embrace a massive transformation. We will unlearn and relearn.