Teaching during a Pandemic

I am a first-time teacher, excluding my months of experience as an ESL teacher. I am teaching online. Back then, I thought teachers are always in control of everything. They have control over their lessons and they have control over everything that happens in a classroom. As I get to know the profession, however, the wall of misconceptions I built during my childhood crumble, one dirt at a time until all the rocks and hardened mud falls apart. 

I am not expecting teaching to be easy, but damn, I never expected it to be so difficult. Teachers are totally not in control of their lessons, nor in their manner of teaching. In my experience as a teacher, I have to answer to erring students who find the subject difficult —  I have to make it easy for them. I have to be student-centric in teaching, I have to be nice and strict, I have to answer to my senior teachers, year level leaders, and principal, and I have to be more than just a teacher.  I thought, no matter how tough the job is, teaching is an enjoyable job. If I have to be honest, brutally honest, teaching gives me stress. Students who do not love the subject I teach made me feel disappointed. I am losing my spirit to teach them. The worst part of all this, everything is online. I got only a few minutes to teach the subject, and, I think, it isn't enough, but I have to make due the time that was given. I have to teach the subject that is in line with how the school is teaching the lesson. As much as possible, I cannot deviate, nor ask too difficult questions. I cannot delve into literary theories, all I could do is to make them smell the garlic but not cook it and make them taste it. It pisses me off that worst of all, I have to pass as many students as possible, forgive as many mistakes as possible, even if a good number of students are lazy in doing their paperwork that is already easy for them to do. 

Maybe, this was all on me. I wasn't an effective teacher. Yet even so, even if I wasn't a good teacher, at least they should try to be a good student. At least pass the paperwork on time. At least do their coursework, at least read the selections. I give their readings weeks ahead but during the class, the students will just say "Sorry miss, I did not read it." or "I fell asleep." 

This is frustrating. I understand this a lot. I understand that we are all still experiencing pandemic. Students are bored and tired in their homes and all, they are hormonal 17 to 18-year-old kids to their early 20's and a number of them have jobs. Still, I do believe that as much as I am willing to extend kindness, patience, and understanding, they have to do their work. I can make their workloads lighter, but they still have to do their part. I cannot guess the students' grades.


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