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Teacher and Student Engagement in Dealing with the Teaching and Learning Process: Challenges and Opportunities

All faces challenges and opportunities in coping with the teaching and learning process in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some feel difficulty in the execution of their daily activities, while others consider them rewards because they have the chance to experience these things and learn from them.

Student Engagement

COVID-19 pandemic influences student engagement in the learning of their lessons. It all began with President Duterte's declaration of a national lockdown leading to the closing of educational institutions. It is almost the end of the school year when this occurs and the students have no chance to take their last quarter assessment.

Students are obliged to stay at home during the lockdown. They are not allowed to go out and do their daily activities. They spend much of their time playing video games. They have never had the chance, for a long time, to have access to their school work, which could be a challenge for teachers, because they need to get the sparks back in their studies.

The modular way of learning adds to the enthusiasm of students to go back to school with a twist. During the pre-pandemic time, students come to school to attend their classes. In the midst of the pandemic, students need to stay at home and study their lessons with the aid of printed modules.

For the first two weeks of modular learning, students have already complained about their jobs, since a lot of work needs to be completed in a week. In reality, some of the students stayed up late to ensure that they finished the module before the deadline for submission. With these experiences, their dedication to learning is weakening, from the excitement of getting a new education system to the exhausting days of only completing the learning tasks in the modules.

The diversity of students is a great factor in recognizing their differences in their approach to learning. Some of the students are self-motivated, causing them to participate in all their activities. However, some students require outside enforcement to get involved with their assigned work for the week.

Students' interest in learning is influenced by the different tasks they carry out in their modules. There are times where students feel bored because they're doing the same module for the week. Apart from that, lack of contact with their instructors, classmates and peers really has an effect on their participation. There are times where these students come together in one house to work on their modules. With these activities with their peers, they are more involved in reacting to their modules.

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There are several parents who offer rewards for their children to remain involved in their assigned work for the week. Parents have agreed to do this to ensure that their children do their modules. This is consistent with what teachers normally do with their students; they give credit to all the achievements of their students. This is their way to inspire their students to complete their assigned works.

Teacher Engagement

The COVID-19 pandemic shifts the experiences of teachers in terms of the success of their work. Before the opening of school, teachers are actively engaged in various orientations and training courses in order to prepare them for the new normal education system. The various learning modalities are explained to them verbatim so that they can understand the procedure. They also carried out simulation exercises to ensure that they had first-hand experience.

In addition, teachers are also educated in the application of the COVID-19 protocols on health and safety. They need to comply with the criteria of the COVID-19 Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) to ensure that all individuals are protected and that the risk severity of COVID-19 contamination is very low. Schools plan health declaration form, tracer form social distancing, shoes sanitizing, hands sanitizing and wearing face masks and face shields (Adams, 2020). Once schools have these items, it is only then that they can be deemed able to meet parents during the delivery and retrieval of the modules.

Other work is being performed by the teachers to ensure that the flow of lessons continues in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the time, they remain in school to carry out all the activities before the next module is distributed. The students' modules are printed since the school division offers half of the overall enrolment. They also take part in parents' questions where in most situations, parents are found to be demanding. Likewise, they review the learners' answers that take them weeks before the results are published.

It is noted that teachers work together as a team to carry out the assignment before its due date. They seem to have a printing press and at the same time a workshop since they are also attending their online class. With all these things, there are times when they get the most stressed out, particularly when they run out of time to accomplish all their tasks. As a matter of fact, there are occasions when there is a conflict between them that hinders them from working together. However, those teachers who are committed to their job will see to it that they have completed everything before the deadline.

Teachers' engagement in the performance of their roles and obligations is influenced by their day-to-day experiences with the materials available in the execution of their jobs, their encounters with their colleagues and the flow of contact with their parents. If they do not experience some kind of problem along the way, they are supposed to have a smooth sailing day. However, when they meet a whirlwind along the way, they appear to abandon their post and choose to sit in a position where they can still do their job. In addition, teachers are professionals, which is why they already know what to do to help them to carry out their assigned tasks.

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