I have 32 years of teaching experience and am currently teaching in a national secondary school.
When the Movement Control Order (MCO) began, my school suggested that teachers find their own methods to continue teaching. Being a responsible teacher, I want to ensure my students continued to learn. I had learnt how to use Zoom to conduct SGM activities online, so I also used the app to begin teaching online. Most of my students attended my classes – it was amazing!
After a week, my school’s principal requested teachers to submit reports on what they have done for their students. I shared my online teaching experience with her, which she then shared at an administrators’ board meeting.
This inspired the administrators to encourage teachers to explore and apply e-learning. But many teachers are unfamiliar with these apps, and had received no training. Thus, they were struggling. Some of them asked me to share my experiences of teaching online. I suppose my actions have inspired my colleagues to face the new challenges.
As the MCO entered its fourth week, I was required to use Google Classroom instead of Zoom. I am not technologically-savvy, so it was a nightmare at first. It takes a lot of time, and I still have to do housework while following a schedule prepared by the school to ensure the students are learning. It was really stressful. But I realised this was a challenge, and with abundant daimoku to manifest wisdom, I can overcome it.
To my surprise, my senior assistant approached me to ask if I would be interviewed by the New Straits Times (NST) on teaching online and sharing my thoughts on education. She said I was the right person for this. I am glad that my efforts were recognised and I used this opportunity to inspire my students about the value and importance of learning. I hope that my sincere encouragement to my students would inspire the teachers as well. My thoughts were featured in the April 23 edition of the paper.
There were students who did not attend my online classes, and I contacted them personally. I found out that some have returned to their hometowns while two were being isolated in quarantine centres. These students will also contact me to enquire about lessons and schoolwork.
When attendance drops, I will reflect on my teaching methods, striving to ensure students learn through many ways. I encourage them to learn on their own using the Internet, group work and online presentations. They have also been using various apps to do their assignments.
E-learning has made big changes in our lives. I am reminded of President Ikeda’s encouragement in the Light of Education: “As you challenge adversity and polish the jewel that is life, you will learn to walk the supreme pathway of true humanity. He who leads a creative life from the present into the future will stand in the vanguard of history.”
I want my students to learn in a fun way and respect the hard work of others while presenting their assignments. I want them to be happy even though their lives have been restricted.
For a new age of education to begin, educators must undergo their personal revolution. I will continue to share and show the significance of humanistic education. I will always impart hope to my beloved students and foster them to become great people who work for the happiness of others.
Read the NST article that features Say Cheow here
Updated from an article published in the June 2020 issue of COSMIC