Congratulations to Teachers

By Atención Staff

May 18 is the day Mexico celebrates its teachers—this year the fiesta will be at home. Mexico has 265,277 schools with 2,100,267 teachers and more than 36 million students. Due to COVID-19, classes have been conducted at home since March 17, with the return to classrooms scheduled for June 1.

Amid the pandemic, teachers and students have been forced to have classes online. Atención spoke with some teachers, who shared their experiences of the “new normal.”

Public Accountant Juan Manuel Arellano, who teaches at a university, commented, “I have taken several courses online, and the experience is not new to me. Education online is a new trend but has to be improved. Currently, I am using Microsoft Teams, and my students have learned to use it. The classes are focused on research, and students learn how to recognize unreliable information. However, there is a lack of the necessary fieldwork students need to truly learn. The educational system was not ready (for the pandemic). Also, I have heard of some teachers and students that cannot access the platforms due to technical problems. After the pandemic, the national educational system should develop online programs in order to save valuable learning time and avoid interrupting the school year.”

Master in Innovation Abigail González Álvarez, a high school teacher, opined, “With the proper technology we can continue our educational programs and complement them with extra assignments that students can complete and upload to the platform. The process of teaching and studying online has been successful, and I am in contact with my pupils 24/7. Virtual classrooms will become the education of the future. We do not need physical classrooms.”

Luis Ernesto Moreno López, an attorney and a university professor, commented, “Online education is a great challenge, but it is also an opportunity to learn and collaborate all day with students.”

Paloma Espinosa Ramírez, a teacher of international commerce at a high school, said, “Feedback is always necessary for students. In this technological era we need to learn little by little, though adaptation is complicated. I love this system; I do not go out, I do not spend money, and I generate less trash.”

Ikary Cerda García, a psychologist teaching in a high school, remarked, “This is an enjoyable but complicated experience since we are not in physical contact with the students. It is a new method that we all have to adapt to so we can make educational progress.”

Jessica Deanda Vázquez, a communications teacher at a high school, added, dd“I have learned to be present for my students. After the pandemic, I think I will keep using the virtual classes so more students can join classes regardless of distances or the weather. It is not easy to accept the new method, but we can take advantage of it as a tool.”

Master in teaching at a university, Jesús Aguado, commented, “I love this system; I have found the platform for every group. I like that with online classes the comforts of home are close: the shower, the kitchen, my computer, cell phone, and my TV screen, which I have used as a blackboard. It does not matter if I am in my pajamas; my classes begin at 7am. My students have been very committed to their classwork, homework, and maintaining their grades. Education has to evolve to a semi-presential system. The disadvantage is that in San Miguel de Allende—part rural, part urban—there are some communities where Internet is still a distant dream.  An advantage to online learning is that classes are recorded, and students can access them when they want to and are able.”