Our goal for 2021: to learn more and expand our horizons (first of three parts)

The New Year has finally arrived!

Yes, 2021 has just arrived a few days ago, but now is just the start. We are all still reeling from the tempestuousness and lugubriousness of 2020 and we sometimes commit the honest mistake of writing 2020 as the year it is. Sometimes we are like in either a dream-like trance or a nightmare-like exorcism (depending on how we see it) because we are still 360 days away from the end of 2021 (and we still have not even completed a full academic year) and we have just disembarked from a very bumpy and slippery flight called life in 2020.

Despite the twists, turns, zigzags, and turnpikes we have encountered in life under stringent quarantines, we are very grateful for the blessings that 2020 has provided us, whether in the form of tangible opportunities or life lessons. We also tend to look back at how the year was and how it has forced us to hibernate and then innovate. We all cannot deny that we have perceived the pandemic as a very bitter pill to swallow. There are many of us educators who have bitten the bullet by choosing to accept pay cuts. Yes, there are many others who have been given the pink slip for economic and practical reasons, and this applies not only to contractual teachers but even regular, tenured teachers who cannot be sustained financially any longer by their respective schools.

It is very impossible and implausible to accurately foresee the future of education down to the minutest of details. However, it is commendable for us educators and for our educational top brass to have specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals for our learners, for our colleagues, for our society, and for our other stakeholders such as parents, community leaders, policy makers, and even the marginalized sectors of our society.

We all know how to create goals and to lay them all on the table, but the difficult part is how we can make these tangible and beneficial for all. It is better to start within ourselves first because we cannot give what we do not have yet or what we lack so much of.

For us to be progressive this 2021, we have two general goals that motivate us to move forward and to grow at a constant rate: to learn more and to expand our horizons.

What does it mean for us to learn more?
Learning more simply means attending further training, opening our minds to other perspectives, working with our colleagues and other fellow professionals synergistically, and reading and doing more. We cannot expect exemplary results if we refuse to adjust or modify our techniques in working and if we remain stubborn to the point of shutting others down. If we refuse to change, that would be the start of our fall from grace. It is very important for all of us to update our skills and knowledge- including the theories we have once dreaded due to their complex nature- because sooner or later, some of our skills and knowledge might be obsolete and then be replaced by another new set. I have known of so many much-seasoned educators who have been forced to retire or have been retired due to their refusal to undergo training for online learning.

Now that the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), together with the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC), have mandated us teachers and other licensed professionals to attend training, this year is an opportune time for us to take advantage of learning online.

We must not forget that every time well-spent is time well-invested. We can never grow and be grand if we have no good seeds to sow on fertile land. (to be continued)#

If you have suggestions in terms of the education-related topics that you want me to feature, please feel free to send me an email to edteo.ramos@yahoo.com or to coachjet.inspirations@gmail.com and I will reply to you as soon as I receive your email.