The Department of Education (DepEd) is conducting its second Virtual In-Service Training (VINSET) this week, from August 30 to September 3, 2021. Teachers are required to write reflection essays for each day to serve as an additional proof of their attendance during the sessions. It is also one of the means of verification or MOVs that they can include in their respective teaching portfolios during evaluation season toward the end of school year 2021-2022.

The Filipino Scribe will be sharing in this post short passages that public school teachers around the country can use as a reference in writing their respective reflection essays for this week’s virtual INSET.

DAY 1:

In-service trainings are reminders to us teachers that the process of learning never really stops. Thus, it is important to attend these events with an open mind an open heart – an acknowledgment that there are things we are yet to know about.

Given the shift to online learning, we have to step up our game and familiarize ourselves with new education platforms using information and communication technologies. In that manner, we are able to meet the challenge of performing our duties as teachers despite the pandemic.

DAY 2:

The threat of COVID-19 is still very much with us, and it is very dangerous to resume face-to-face classes anytime soon. The national government is correct in making that decision.

However, the education of the Filipino youth cannot be paralyzed. “Education must go on,” Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones repeatedly stated. So in today’s session, it has been laid out that DepEd is trying what can be described as an “all-hands-on-deck” approach in making sure that lessons are delivered to students in every possible way.

DepEd INSET 2021 reflection
Reflection essays about the vitrual in-service training 2.0 sessions will certainly center on DepEd’s attempts to implement blended learning

DAY 3:

The morning session featured topics that are highly relevant for my work. Although I’ve been using Microsoft Office applications for as long as I can remember, I know that there are still a lot of features that I have to learn. Not to mention that there are new products and features being rolled out by the company on a regular basis.

The two topics covered during the afternoon was admittedly very ambitious and futuristic and to be honest, it is of very little relevance to both teachers and students alike. Why do I say so? The ongoing implementation of blended learning shows that our problems are very basic – lack of stable Internet access and gadgets to be used.

It may not be much of a problem in urban areas like Metro Manila but in the provinces, that is not the case. It is good to dream of the things we wish we have, but we have to work with what we have.

DAY 4:

The fourth day of the Department of Education’s Virtual In-Service Training 2.0 was jampacked. There were seven sessions in all, with topics ranging from mental health issues to Google Educators Group, as well as image manipulation and video development. It was overwhelming, to be honest.

I appreciate the session on mental health, because it is relevant to us teachers. However, it felt more like an empty gesture on the side of the agency because if they really want to advocate for teachers’ mental health, then they should not give us so many tasks that are not really relevant to the job that we were appointed for. We do so many paper works and have little to no vacation days!

And once again, I felt that the topics discussed during the afternoon cannot really be used by most teachers, especially by those who are not adept at utilizing the said applications. Getting used to those stuff requires more than just sitting through a one-hour talk without hands-on activity.

DAY 5:

I am relieved that the five-day virtual in-service training for preschool, elementary, and high school teachers held this week is already over. The week has been full of talks on a wide array of topics, including cyberbullying, mental health awareness, educational video games, etc.
 
Although the sessions were all informative, some topics are more relevant than others given the different situation of teachers and students across the country. There has been persistent technical glitches in accessing the agency’s website – a situation that undoubtedly slowed down the ability of teachers to accomplish the so-called “exit quizzes” that are required to download certificates. The glitches certainly added to the stress experienced by teachers who, technically, are still on vacation.
 
I commend the Department of Education’s willingness to explore all options – some more realistic than the others – just to make sure that the education of Filipino students will go on despite the uncertainties caused by the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. I should also once more praise my teachers’ readiness to still rise to the occassion in the face of never-ending challenges.

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