The Covid-19 pandemic may have changed many of the things we have grown accustomed to doing, yet many other things have remained essential such as our sense of community and spirit of bayanihan. From its establishment in February 2011 to its KaSaMa 2.0 digital launch in January of this year, KaSaMa Teachers remains steadfast in its mission of serving as an online bayanihan to Filipino science and mathematics teachers. In less than four months from its launch, KaSaMa Teachers’ Facebook page has now a following of over 6,000. It also streamed two webinars, one each in May and June, to over 300 teachers during each webinar.
The first webinar conducted on 29 May with session titled, Teaching with compassion and providing psychosocial support to students, was given by Mr. Rolando C. Delos Reyes II of the UP Office of Counseling and Guidance. Mr. Delos Reyes underscored the need to understand that “compassion begins with the principle, No student left behind.” The teacher participants were actively commenting and reacting during the entire session with one participant saying, “Oftentimes, students need someone who knows how to listen to their struggles. As teachers, we need to assure our students we are always ready to listen – not only with our ears, but [also] with an open heart.”
During the second webinar conducted on 5 June with session titled, Translating COVID-19 data and visualizations inside the K to 12 classroom, Ms. Maria Theresa G. Capule-Navarro of the Elementary School Mathematics group and Ms. Deborah Anne Lumantas-Colades of the High School Physics group of UP NISMED, highlighted the need “to encourage students to become problem finders, not just problem solvers,” as well as the importance of teachers being able “to figure out how best to explain facts and debunk rumors as these can exacerbate fears.” One of the active participants commented, “It is essential to integrate [topics related to] the current health crisis into our lessons … [to] help teachers communicate with the students effectively without making them feel afraid of the new normal.”
KaSaMa Teachers’ Facebook page is updated daily with posts that link teachers to webinars, online resources such as virtual laboratories and laboratory simulations, helpful articles particularly on remote teaching and learning, and other resources from reputable institutions curated by the core team of KaSaMa Teachers. Filipino K to 12 science and mathematics teachers may join the KaSaMa Teachers Community at https://www.kasamateachers.ph.