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Friday, August 16, 2013

On Distance Education

I came across an opportunity recently to teach in a school where students are on distance learning. At first, I was kind of attracted to the idea that I would not have to go to school everyday, as I could teach my students from the comfort of our home. The requirement is only to report to school once a week for meetings and updates on the progress of the students.

Distance education or distance learning is a mode of delivering education and instruction to students who are not physically present in a traditional setting such as a classroom. Even though students learn away from the school campus, they are still subjected to high expectations for their success. Usually, the student is supervised by the parents at home, or if the student is independent enough, study the materials by himself or herself, but still has a teacher to ask for help or to guide him with the curriculum and to walk through the standards so the students become successful and would have no difficulty in getting into college. The school actually that has an opening for a Math distance teacher is one of the very high performing schools in the country. Not all students who enroll there are from remote places, each has their valid reason why they see distance education as the best for them. It reminds me of one of my students before in Chemistry in a local college. She told me she was home schooled from elementary to high school. She was one of my best students, not only doing very well in class, but also has very good leadership skills. I was so amazed with her leadership skills that I asked her how could she have developed that when she was learning most of the time at home and did not have the opportunity to interact with other students. She replied to me that one of the best benefits of distance education for her is that she had the very good modeling of her mom, and there is a strong partnership between her, her mom and her teacher, that somehow, learning closely from them, she has imbibed so well the values that was modeled so well for her. From her, I have learned the many benefits of distance education and how she grew so very well, not only academically, but in all other aspects through the program.

Anyway, going back to the opportunity, after careful consideration, I did not apply for the job because I really enjoy the school where I am presently teaching. Though the idea of teaching students through distance learning also appeals to me, but somehow, it is very hard for me to leave my school, because it would mean one thing, I would not have a chance to see my previous students again, and how they are so doing with their growing. Ahhh, the joy of teaching, is priceless!

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