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Sonia Rivas, Professor of School of Education and Psychology of the University of Navarra.

The skills that COVID-19 has made visible in the work of the good teacher

Mon, 05 Oct 2020 11:32:00 +0000 Posted in The Conversation

This October 5 marks World Teachers' Day, always an occasion to highlight the progress made and reflect on ways to face the challenges ahead in order to promote the profession professor. It could be just another celebration of the year, were it not for the fact that status of COVID-19 has brought to our attention many responsibilities of professor that perhaps go unnoticed to the eyes of any citizen living the day-to-day maelstrom.

We are going through a crisis, which leads us to reflect in the field educational on where we are and where we are heading. Teachers have considered the leadership of their profession as tool to respond to the consequences of the crisis. They have been intensively and extensively trained in all those active methodologies that have been considered pedagogically useful to continue with the process of teaching-learning in their students. They have put into play their pedagogical and personal skills to provide quality distance learning to their students, trying to ensure that no one is left behind and reducing as much as possible the learning gap among their students. They have catered to the immediacy of the changes arising from the status healthcare in a flexible way, adapting their learning environment to the various COVID-19 protocols to reopen the centers with health security. But, above all, they have been able to add the reality of the families in their process of teaching-learning.

Good teachers have shown to be the central piece of a gear educational, not because they are the most important part, but because they connect with the reality of student, of their family, of their colleagues at work and of the organization to which they belong. However, when this gear stops and, with it, all the others, we have time to reflect on the value, the usefulness, the characteristics of each of the pieces.

We have observed in the teachers the skill 'wanting to look at student', which implies wanting to observe what is happening to them, to verify what they are learning, to know what educational needs they have at a time when their social relationships have been reduced to a minimum, and personal relationships with their teachers and classmates are mediated through a screen. The teachers, therefore, have overflowed with empathy, enthusiasm, enthusiasm, desire to show all that the student can learn with these scaffolds taking into account the starting point. Although there is still a long way to go in some aspects, such as how to encourage a certain autonomy in learning in children, to the extent of the possibilities of each one, it seems that they are on the right track.

We have verified that the teachers know how to say: they have the skill to make it understood that the family is the first manager in the Education in their students and that the professor is a collaborating part in this work. Therefore, she has brought out the ability to team up with the family, to incorporate their participation in the process of teaching-learning in those facets that she felt more capable, and to respect, at the same time, their way of educating. The human quality of the teachers, their closeness to parents and families, has been vital.

We have also seen during this time that teachers have the capacity to want to learn: to want to learn with and from their colleagues, to train themselves, because they want to, because they feel part of a learning community with which they identify, which they feel is their own. For the sake of their students, they have taken advantage of their strengths by putting everything they believed they could use at the service of the professional world. They have also been able to ask financial aid to work on their weaknesses. Therefore, they have seen the need to invest much of their time and effort in training in digital skills, assessing what is best for their students and for their content. Many teachers continue to work along these lines, thinking about how to transfer active methodologies to the virtual environment at Education, deciding to what extent this non-classroom space educational is useful, and for what purpose.

Finally, we have noticed that teachers have the capacity to do so because they can, because they have the support of a management team that values their activity, that trusts them, and that offers them all the financial aid and support necessary to achieve it. Their communication skills, teamwork and the feeling of being integrated in an institution have translated into the best possible way of transmitting the management's message to those directly involved, in a changing environment in which they have had to adapt time and space in a flexible manner.

At final: let us accompany and trust in the good work and the art of academic staff, in their knowledge and skills of pedagogical and didactic nature. Their good training, their personal qualities and their desire to do the best for their students, whatever their circumstances, will be the best engine for these times of crisis.