I have been a distant learner since I joined the University of the Philippines – Open University (UPOU) Professional Teaching Certificate program during the second trimester of 2013. Having spent so much time in school (earning two degrees and teaching afterwards) made it challenging for me to get used to an asynchronous learning environment that characterizes online learning.
Aside from being open to change, time management proved to be the most important aspect of being a distant learner. I admit that despite the academic year being divided into trimesters (meaning they only lasted three months), there have been times when I felt that the tasks were never-ending, or that the year just seems to drag on. However, when there are important tasks which need to be done by group, I just feel like time is fast slipping away. It is during these trying times that it helps to sit back, unwind, and remember why you are doing this in the first place.
Sure, I need to earn units to be eligible to take the Licensure Exam for Teachers at the soonest possible. I have, nonetheless, found that many of the things that I have learned thus far have really helped me in my own classes. For the past year and a half, I have tried my best to incorporate concepts, philosophies, and strategies I have learned in my courses when I prepare activities for the Science classes I teach.
As an educator, I owe it to my students to give the best of what I can offer as a distant learner since I expect them to do the same in taking on the challenges of the subjects that I teach them as well. So to those of you who are new to distant learning, welcome to a new world of possibilities!