Teacher taps video technology to keep students inspired during pandemic

The teachers believe that caring for students should be in the heart of every educator.

Barry Dolloso in his Kaalamdag video material

The global pandemic might have minted depressing and unfortunate stories of lives lost and loved ones suffering but it also created inspiring stories of kindness, selfless dedication, and going beyond one’s comfort zones to serve others.

For the nine teachers at Abellana National School (ANS), a public high school in Cebu City, the challenges of the global health crisis and their daily personal battles did not dampen their passion to teach and make sure that their students remain motivated and inspired to go on with their studies.

Barry Dolloso, a Grade 7 teacher, was not content with just holding online classes and then leaving the students on their own when the class was over.

To keep the students informed, Dolloso spearheaded the creation of a series of video-based learning materials for Grade 7 students.

“The teaching videos were aimed at keeping students informed even after classes. They can access the videos to review their lessons or if they need clarification on what was discussed during live sessions,” Dolloso said.

Kaalamdag video technology

Dolloso’s video-based learning materials proved so effective that they were being used in four other public schools in Cebu City under the Kaalamdag Project to keep students motivated even when everything was in lockdown.

On top of his teaching load, Dolloso produced the most Star Scouts for Abellana National School despite the competitive advantage of the scouting units of the private schools.

Barry Dolloso
Barry Dolloso attends to a bleeding worker inside the Abellana National School during the interview.

He also readily accepted the task of heading the team that ensures safety inside the school when the face-to-face classes plan was still on the drawing board due to the unpredictability of the pandemic.

“It has been a challenging environment for the students and we teachers have the responsibility to influence them, to give a constant reminder of the importance of education,” Dolloso said.

For his efforts, Dolloso was named the school-wide winner of the Most Inspiring Teachers Award 2022 given by ANS General PTA and the Supreme Student Government.

Inspiring Teachers
Teacher Barry Dolloso (center) is joined by (from left), ANS Principal Nathanael Flores, Cebu City Councilor Rey Gealon, and General PTA President Nestor Ramirez.

Going beyond their duty to inspire students

It was a tough task to keep students focused on their studies, especially when classes were done online or through modules. The distractions brought about by the quarantine and restrictions added up to the difficulties that teachers had to face to keep the interest of learners.

“There were a lot of distractions. I also had personal problems. But it didn’t stop me from performing my duty as a teacher and making sure that the number of my students remain intact until the end of the school year,” said Grade 9 Match Nissy Borga.

The task was beyond the four walls of the digital classrooms. For most of the nine teachers, part of being a teacher was going to the student’s house to check why he or she was no longer joining the online class or meeting the parents to convince them that stopping the student’s education was not a wise move.

“I could not afford to have even one student drop out of my class. I had to go beyond teaching to make sure that no one was left behind,” said Grade 12 ICT teacher Joey Anne P. Binghay.

Richie, not his real name, said he would have dropped out of school and his parents have decided online class was too much of a hassle for them, financially and logistically.

“When my teacher checked on me and urged me to go on with my studies, I just realised how important education is and that I belong to not just a class but a family, with my teacher as my second parent,” Richie said.

Outstanding Teachers
The teachers sharing their experiences during the final interview.

Teacher Gerlie N. Alberio, a Grade 12 class adviser, made it a daily routine to make sure that all of her students were online when they needed to.

One time, when she noticed that one of her students had been absent on several occasions, she personally checked on the student to know what was going on. Despite the restrictions, Borga managed to get to the student’s house.

Sharing load to keep students online

“When I learned that his parents could not afford the load for the internet, I didn’t hesitate to shell out my own money just to make sure that he gets online to join my classes,” Alberio said.

It was an additional expense on her part, but Alberio said keeping that student in class online was more important. The said student finished the school year with high grades.

As technology was a key player in the education process during the pandemic, Alberio added that students should have equal access and not be deprived of learning just because they don’t have the means to do so.

Most inspiring teachers award

Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia urged the teachers to continue to excel in their chosen field and the good work they do to their students.

“May your passion carry on well and beyond just today to change the country, the world for the better, one student at a time,” Garcia said.

The eight other teachers, including Borga and Alberio were also named Most Inspiring Teachers in their respective grade levels. The grade level winners were voted upon by the students through a survey conducted by the school’s Supreme Student Government.

ANS Most Inspiring Teachers 2022
ANS Most Inspiring Teachers 2022

The winners were picked based on various criteria, including a) the teacher goes out of his/her comfort zone to advance the students’ interest and provide a rich experience to all learners who were without ‘traditional teachers’ standing beside them in classrooms, b) the teacher applies creative, innovative, non-traditional methods to address the unique needs of the students during the pandemic, c) the teacher initiates open communication with the students and parents, d) the teacher is facilitative in addressing different concerns of the students, among others.

“The award was not about the teacher’s expertise on the subject matter, her delivery of the lesson during class, or how neat and expansive the lesson plan is. It was about the amount of care and diligence of the teacher to keep the students motivated to come to school every single day,” said General PTA President Dr. Nestor Ramirez.

For his part, Cebu City Councilor Rey Gealon, who graced the awarding ceremony, said he always felt inspired to be in the presence of inspiring teachers – teaching being the noblest of professions, as it is this profession that creates all the other professions.

“Until now, I’m still at awe in the presence of my grade school teachers, reminiscing moments of struggle in those quizzes, examinations, assignments, homeworks, and projects – sweet memories that never grow old,” Gealon said.

Overall winner: Barry Dolloso
Grade level awardees: Nissy D. Borga, Ma. Karina Y. Estrada, Shaira Marie V. Reyes, Marijune I. Torreon, Gerlie N. Alberio, Joey Anne P. Binghay, Delia T. Canono, Maria Emelia S. Aragon,