Hey everyone! It’s been a while since my last blog post. I had a hard time to manage my time wisely since we did a lot of work and school related stuff in preparation for the first virtual semester in Cavite State University *cries*. In case you are new in my blog, I am Sir Cy and I am a language and literature instructor. Going back to the stories about semester, we started last September 07. It has been three weeks and I noticed that most of my students are struggling to cope up with this remote set-up in education.

With that, I knew that I had to do something to help these kids. That is why for today’s blog, I would like to share some tips that hopefully might help you to have a good and smooth transition this semester.

The first tip that I want to give is that you should maintain your daily routine. Meaning, you have to stick on what you normally do in the morning when you prepare for your classes even before the lockdown started. Whether you fix your bed, you brush your teeth, you make your coffee, and cook something for breakfast or even you do a quick morning workout; you have to stick to it.

These things could give you some sort of motivation to keep things going just like before the pandemic and it will make you feel that it is just a normal day. The only difference is, you know that still, there is a virus lurking outside. It is important to start your day right with a lot of positivity to maintain your sanity as well.

Next is you have to create your own personal space. In my experience, before I usually attend online classes in bed and it makes me sleepier and lazy to listen to the discussions, that is why it is important as well to look or create a space where you can attend your classes and be productive.

If you do not have means to provide a study table, it is okay. You can study anywhere inside your house, but you have to make sure that that space should not affect you while you study. My point here is if you have your own personal space it makes you more productive and it can retain your focus while listening to your lectures rather than being distracted.

Since I mentioned distractions, my third tip is as much as possible, avoid or eliminate distractions. I know most of you are using smartphones to attend your online class, therefore, I advise you to turn off the notifications for your social media apps and most especially, avoid Netflix, Spotify and Mobile Legends! You can also try to set time limits for these apps to lessen screen time.

Imagine yourself attending face-to-face classes, smartphones are not allowed during discussions right? If you have broken this rule before, then you have to do something to redefine this bad habit of yours. I know it’s tempting, but you have to keep in mind that you have to study. There’s nothing wrong for giving a little bit of sacrifice. Konting tiis lang.

As for your friends, you have to inform them as well about your class schedule to avoid sending messages while attending your classes and for them to give you some time to study.

We also mentioned class schedule therefore, my fourth tip is for you to schedule and manage your time. Maybe most of you are not into planners (though planners are really helpful), so you can stick on your calendar app in your smartphones or use the sticky notes on your laptop to keep track of your pending tasks. You can also try using “Class Up”, it is a mobile application where you can manage your classes, organize notes and track your tasks (I am using this one actually; together with my planner.

If these are still not convenient to you, you can simply put your pending tasks on a small notebook or note pad and put it in your personal study space. With a well-planned schedule, you can do a lot of things after you study like watering your plants, feeding your dogs, binge-watch your favorite Netflix series or even play Mobile Legends!

Next, to avoid procrastination, always submit your online tasks early! In my case as an MA student, there are a lot of tasks that needs a lot of readings and research. If I have the time and means to work on my tasks early, I took it! Even before, my high school friends can attest this habit of mine. I hate late submissions!

As a teacher, it is my responsibility to recalibrate your mindset that it is best to submit your tasks days before the deadline because if you did not, definitely you will feel a lot of pressure and there is a possibility that you cannot produce a quality-wise output where it could lead to low scores and I know you do not want that to happen.

Speaking of online tasks, it is imperative to secure or at least have an extra copy of your tasks. Whether in a form of a hard drive, or flash drive; or even sending your tasks to your personal email. This might sound unusual, but as Filipinos, we normally send some of our important files in our personal Messenger account. Guilty? I am guilty! Hahaha!

This is because there were cases that your professors might accidentally delete your file or misplaced it in their laptops so they might ask you to submit your output again. It happened to me before, but you have to keep in mind to avoid blaming your professors if this incident happens. They are adjusting as well. Be patient enough as they are being patient with you as well.

Since most of the classes at this time are conducted thru online, and speaking of having enough resources, it is necessary to inform your professors about everything that might go wrong once you started attending online classes. Whether it is about your internet connection, the gadgets that you are using, the learning platform you preferred, you might miss your class, you have inform them ahead of time.

With that, your professor could create and offer other teaching alternatives to accommodate your needs like lectures thru a phone call, or simply sending the modules thru email so that, you can still feel that you are not left behind with the rest of your classmates.

There are a lot of online platforms where online classes take place like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Discord. If you attend your online synchronous sessions, make sure to mute yourself if you are in a noisy environment. You can also inform your family members ahead of time that you will attend your classes to avoid hearing irrelevant and inappropriate private conversations in case you accidentally forgot to mute yourself.

Keep in mind that there are maybe 30 to 40 students who attend the same class as you, so you have to be considerate with your classmates as well. And for you to focus on what your professor is saying, you could use the “speaker view” so your attention stays put and you are not distracted.

For my next tip, since our country is known as the texting nation in the world, staying in touch with your classmates is very common, yet imperative especially during this remote set-up in learning. You can reach out with them whenever you want to and you can ask for some help if you are having a hard time listening and understanding the lectures of your professor.

Having some sort of support system is very important since we study and learn on our own. Also your classmates or your inner circle of friends can motivate and help you as well if you have tons of tasks. But before you misinterpret this tip, you have to remember that helping someone is different from copying the work of your friends. Keep that in mind! Or you will end up receiving a failing grade at the end of the semester!

For my tenth and last tip, please take care of yourself! Some teenagers tend to be stubborn, but if you are not 21 and above, please listen to your parents; DO NOT GO OUTSIDE! I know this crisis makes us feel alone or bored, but do not risk yourself and your health just because you miss hanging out with your friends!

Moreover, I know as Filipinos we really value education, but right now, health should be your top priority above anything else, because if you are sick, you cannot study and perform or submit these tasks. I know the requirements might call for a lot of time to study, but do not forget that you are human. Breathe! Loosen up! Cheer up! You can do this! I know you can and you will!

To anyone who is reading this blog, I hope you are all safe with your loved ones. In case you are not with your family right now (like me), I hope you are in a safe space, keeping your sanity alive and yourself safe! I hope this blog helps! Sir Cy loves you!

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Published by Cyrel Rodriguez

Sir Cy is a full-time college instructor at Cavite State University-Indang Campus.

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