SHS-HDJ Senior High Leisure Activity: Reconnecting with others amidst E-learning in the Pandemic

SDC talk 1

     

     The COVID-19 Pandemic has placed a lot of us in unfamiliar situations that we had to navigate for ourselves. For the education sector, adapting the online learning mode was met both with advantages and challenges. Apart from the technicalities of e-learning that everyone is still trying to fully grasp, teaching and learning in the confines of our home also meant having limited means of easy communication with colleagues and schoolmates, which may make us feel like we are alone in our deadlines, burnouts, and other battles. We get caught up with the amount of tasks at home or for school that we forget to afford ourselves with the needed breaks we deserve.

     To fill that gap, and in recognition, prevention, and overcoming of possible burnouts among teachers and students alike, the Senior High School department of Sacred Heart School - Hijas de Jesus, through the Student Development Center, conducted a “Leisure Activity” for the Grade 11 and 12 students last March 19, 2021.

    The Leisure Activity was facilitated by the Senior High SDC Facilitator, Grade Level Advisers, and Senior High faculty, who also participated in the activities for the Grade 11 and 12 students. The event was conducted by Grade Level through the Zoom platform. The event was opened with physical activities (like eyeball yoga) to energize the Senior High Family, and was followed by two major activities: a batch game and a breakout session.

SDC talk 2   

     The batch game consisted of “Would You Rather” questions shared on screen, where students and teachers were asked to add their names under their preferred choice by using the “Annotate” tool in Zoom. This simple activity allowed the Senior High family to get to know each other more, while also enjoying everyone’s creativity and company as they added their names on screen.

    In the breakout session, participants were divided into groups, each consisting of students and a teacher, who facilitated (and also participated) in the session. With a shared Google Slides presentation to serve as a guide, the students, teachers, and facilitators were able to interact at a more in-depth level by sharing answers to questions that included how they are, who they wish to be in a few years, and what were their hopes at the end of the school year.

    This part of the activity gave an avenue for students to share how they have been doing especially in the context of online learning, and for teachers to understand and connect with the students outside the usual virtual classroom setting. Some insights shared during the session included how much time and energy e-learning demands from both students and teachers, how some are doing their best to stay happy and afloat despite the amount of school works, how much they wish to physically see and be with each other again, and their hopes for achieving their dream careers and aspirations in the future.

    The sharing in the breakout sessions paved the way for more discussions and emphasis on empathetic teaching, regular check-ins on students and fellow teachers, and -- whether a student or a teacher -- initiating more alternative ways for companionship as a reminder that no one is in solitude.

     Seeing the students actively engage and connect with each other in the activities, and listening to their insightful sharing has shown us how much impact can activities such as this bring. This would not have been possible without the support and coordination of the Senior High Assistant Principal, SDC Facilitator, and respective Grade Level Advisers for helping the event become fully realized.

   The Senior High Faculty joining the activities and effectively facilitating the group sessions to make students feel that they are listened to were also very instrumental. May this activity pave the way for more initiatives and strategies to keep ourselves connected with each other. In this time of pandemic, this may be what is most needed to keep everyone going.