November 7, 2016

THE HELP

Yesterday, I received a confirmation from my boss that my vacation's approved for 3 days. Happy, because I get to visit Mother and Grandma and our cats again in the province. No work for 3 days meaning no need to deal with irate customers. But it doesn't mean I can relax; my main goal why I filed for vacation is to help my Auntie with tallying up grades using Excel.

My Auntie is a teacher. She's been teaching way before I was born. I grew up with her, seeing her sleep late at night and wake up early to go to school. I grew up seeing her write grades from their class record, doing computations and lesson plans everyday. She would bring me to school with her especially when they have Christmas parties. Up until now that I'm 31, she still teaches. She loves teaching kids even though she told me so many times that she didn't plan on taking up Education.

With the fast-paced technology, government agencies- including Department of Education now sort of requires teachers to exploit it for faster and more convenient teaching tasks. Which basically means ditching the old school lesson plan notebooks and class records. Meaning my Auntie would have to learn how to use a computer.

The thing is, my dear Auntie is not that good with technology. Mind you guys, back when Nokia phones are the kings of mobile phone industry, I had to write her step-by-step instructions on Nokia's basic phone functions (turning on, placing calls, send/receive texts). I am not so sure what her issue is, but she is kind of scared of trying new things. She's too old school. Although I do understand how she feels, I always remind her that she may really need to step out of her comfort zone and try. And yes she did, as of this year, she now knows how to operate a phone. She now owns an iPhone and can play games from it. She tells me she's thankful that I taught her how to use cellphones back then. Good job, Auntie!

Now the problem she's having right now is using her laptop to class. The last time I talked to her, she told me that they have new teachers and are very computer savvy. Said she asks help from one of them with updating their lesson plans. This is the reason why every 3-4 months I go home to help her with Excel. I always show her how to do it, and it's not that hard because there's already a template that she needs to follow. What she's worried about are things like, "What if I accidentally deleted the file?" or "What do I do if I mistyped something? How am I going to delete it?" Does this mean that I need to go back to writing the instructions for her?

I am willing to do that however, at least DepEd should come up with a seminar or a basic computer class for old teachers. That would be a great help.