By humanizing students, we create humanized teachers.

Laura Hernandez
May 17, 2020 · 4 min read

As we all may know, covid-19 is a disease that took us all by surprise, universities, students, every kind of professional, the government and several institutions not only in Colombia but in the whole world. This pandemic started in Wuhan, China and spread quickly to all the world.

In order to stop the spreading and to avoid gigantic numbers of contagious and deaths, quarantine has become mandatory in almost each country of the world. Then as students we move to remote learning, that is to say, we were force, obviously to ensure our health, to end our semester in a virtual way.

Considering that our university obviously, did not have time to plan a successfully way to move to remote learning, it has become a really difficult process. As students we do not have enough time to be with our families, some teachers are filling us up with a lot of work to do, some classes are not being dictated, some teachers are not explaining the workshops and some others are just trying to accommodate to virtual environments, it has not been easy to any of us. Students are suffering depression and academic stress because if it is not enough the stress of having the fear of dying following you in every single step you take, you do not have time to think about it, our schools and universities are filling us up with homework in dehumanized way, we are in front of a computer twelve or fifteen hours per day, we do not have enough time to learn, that is an irony, we spend more time studying than on campus classes but we are so full of stress and work, that we do not have the time to internalize and process the knowledge of each task, we just do everything by inertia.

But there are not just bad things about this pandemic and all the situation surrounding it. The class of methods and approaches with Professor Raul Mora, that adapt himself and teaching practice very well to this method of learning, was one of the classes that really engaged students and that more than making us feel as students, empowered us as teachers. I want to talk about how this teacher really taught us how to be teachers, but not always in a direct way, that is to say, he was our teacher and we were his students, but as students he humanized us at the point, that we learnt how to treat our students, how to lead our classes not only with the intention to become friends with the other, but with the intention of making the classroom a space where confidence, respect and reciprocity are the main characteristics, a space where students are active participants of the learning process. During this pandemic Dr. Mora took all the time to think about every situation that could have happened during virtual learning, he took the time to get in touch with students even if they did not have the required access to internet, he took the time to record the classes and to give an excellent feedback to every workshop, he took the time to ask about our feelings during this situation and he took those feelings into account, he brought new ways to teach through a screen, he invited his friends to classes in order to motivate us to learn and to give us different points of view about the topics, and every one of us noticed all the effort he put in every class and I wanted to use this space to really thank the professor Mora for his dedication.

Thanks to you, professor Mora because even if you did not notice it, you taught us how to put ourselves in front of a class, not just to teach a topic, but to recognize our students as an important part of every process of learning, you taught us that a lot of things matter when you talk about learning, that it does matter how the students link their classes, their feelings and their fears and how they overcome them. You taught us how to make the students think about their role and their process in order to empower them and to really engage them of what they are learning. You have seen us as humans more than students and that is the key, that now, several of us will know the importance of knowing that we are teaching to humans, that behind every class there are persons that will need us not just as teachers. And I think that one of your major achievements with this class was to create humanized teachers.

I am really thankful to you, because during this pandemic, you made us feel as humans, even if you did not have the time enough to plan your classes, you really taught us a lot of things. I am really thankful to you because your classes gave us calm during this hard moment and this class was one of the few classes, that gave us lessons that will keep with us for the rest of our lives.

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Commentaries about English education by students in the…