SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English
CHEN_Lu “Coronavirus Influence on Educators”
The year 2020 is a special year. The pandemic of coronavirus caused unprecedented damage and confusion and throw the world into terror. Every country in the world declared an emergency on COVID-19 one after another because it has a high infection and took human lives mercilessly. People have been forced to stay at home. This unexpected situation threatened people physically and mentally. The traditional educational system, based on face-to-face classes, became impossible and educators or students have been facing with a new trial. I, myself, am one of such educators.
Coronavirus has affected educational or studying fields very much even if it was temporary. Amid the COVID-19, the point is not how we overcome coronavirus. We, educators or students, must gaze ourselves newly how we understand our professions, how we cultivate our abilities, and how we adjust ourselves to the COVID-19.
When people formulate management strategy, they analyze circumstances, outside and inside, using “SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats) analysis”. I think it’s useful for us who are facing with new “online education” system. Through our realization of our strength and weakness, threatening against the COVID-19, and opportunity which we may get, we may be able to secure the way to go hereafter. I would like to write here my impression on my standpoint in educational circumstances.
After application of online classes, employment of new teachers was reduced in universities in many countries including America and elderly teachers retired by reason that they could not cope with online classes. There were many teachers who have worried about the situation that they cannot show their abilities and knowledge which have been cultivated through their long experiences. On the other hand, young teachers, who are superior in advanced technologies like information processing despite they may not equal in their knowledge and experiences to elderly teachers, should challenge for the development of new fields of research. I took charge of scientific technological English this year and could learn the expertise of natural science which I have never touched. I could get scientific “intellect” through online educations.
Due to online classes, teachers who could not stay on the site became possible to give lessons. In science lessons, they already gave online lessons. For example, it becomes possible to give lessons to classes in overseas universities from Japan. Fluidization of knowledge will develop not only internationalization of educators but produce a merit also that brings about close cooperation with foreign countries in educational fields. There may be a demerit, but it will be important to realize it first and try to overcome it.
Since online classes are the first experience of university educators, they may be confused much. In my case also, as there was nothing to be prepared, I bought a microphone and lighting fixtures first in my class. Reconsidering traditional way of face-to-face classes, I adopted various ideas which can give student’s feelings of presence and enjoyment using real-time-video or just video. At first, I felt burdened myself more than face-to-face lessons because it took time for preparation. As I am getting used to be, however, it became efficient gradually and I am keeping my efforts trusting myself that such skills will become my new strength and growth.
Though job markets in educational fields are reducing at this moment, I think it necessary for educators to have such actual business know-how besides their learning abilities. What I can keep overseas lessons from Japan means that overseas educators or students can keep lessons in Japan reversely. In other words, borderless fluidity and competitiveness would become more severe for educational sites hereafter. We must understand such times and consciousness first. I would like to overcome such trials hereafter through such “strength” of myself.
CHEN-Lu / 2019 Raccoon, Lecturer of Waseda University, Sophia University, Meisei University
Translated by Kazuo Kawamura
English checked by Sabina Koirala