Teachers’ Month is observed from September to October—the time of the year when students celebrate and show appreciation to their teachers. However, this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed a change on how this is observed, with classes all going online.
Thus, Ateneo Celadon, the Ateneo de Manila University’s premier Chinese-Filipino student organization, carried out a different type of celebration for teachers this year. The 600-member org managed to bring its annual Teachers’ Appreciation Week (TAW) online without losing its meaning. School administrators and teachers from all subjects were still present for the activities.
“As we had to transition online due to the pandemic, Justin and I really wanted to make sure that this year’s Teachers’ Appreciation Week would have a prominent digital presence,” said Ateneo economics major Abigail Lee, who co-headed TAW alongside management-honors major Justin Tembresa.
Letters, performances, promotions, and games
Before TAW even started, organizers called on the entire Ateneo community to write letters for their teachers.
“People were given a gform (google form) link to write their letters to, and then after we’ve gathered all the letters, we pasted the words onto a template, then we sent [them to the teachers] via email,” Tembresa said.
TAW online promotions also overflowed, from a Tiktok video (shown below, lightheartedly imitating the types of Ateneo teachers) to appreciation comics.
Teachers’ Appreciation Night (TAN), held on October 17, then culminated the week-long activities. Using Zoom Premium, organizers successfully created break out rooms where the teachers gathered in small groups to play a modified version of Jeopardy. From there, grouped into teams, the teachers raced against each other to answer as many questions as they could in a bid to win the highest points!
Message from Ateneo administrators
Prominent personalities, including Ateneo’s new school president, Fr. Roberto Yap, S.J., sent in messages for TAW.
“Thank you for loving your students enough to do all of this for them. Thank you for caring for the nation enough to do your best in educating and forming the next generation of servant leaders and stewards of creation, our common home,” Fr. Yap told all Ateneo teachers.
At the end of the day, the project’s heads shared insights. “I think TAW’s greatest legacy this year was the advocacy we brought to the table, especially at the height of online classes,” said Tembresa.
Lee added, “Though the event was held purely online, we used the power of social media to our advantage to give the professors of the Ateneo a Teachers’ Appreciation Week they’d never forget.”
The author of this article:
An accomplished young Chinese Filipino writer and media personality, Aaron S. Medina is associated with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Ateneo de Manila University Chinese Studies Program, the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies, and CHiNOY TV. He has a passion for truth, justice, and Pokémon, too! Follow him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aaron.joseph.s.medina/