MARIO C. LOZADA JR. | ROSELLIE R. TEMANEL | DALLA ROSE B. LOZADA
This qualitative phenomenological study investigated the experiences of para-teachers in which the purpose was to explore the lived experiences of parents and guardians termed as para-teachers who are serving as learning facilitators of their kindergarten learners in a home-based instruction platform. The study provided an avenue for para-teachers to express their insights and perceptions of their experiences and realizations while performing the duty of an instructional organizer. Data were gathered using in-depth interview and FGD. These research participants were selected using the purposive sampling technique for the researchers to be easily adapted to the experiences of the participants and to facilitate the gathering of information. Through thematic analysis, results showed that para-teachers’ lived experiences can be categorized into three themes, namely; blended expressions which describes their perceptions about the platform, language gap and pedagogical challenges which pronounce their difficulty in understanding the mother tongue as medium of the modules and their struggles in employing varied teaching strategies, respectively and as well as bridging the digital divide since some of them are digitally illiterate. The study further revealed that para-teachers realized about the embrace of the new normal system of education or else, their children will not get formal education amid the pandemic; digital technology differences that they seek for digital capacitation to bridge the gap between them and their Gen Z learners; and the need for significant other to ensure quality time and instruction with their children through the tutors. This study just confirmed what has been identified or recognized as the limitations of home-based instruction. Hence, it is recommended that the school management should address para-teachers’ struggles upon navigating the new normal platform without mentioning the instructional innovations necessary to assist them in their plight. They should also be provided with sufficient training to bridge this educational paradigm shift.