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by Verónica Guzmán Pantoja

English language teacher at the Language Department


Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” At the beginning of 2020, a new virus became a pandemic. Therefore, it was matter of time for it to affect every aspect of our lives, and education was not going to be the exception. 

This text shows a teacher’s journey who had to adapt fast to a new teaching approach.


On March 13, we were told the switching was imminent. The pandemic had forced schools to provide education online. They told us about a new program to have virtual classes, and we were learning to use (students and teachers) a new Learning Management System to create activities and assess students. 

Besides, let us face it, Mexico does not have the best internet network. I had had experience teaching online, which was somehow encouraging, but it is not the same as working with a new program. We had to act fast making trials with students during the face-to-face classes to avoid problems as much as possible, so I decided to check how it worked with them. Surprise, surprise... only two students came. And that was only the beginning. 

Many concerns came to my mind: young adults are easily distracted students; not enough time to build rapport; the use of classroom games not suitable for virtual classes; the fear of not being effective when conveying new learning topics; and the list can go on. This was a huge challenge!


It was difficult at the beginning. Frustration was there because of different situations: the LMS not working well; my students’ or my Internet failing; the possibility that they might be faking a technical failure is always latent. Nonetheless, little by little, things started to flow and have continued flowing. Having all the training and support from my department has been essential. 

Occasionally, it is important to get out of your comfort zone, since this forces you but also motivates you to be creative, open to new things, willing to learn and explore beyond your limitations, and learn new skills. 

In the end, I feel confident. I was able to overcome the obstacles and fears I had. I was able to keep my students busy, but at the same time, give them time to refresh. I built rapport with my students, and I now feel close to them. It was possible to adapt some of the games and I came up with new ones that I will surely continue using. I took advantage of many resources (videos, virtual board, graphics and charts) to make my students learn the topics.

Although this experience has been challenging, frustrating, stressful and time consuming, nothing can be compared to how rewarding it has been. As Christensen (2016) infers, “Traditional teachers now have to learn new ways of approaching their teaching methodologies, and also learn new practices in order to be successful at what they do.” Having the opportunity to re-invent yourself and succeed is priceless.   


Christensen, C. (2016, June 10th).Effective Online Teaching: Obstacles And Practices. Elearning industry (Web)https://elearningindustry.com/effective-online-teaching-obstacles-practices


Kerpen, D. (2014, Feb 26).Eleven powerful Quotes to inspire your team to embrace change. Inc https://www.inc.com/dave-kerpen/11-powerful-quotes-to-inspire-your-team-to-embrace-change.html