As schools across the nation struggle to adapt to the pandemic, the Superintendent of Guam’s Catholic School System shared his thoughts on their unique challenges with the Rotary Club this afternoon.
Dr. Juan Flores, superintendent of Guam’s Catholic School System, says the island’s Catholic schools have one thing in common with the business community.
And that’s making sure those they serve are getting the biggest bang for their buck.
“Even though I’m in the field of education, most of what I’ve read all my career, and especially now, is stuff that comes out of businesses. Because businesses know how to earn their business. They know how to earn their consumers. They know how to earn the profits that they’re going to make. And I know that people in education don’t like to think about it, but that’s the bottom line. Students and parents have to be served well. And if we don’t respond to that, they’re going to walk. And in the non-public schools, that’s our reality. They will not pay tuition if they feel they haven’t been served well. And earning that tuition right now, in a virtual environment is probably ten times harder than it is when we have face to face education,” Flores said.
From student safety to educational outcomes, Flores said Catholic schools must work harder to deliver on their promise of quality education within the constraints of pandemic-related restrictions.
Flores said failing to deliver will cause parents to question if the tuition they’re paying is worth it, especially with shortened instructional periods.
With traditional classroom settings and ways of quantifying performance upended, Flores says he has challenged teachers in the Catholic School System to think outside the box and focus on outcomes rather than cling to familiar techniques.
“A lot of things that just have to do with good teaching, I wrote down before I got on..you know, good distance learning..good distance teaching..is just good teaching,” Flores said.