Teacher tales

By Sofia Aliño Logarta October 11,2017


Last Thursday, World Teacher’s Day, I saw a little boy running towards Mary Rose with a bouquet of red roses and a small card. When Mary Rose shared the card, I saw the front message: “Ms. Rose, thank you for helping me grow.”

Inside was a beautiful note: “It takes a big heart to make a little boy grow!”

The student council led the rest of the pupils of Our Lady of Joy Learning Center celebrate with gratitude the special day for teachers with singing, dancing, meaningful gifts and balloons.

Several little boys expressed apologies for being mischievous and talkative. My grade 9 students remembered to bring me what they know to be my special favorite, leche flan. These brought back a lot of memories from teaching experiences.

Teachers have been taught to encourage students to ask questions.

In my first year of teaching, St. Theresa’s College was having accreditation.

While I was being observed in science class, Rosanne spontaneously asked: “Why do the Eskimos keep warm by staying inside an igloo, made of ice?” While introducing the ecological problem in our first year in UP, Rene asked: “Why should there be a problem when nature always knows how to bring balance within itself?” Jose Raymond always had many questions and it was at every class session.

These experiences made me accept that I do not have all the answers; that perhaps my role was to provide them with leading questions. And I also teach values by asking questions instead of giving way to anger and scolding.

When students are rude or unkind to their classmates, I ask: Have I ever treated you that way?

Because of this often-used question, I try to behave with respect. Often, I ask, where did you learn that, remember the early Filipinos respected all living things even empty spaces.

In Theories of Learning with Dr. Esperanza Abrajano because of a report she asked me to do on Thorndike, I learned the value of positive experiences. Later I realized how very important it is to provide students with winning experiences.

So whenever I coach a student when they join competitions, I try to use what I have learned to help them win. So I shared with Florita organizing tools when she was our contestant for the contest on the life of Don Sergio Osmeña.

From the very beginning I remind our contestant that schools send their best bet so one helps students with suggestions from all that you have read and experienced to bring a unique twist in their presentation; this I did with Jasmine and Frederick. Moral support is crucial, so I always ask if a parent or guardian can be there for the competition. If not then I have to make a point to be there.

Because of this, I was confident that Nancy would win in the Post Office contest because she was the only one with moral support.

Fr. Carmelo Caluag declared that teachers need to love their students so that they reach excellence. Maybe this is something we have to do every day, not only for competitions, and in very creative ways.
Teaching teaches courage, because one never knows when you will be called upon to start something new.

When the principal asked me to manage the students’ tea parties, I attempted to get out of the assignment by asking for a postponement like making these culminating activities for the end of the year.

This was my second year of teaching and I had never hosted a party myself. It helped to remember that students may have the skills which you do not have. So Lita led her classmates in having an enjoyable, successful tea party.

Now I ask students to do the modern technology activities which help them for social studies class to enhance book learning and classroom learning.

After enjoying providing the class extra learning by referring to a computer, Clarence always volunteered to do everything involving gadgets. Being the teacher who managed the Youth Countryside Action Program since it required bringing students out of the school was quite demanding but welcomed because of the appreciation that a lot of learning does occur within the communities where there is actual contact with social realities.

The educational process can actually be exciting and fun. It is helpful to break the usual pattern of activities by bringing students to a garbage dump, or asking them to spend some time with farmers or fisher folk or experience time in a slaughterhouse. I enjoyed grade 10’s presentation of a mini peace concert after they had searched for touching peace songs and then rehearsing them.

Last year the students of contemporary issues actually bravely visited the places in Cebu to do research on political dynasties.

Prayer had always been with me for my teaching activities.

For a periodical test I asked by students to prepare a menu for adolescents that would respond to their needs: in relation to their growth stage and the nature of their activities.

Groups were assigned to breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Those in charge of lunch were reminded that the menu was for a meal to be brought to school.

I earnestly prayed that this group would send an affectionate note with the food. Without being told, Francis did just that — prepared a loving note to go with the meal.

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