Martes, Hulyo 14, 2015

First day High

Today, I started another chapter in my teaching career. It feels surreal to be in this moment. I feel like I have grown a lot- my perspectives and worldview changed. Being able to be a witness to the growth of young people brings in a different sense of achievement and pride as a teacher. It feels like everything that I poured out is now coming back to me doubled, even tripled.

Take for example this student Mac. He was one of those students who had a very hard time during the school year. I fondly remember him not being able to finish a sentence when I asked him to introduce himself in front of everybody. But a while ago, to my surprise, he was able to introduce himself not just properly but with full confidence.

That moment made me realize why I was here. It reminded me that my job is more than just standing in front, delivering lessons and checking papers. It reminded me that I am here to help my kids (okay, I’m calling them “my kids” now) discover that they can be better, that growth is possible and that believing in themselves is the first step in creating the change they want to happen.

This day also made me realize how lucky I am to be in a community of passionate people. There were a lot of doubts, there were a lot of questions and we did not run short of “lack” be it in the materials and the preparation. But amazingly we were able to pull this day off. Were it not for a team who were willing to run to and fro, were it not for a group of people willing to push through with the show despite all the challenges, were it not for people willing to offer a helping hand without pointing fingers, I do not think that this day would have ended successfully. It does take a group of passionate people willing to reach the goal despite the odds to pull off a day like this.

More than my own team, I am invigorated by the facebook posts I see from other learning facilitators in various sites. I did see that they too had a lot of challenges ranging from lack of materials to lack of facilities, tables and chairs included (Team Tondo and Sisa, I have to give it to you). I can do nothing but feel at awe at how these people are able to look pass through all these and still put up an amazing first day. I guess it only reflects the kind of concern and the kind of commitment that these teachers have to their students. It’s beyond amazing. It is definitely inspiring. Seeing all those reminds me that I am part of a bigger team who has one goal in mind and that is to bring the education that these kids deserve.

I guess it makes sense now what that trainer said during the General Assembly. “Oo,napapagod kami. Pero ano bang gusto mo? Mapagod ka nang malungkot o mapagod ka nang masaya?” (Thank you HR again for that amazing training.)

I cannot help but feel blessed. All of you, every one of you inspire me.


Sabado, Hulyo 04, 2015

A Part of Something Big

"Be part of something greater than yourself."

That was the challenge given to us by the speakers during the last day of the APEC Schools General Assembly. It was a challenge that, I feel, my colleagues and I have already taken after being part of the APEC teaching community. However, for the newbies this is definitely something new.

I remember the fears I had going blindly into the venture. Honestly, I did not know what to expect. All I know was that I wanted to teach and by coincidence or by fate's decision, I stumbled upon APEC Schools. At first it was very taxing. The daily commute from Quezon City to Manila, where the training was, was draining and stressful. I had my share of thinking whether or not I will continue or just go back to my previous job. But as the days went on there were a lot of new and interesting things that got my attention and made me decide to stay. 

Fast forward eleven months and here we are, starting another school year. and from around sixty people inside a classroom we have grown to more than a hundred. The growth is overwhelming but one cannot deny that being part of something that have grown from a simple dream to reality can leave a lasting mark on one's being.

Seeing all those new faces mingling with the familiar ones makes me realize how people can be united by a single vision. I definitely felt a miasma of passion and excitement. Finally, I can feel that I was part of something great and that I was part of something bigger than myself.

Huwebes, Hulyo 02, 2015

Biyernes, Hunyo 12, 2015

10 things I learned after a year of teaching in APEC schools

Exactly one year ago, I had the opportunity to be part of a chain of schools which promises quality education to private school students minus the skyrocketing fees most private schools offer nowadays. This is a start-up by Ayala Corporation, one of the biggest business conglomerates in the country and Pearson, the world’s leading educational company.

Having been part of one of Ayala Foundation’s programs in the past, I knew that Ayala is involved in educational ventures such as Centex, Text2Teach and others. This is the first time though that Ayala is venturing into Secondary Education and I was nothing but curious on how this will turn out for the company.

July 2014 marked the launch of over 12 private high schools around Metro Manila and along with it is the start of a year long journey with a unique model of educating the Filipino youth. I could say that I learned a lot of new things as I journeyed through the school year. Some of them are new and some are good reiterations of basic principles that teachers already know but seem to forget.

Miyerkules, Hunyo 10, 2015

The Dream Catcher

I have  a dream
I am a dreamer
Today I am one step closer
Everyday is a chance to do better
Everyday is a chance to dream bigger
I believe in myself
And in the great things I can do
I'll keep dreaming, keep going
Keep fighting, keep climbing
My dreams do matter
I'll keep my eyes on the goal
I'll never back down, never falter
I'm sure I will see it through
My journey is long
It will never be easy
But reward comes to those who believe deeply
If I fail, I'll rise up and stand tall
Life is measured by how many times you get up
Every time you fall
I'll chase my heart's desire
Find my niche, find my fire
I will fulfill my mission
Set the world afire
No task is too big
No goal is too small
With hardwork and grit
I can conquer all
To always try always
Is what I need to do
I'll do what I can 
To make my dreams come true

Martes, Hunyo 09, 2015

Bumping into an Old Friend

I was walking along Tandang Sora on my way home to Visayas Avenue when a girl suddenly called my name. I did not expect to see a highschool and college batchmate strolling around the area. We had a quick little chat and I found out that she lives near where I live. Today was full of surprises really.