Got to Blog it: The Wor(l)d at My Fingertips

Hello World and the Cyber Space!

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Every now and then, there’s the urge in me to write my thoughts and opinions on the things happening around me. Not to the extent that I would bash or post hate status, I just simply got this strong feeling to say or write, or in any way possible, express my appreciation, concerns, or reflections on my experiences and those of others as I perceive them.

Anyway, this is not my first blog nor my first sign-up on a social networking sites. I had my Friendster account and blog posts back then when it’s the most popular site for meeting friends online. When it’s time to shift to Facebook and Twitter, I signed up and started to post, share, and tweet (check out my Facebook account, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram). After all, this is 21st century – the Facebook generation, the era of social media, the digital age – when everyone’s checking in, posting updates, and screaming their thoughts and feelings all over the web! Lol.

I just felt I’ve got to blog.  Why? Read on.

  • Initially, it’s to express my thoughts which I could not contain on my cranium. When there’s something my mind is puzzling over and there’s no one I could talk to, I automatically grab a pen and pencil and write or even draw my deepest thoughts. The loose papers are over my personal boxes up to now. And my diaries in high school are still preserved. Those are my thoughts anyway and it’s always a fulfilling journey to go back to my teeny bitsy moments and to realize how matured I have become through the years. However, blogging would be the modern way to do this as this could be read by all people – whether involved or not – who could react to any blog I post. This isn’t private journal anymore and that marks the difference. But, as everyone and everything changes, I can’t be left behind. Therefore, I’m embracing this innovation and putting the “wor(l)d at my fingertips”.
  • One good purpose of this blog is to share the best of my experiences and interests as an educator and a lifelong student. As I traverse this path towards being an educator, I’ve encountered tough times, succeeded (and failed) to achieve my goals, and got stuck on crossroads on whether to go or retreat. Many times over I’ve also loved and experienced being loved by my students. This is the bliss of being a teacher which I hope to share through this small space. This also explains why I put the title “TO TEACH IS TO LOVE” on this blog…(I’d write another one for this soon).
  • Another compelling motive behind this blog is having the space to enhance my writing skill. I believe I am a writer. Not just only for lessons plans and quizzes and anything technical like theses. I was a writer way back in high school but failed to hone it in college because of various reasons (but I don’t regret it as I’d done theater anyway). And now, I’d like to juggle into words again to weave stories and to share creative write-ups to the world especially to my students. This would be my escape from the very technical things that I do as a teacher. 😉

Blogging is everywhere – empowering writers and making way for web diaries, travel blogs, and everything-under-the-sun creative outputs. I hope to contribute and to inspire readers through my posts. Feel free to read and comment as well as share your experiences, too.

Thank you and welcome to my blog!

My Journey as a Teacher

In February 2010, my professor in ELT 504 Teaching English as a Second Language asked us to write our journey as a teacher. I was in my second year of teaching when I wrote this:

My choice of being a teacher was influenced by my family’s financial condition and by my high school teacher’s advice. As a working student and a scholar, I could not choose what I really wanted to be because of financial constraints. After four years of hard work and perseverance, I finished my degree with flying colors.

It has been two years now since I graduated from college. I learned so much, experienced so much, and survived my two years as a teacher. Being a teacher is not only a laborious work but also a frustrating one. In my first year of teaching, not only once I have experienced to be dispirited, defeated, and super tired. I have failed so many times in achieving my teaching objectives and have complained a thousand times because I was given subjects and grade level not in line with my area of specialization but I believe that these failures have challenged me to become better in my craft. For all these, I really thank God for giving me unlimited opportunities to learn and to improve myself as a teacher and as a person.

Though my first year of teaching was a really a struggle – proving my self-worth, overcoming financial crisis, locating myself in the field of teaching, it is so nice to feel that special people who have always been there through the years have never left me on the way. They proved to be real friends and guided me on my undertakings.

On these undertakings, I also bumped into people who showed respect, care and love to me. It is a pleasure that I have become a teacher and friend to these special people whom I called my students. Most especially, I have met true friends from the students who shared theatre experience with me.

Before I worked on my second year of teaching, I decided to take up my master’s degree to improve my knowledge and skills as a teacher. The new place and experience offers me thrill and deepens my understanding and acceptance of my profession. Though I have become a lot busier, I enjoy my studies and get the most out of the things I learn. As I finished my second year of teaching, I could say that I extended my love and patience more to my students and fought the challenges along the way more bravely.  

I believe that God has put me in this field not just because it was my last resort but because He wants me to do something especially for the young people who would be the forerunners of the next generation.

I even put a graph visualizing how my first two years of teaching went. I wonder how many things changed since I wrote this reflection. I’d like to write another one may be in my 15th year of teaching (I just started my 13th year of teaching this week). But for now, I think the greatest change was I like teaching better when I was in my 2nd year of teaching. And as I reflect on the things happening to me as a teacher in this blog, I realize that I’d come to love this profession so much through the years.

It’s really nice to have time to reflect on things like this, teachers! I hope you find some time to make essays like this as we grow in our profession. Thank you for reading this blog.

Reflection on LDM 2

Deped Philippines Facebook page posted the link on the end-of-the-course evaluation on August 6, 2021. I only had the time to answer the survey this morning. So I am reminded of my reflection on the Learning Delivery Modalities Course we took before the school year started one year ago. It was actually a year-long course as we learned the learning modalities during the first year of remote learning. Thus, the course portfolio was accomplished and submitted during the last week of June, almost at the end of the school year.

As part of the portfolio, here is my answer to the question: Do you feel that this collection of work really reflects your abilities and what you have achieved this year through the LDM course? Why or why not?

With the pandemic looming over the country for one and a half years, the Department of Education adopted the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan that allows schools to choose from the varied learning modalities based on the availability of resources, quarantine classification, and level of readiness of the school and municipality. For this school year, Castañas National High School chose to implement the learning continuity plan using the printed modular learning. Hence, the resources for the production of modules, the capabilities of the parents to guide the students at home, the leadership of the principal to coordinate with all the tasks demanded by the new normal were all considered and maximized.

The ultimate goal of providing quality education to the main clienteles of education, who are the students, drives the teachers and administrators to give their best despite the difficulties of the time. Thus, a course about learning delivery modalities among school heads and teachers is essential to make the necessary adjustments to the situation that changes the whole education system. This significant learning prepared us mentally, emotionally, and physically as we continue to find ways to bring education to the students during this difficult time.

The learnings we have at the beginning of the course were our tools in executing the learning delivery modality that our school collectively chose to better serve our students. As the situation prohibits students to come to school for hands-on activities, teachers through this LDM course learned to design lessons and activities that allow students to maximize learning within the safety of their home and community. Step-by-step, teachers are making changes to their strategies and making learning decisions carefully as reflected in the activities in the weekly learning plan.

This portfolio highlights the activities I have done as a teacher during this school year. Significantly, this collection is a testament to all the adjustments made this school year to bring learning to our students amidst this pandemic. A piece of work such as this compendium is also a reflection of the abilities I have as a teacher. As I consider this school year a major twist in my teaching career, I also think that this school year brings a fresh perspective on the way students learn and the strategies we should try in teaching them. The “new normal” education has been forced by the pandemic, but with the flexibility and ingenuity of teachers, this shift only teaches us to adapt and adopt varied approaches to teaching and learning.

Since the learning modality course intends to teach us strategies in remote teaching and learning in the sudden shift last school year, this course is still useful this coming school year. The end to this pandemic despite the vaccine rollout is still not in sight. And the government still does not allow any face-to-face classes to protect the students and teachers. Together, we will brave another year of distance learning. So help us God and make us safe.

Love then Teach

I just found out today about this tagged post of my sister who is also a teacher. We both reacted to a post by Ms. Christine Crame on March 5, 2019.

This is exactly what I believe in as a teacher. And the title of this teaching blog shows this philosophy. I’m just happy to know that my sister also believes in this. So here it what she said:

I wish that all teachers know the importance of showing love to students before teaching them. In my journey as a teacher, I also wish that I show my love and support to my students in the best ways possible.

Plus Factor: Project THRIVE

Hello teachers!

In March 2021, I was asked by my friend, Shiela Niña Rea-Santes of Lutucan National High School, to talk about Objective 12 or the Plus Factor of the RMPS – PPST in the time of Covid 19. This video was uploaded in the Google Classroom of the Project THRIVE for the Senior High School Teachers. This project aims to explain the indicators of the adjusted RPMS – PPST which will be used only during the pandemic.

It was my privilege to participate in this endeavor along with respectable speakers from the Department of Education, not only in Region IV-A, but from other regions as well. This was an opportunity to connect with colleagues and friends in the profession. Also, the objective of the project is similar to what I do as a teacher here in my blog, that is reflecting on things that I do as a teacher. As mentioned by the proponent, the idea of this project also came after reading “reflections” of her colleagues about the RPMS – PPST during the nationwide rollout of the RPMS – PPST in the time of COVID19. Then, after watching the videos from different speakers, they also wrote their insights and learnings.

Reading these comments made me happy because I have contributed something to this project. Here are some of the reflections that the teachers realized after watching this video:

I’m quite overwhelmed reading these statements of gratitude for this simple contribution. I’d like to thank these people for taking in the ideas and insights from my talk positively. Together with all the teachers carrying the torch for quality education, we thrive to excel in this teaching profession for the greater glory of God!

Thank you for reading this blog!

Hanbin’s Waterfall

I chose to sleep early last night because I was too sleepy. I said I would just watch the intro film of Waterfall early morning since I already stayed up late for the track list the other night. So at 3am, I opened my messages and saw the link of the intro film from two hard-core fans, my friend Jusa and my sister Dulce. I could just watch it on the phone so I opened my laptop to marvel at its beauty in a bigger screen.

But boi, after watching the Waterfall Intro Film, I was stunned. I was left speechless. The raw emotions of the KIM HANBIN were bared into the open. I felt the heartbreak and devastation I felt on June 12, 2019 when it all happened. How much more devastating did B.I feel? He relived those moments in more than one minute film. He was there with all his pains, grief, frustration and he dared tell us the story of his suffering and healing during the last two years.

I cried as I remember his photo at the parking lot when leaving Y/G on June 12, 2019. It was passed around on Twitter but I cannot find it now. Another memories that made me cry were the photos of his gaunt face during the questioning at the police station around September 2019. It was the first time he was photographed after the incident. Like a true fan, I remember I wrote essays every day just to express my sadness over his departure from iKON.

And now that he’s coming back, all the emotions I felt for the last two years of waiting were incomparable to what he went through. I am only seeing a portion of his raw emotions through the intro film (which I only played once because it’s scary and triggering). I have ten more track films to watch throughout his schedule of release of his first solo album.

Thank you for coming back Hanbin and baring your experiences and realizations through your “Waterfall” album. I guess you owe us some cute tiktok video so we can be happy today. 😉

Trigger Warning: Don’t watch if you can’t handle your emotions.

Calendar of Activities for Waterfall Album

My IG post on June 12, 2019

Quarantine at Holy Week

I can’t imagine it has been a year since we’ve been locked in our homes because of the surge of COVID19 cases in the country. I thought the vaccine who’s dubbed as the savior would be rolled out efficiently to the citizens especially the health care workers so progress of the situation would be visible. But I was wrong. Here we are, quarantined during the Holy Week, again, this year.

How’s teaching in the New Normal?

Six weeks after the opening of the school year on October 5, I was asked by my aunt (who’s also a former teacher), “How’s school”? I could only reply, “fine, but not exciting.”

I could only ponder on what I’ve responded to her right now. Why is it not exciting? What’s lacking? Why do we feel tired yet unfulfilled?

HUMAN INTERACTIONS. This is the very phrase I can think of what’s missing that makes teaching in the new normal boring. In our school, we use printed modular distance learning as the learning modality. Every Monday, parents get the self-learning modules and activity sheets and submit the answer sheets the following Monday as well as get another set for the week. This goes on for six weeks now. And we’re kinda busy in the reproduction of modules but yet we are not excited to come to school because there are no kids, no boisterous teenagers in the hallways, no students to talk to and teach.

Of course, content and skills can be learned anywhere outside the classroom that’s why these learning modalities become the option to stop the contagion of the disease, the COVID19. But this pandemic steals one of the highlights of a teaching scenario – the interaction between teachers and students. This interaction is very important in developing social skills, self-confidence and attitudes. And as a teacher, this is what excites me, inspires me, and fulfills me.

Though we are in this situation right now, we can only make the best out of it. Sending messages through messenger apps once a week can at least make my students feel that they are assisted in their modules. When they ask questions during our class “technical assistance” schedule via messenger app, I try to make them feel that their queries and complaints are valid. I also entertain some students who ask questions or give comments even after our schedules. We have group chats but some send me private messages because they are shy to broadcast their questions to the whole class. This is how we interact now. Virtually. In distance.

I miss the chaos, the chatter, and the noise the classroom interaction brings to my life as a teacher. And though I cannot see my students physically, I am praying for their safety and good health. I fervently pray that this pandemic ends so we can interact once again without restrictions.

Thank you for reading this blog!

P.S. Follow me on my teaching journey in Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/toteachistolove.ph/?hl=en

On Finding Love

In celebration of our sixth anniversary as boyfriend and girlfriend today (January 18), I would like to share my journal on October 17, 2013 on finding love and believing it would come at the right place and at the right time. For all you know, I did not have official relationships before my husband came to my life. But I have learned many things before I met him “again” since he was my batch mate in high school. The ultimate one was LOVING MYSELF EVEN MORE. My family and friends who have known me for years noticed my transformation during this time when I started to love myself more. Since then, I have learned to give attention to my needs and prioritize my inner happiness.

Happy Anniversary my love. Thank you that I have found love in you at the right time and at the right place.

At my age which I really think is a very late blooming of my feminine side and the becoming of my womanhood, the attention and love I deserve might be a very blurred opportunity since every guy I knew and would love to know is either married or attached to someone else. But because I believe that the destiny and love are just around the corner, I would still hope, yearn, and meet guys so that I would discern and let my heart love once again. The failed love, the missed love, the denied love, the love I never entertained, these all gave me the idea of love so blurred that I could not open my heart, that I could not give my all in loving someone from the opposite sex, that I find it hard to let myself fall and be swayed to the promises of being loved, being taken care of, being attached to someone else, being fooled by simple sweet nothings, believing that I am loved.

Today, I was asked by my students if I have fallen in love, and I said “I have been in love with my life. I don’t have “pusong bato”. But I also realized I really haven’t let myself lost in love, be foolishly in love, be swayed and be HURT. Why? Because in the previous years, I got so busy with my life, with working, with “killing” myself, with denying myself of pleasure and being carefree, with holding my reputation as an intelligent person, with giving myself a hard time, not rest at all, work and no play (huhuhu)! I am not regretting all my hard work but I regret giving myself no time to be linked with someone else I like, be swayed to the sugar-coated promises of love. Now that I am at the best time of my singlehood, I get so involved with how to develop myself, my personality, my body, my perspective, my view of love and of opposite sex. This, I believe, needs my attention, my time, and understanding from my friends and family. The steps to take are hard and tedious but I could not step ahead within the moment. I would not move forward in this aspect of my life if I would not give it attention. The time is really NOW.

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After the printing press schedule, we met at Jolibee around 10 in the evening. That night, I responded, “pwede ah” to his question “kung puwedeng maging tayo.” HAHAHAHA

On False Dilemma

When we offer only two options, “either-or”, among many other possible choices or consequences, we commit a “false dilemma”. When we coerce that the possible action and reaction of the person might only be one of the two options we present, we do not just commit false dilemma (or sometimes called false dichotomy) but also threatens the person and his freedom to think and to act. When a person of authority does these all at once, he/she abuses power over the staff/employee. The effects can be damaging to morale and to working relationships.

On PISA Result

This sad, disappointing, embarrassing news even hit me harder today upon reading the phrase “15-year old” because it’s just today I remembered that some of the examinees were chosen from our school in March 2018. They were Grade 9 and 10 students who were randomly selected to take the PISA in two days and were even given allowance for the said examination days. Since I read the news the other day, I have been worried because I am a reading teacher and I am part of the teaching force of the Department of Education. But today, when I realized and even asked some of our Grade 11 students who were JHS that time if they were included in the PISA, I have been more alarmed because some of the examinees who contributed to this result are our SHS students now.

I am just so sad. And utterly frustrated. I have been implementing the LRC (Learn-Read-Create) Reading Program since 2017 and this school year, I plan to intensify its run because of this news. Hopefully, I could test their reading comprehension, too, at the end of the school year. I do not have anything more to say so I must start with something that I can do.

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/12/06/1974747/reforms-sought-philippine-education-system