Nov 30, 2009

Posted by in Multimedia Center, The Library | 2 Comments

Moving Storybooks

Yesterday I watched two movies, both based on books. I finally got to see New Moon with some of my friends in the evening, but late afternoon, to kill time, I decided to check out A Christmas Carol. Being a teacher, I am both glad that storybooks are being made accessible in film, but on the other hand, I tread carefully because lately, I notice less and less kids read books. Most just wait for the film. It seems that books take a back seat more and more as children get older. Many times, it only becomes a bedtime prop for infants and toddlers.  For example, when I was talking to one of the kids I work with, he did not know that A Christmas Carol is a classic tale. Because of that, I tried to find some of my favorite books to share with the class. Further, to encourage reading, instead of the usual kris kringle done on the holidays, I asked the kids to do a book exchange instead.

To be fair, it’s really nice to see how many of my favorite characters in books have taken on a life outside the pages of the storybook. Take for example The Rainbow Fish. There are many activity sets and play sets or games that are inspired by the story. For me, this takes reading to a higher level. Another big favorite is Guess How Much I Love You. I have seen nursery accessories, furniture, and even clothing inspired by the touching tale of the little Nutbrown Hare who asked his father if he knew how much he loved him.

I suppose in the end I can say having stories made into movies and more can be a good thing. If for anything, hopefully it inspires people to take on the printed form of the story too. It definitely did that for me when it came to the Twilight series!

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Nov 22, 2009

Posted by in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

The Dog Ate My Homework and Other Annoying Excuses.

Today Teacher Rants.

If I were to describe myself as a student, I’d say I was a pretty good one.  Not brilliant, but not bad either. I had my share of failed tests, missed homeworks and unruly classroom behavior but I think one thing I never forgot was taking responsibility for my actions. This week was rather challenging for me as a teacher, as I had to contend with so many excuses be it for tardiness, forgotten assignments or what not. Sometimes I wish students would just be sincere and say “Miss, I’m really sorry I forgot” then do something about it such as not repeat it anymore. However, if it is a repeated behavior, it invalidates the excuse, in my opinion.

Yes, this week my “annoy-me-why-don’t-you” was pushed to the limit.

Interestingly, the amount of excuses I received this week and what they were made me realize one thing: even excuses have changed because of technology. No longer do we blame the dog for eating our homework, but modern technology. Here were my annoying excuses this week:

“Miss, wala kasi akong internet kagabi e” (I had no internet access last night).

“Na-corrupt USB ko e.” (My USB was corrupted)

“Miss, naubusan kasi ng ink ang printer ko” (My printer ran out of ink)

“Di ko kasi na-receive yung text ng group mate ko e” (I didn’t receive my groupmates’text)

My answer: with all the available resources around you (i.e. internet cafés plus the fact that libraries in most universities offer FREE internet access), that is not an excuse. Go get a dog instead.

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Nov 20, 2009

Posted by in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Spreading the Sweetness of Gratitude

Thank you to all those who joined in and rallied to prove that the Philippines is indeed a grateful nation! From the nominees for the Thank You Day Awardees to the entries in the photo contests held across the blogosphere, we have seen how Filipinos can spread the sweetness of gratitude.

Congratulations to the five finalists from this blog, The Accidental Teacher!

1. Cher Cabula of Cher Cabula’s Mindbox

2. Rochelle Sy Chua of rochellesychua.com

3. Earth Rullan of Earthlingorgeous

4. Kiss of Kiss Corner

5. Leira Pagaspas of Mushings

As finalists, you will not only receiving a Toblerone gift pack but you also have the chance of garnering on of the Top 3 Prizes at stake which will be awarded tonight at the SM Mall of Asia at 6pm.

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Nov 18, 2009

Posted by in Advocacies | 0 Comments

Efren Penaflorida, Jr: The Hero of a Classroom Without Walls

As if being an educator in the Philippines is not hard enough, CNN Hero nominee Efren Peñaflorida, Jr. faces his own set of challenges as he strives to educate Filipino children but he does not let these limitations stop him. Despite the lack of resources and insufficient funding, he still sets off  to give the gift of reading and writing to children who would otherwise be left illiterate and without an education.

He has a classroom without walls, literally. His makeshift classroom is a “kariton” or a pushcart. Armed with just the bare basics, he and his fellow teen volunteers from the Dynamic Teen Company offer street children and out-of-school youth hope for the future by not just giving them dole-outs but by empowering them with an education.

As a Filipino educator myself, I am in awe of Kuya Ef, as he is fondly known. He truly is a hero. Please help make it official by voting for him as this years CNN Hero here. Voting ends on November 19, 2009.

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Nov 15, 2009

Posted by in Life Lessons, Teacher's Corner | 1 Comment

My Teacher of Life’s Important Lessons.

Many of life’s important lessons were taught to me by the most uncanny teacher.

In my wildest imagination, I would not have imagined how much I have grown and become a better person since he came into my life. To be honest, when he first came, I was not interested. I tried not to be attracted. I fought hard not to fall for him but try as I might, he was just too charming not to fall in love with. When I finally allowed myself to love him, my life changed drastically.

Because of him I learned what it meant to be selfless. I used to tell my friends so proudly that I would never let anyone else dictate to me how or when to do things. I used to be proud of the fact that I did exactly what I wanted and I offered no apologies for it.  But when he came into my life, I started changing that. Whenever I make decisions now, I factor in how this affects him. Despite this, it is because of him that I appreciated the fact that being selfless does not mean not loving yourself, but doing both at the same time.

In him I saw what adoration meant. I never really had to do anything special to receive this, it was just there. In the same breath, he taught me that this is what unconditional love really is.

I learned to be more open-minded and accepting of others for who they really are. Because of him, I was able to let go of past judgments and irrational beliefs I held on to. In many ways, he makes me think outside the box and to try things in new ways.

He taught me to be forgiving and what letting go of anger means. Whenever I fail him or hurt him, a little cariño and a sorry is enough then all is forgotten.

He also taught me how to take a chance. For most of my life I had always been the one who’d bet only on the sure thing. I was the one who never took excessive risks and very seldom even accommodated calculated ones. But with him, all that went out the window and I just said why not.

But more than anything I think the most important lesson I’ve learned from him is that when there is love, that’s all that matters. No, I am not being cheesy here, nor have I gone all lovey-dovey. What I mean by this is that because there is love, real love that is, one can really overlook shortcomings, differences and inadequacies.  I sure have a lot of those and yet my Bubba loves me.

Yes, Bubba is a dog. I told you he was an uncanny teacher!


I just realized this isn’t the first time I’ve written about Bubba…he really has taught me so much since I got him. Here’s an excerpt of a post back in 2006. I had him for about a year then. READ THE FULL ENTRY HERE

When Bubba first came into our home, I said there was no way I was gonna like him. After all, I hate dogs….But as the days progressed, the little creature slowly worked his way into my heart. Much as I didn’t wanna admit it, it made me smile when he’d come running to the gate when I’d come home from a long day’s work. Whenever he’d do a trick I’d teach him, it made me feel a bit glad. Still, even with those minor concessions, I still wasn’t ready to admit I was smitten.

Then one night while we were taking a walk, I realized it was not really “Bubba” that I said I wouldn’t like. In many ways, I chose not to allow him into my heart because by doing so, I would set myself up for another goodbye somewhere down the road. I’ve had to say goodbye too many times in my life already, and I didn’t need another one. Why set myself up for the pain and sadness that ultimately comes in the end?…

Okay, okay, I begrudgingly admit it…I have fallen again. This time, I’m not afraid of making the mistake and of the hurt that may come along with it. Who knows, maybe this time, it wouldn’t end that way. And maybe, just maybe, I won’t be alone anymore. No matter what happens though, even if I ended up with a goodbye down the road, I wouldn’t be completely alone because of what I have gained along the way.

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