Jul 23, 2013

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Rainy Season Safety

Here in the Philippines, the weather has shifted from the long, hot, humid summer to the damp, wet and, at times, floody rainy season. While we Filipinos are pretty much used to the two “seasons” we have here (if we can even call it that), it still requires some preparation.

I was reminded of this as I rereading my thesis revisions which talked about one of the greatest national calamities we had in recent years, the onslaught of Typhoon Ondoy. One consistent finding I had in the data was the importance of preparation. This prompted me to check out articles about safety precautions that should be in place in any household. Here are some suggestions I can share with you:

1. Prepare your family survival kit. This should include the basics: water, canned goods, flashlights with batteries, towels/warm clothing, and medicines. For those with pets, think about their basic needs too.

2. Safety proof the home against fire. While it may seem that the fires are more likely to happen in the summer, it still can happen in the midst of the rainy season, what with short circuits and electrical fires. Have a fire extinguisher ready. Consider installing a fire alarm or smoke detector. Check out this site for different types of smoke alarms: http://www.sdfirealarms.co.uk/fire-protection/domestic-fire-protection/smoke-alarms-detectors.html

3. Have safety numbers and emergency listings available on the door of your refrigerator, by your telephone, and other easy access points in the home.

4. Get in touch with your neighborhood association and see what emergency evacuation plan they have and centers of resources that you can seek support with.

5. Arm yourself with knowledge. Keep track of weather disturbances in your area. Invest in a transistor radio while you’re at it.

Any other preparation tips you can think of? Do drop me a line :)

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Jun 20, 2013

Posted by in Multimedia Center, Reflections, Teaching Resources | 0 Comments

The Benefits of Mixing Technology and Education

The following is a guest post by Ted Levin.

Image Source – educationnews.org

Image Source – educationnews.org

Despite my youth I find myself to be quite an old soul who rebels against eReaders in favor of paper books. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology’s innovations through online media, blogging, and the instant information available.

But there’s no better feeling than holding a book in your hands, the fresh smell of crisp pages, and the ability to write little notes in the page margins. Yes, I write in my own books. In college, one of my favorite professors emphatically told me, “You must write in your book to own it! Write in it, interact with the text, and learning will become easier.”

Experience lends me with a natural distaste for online reading, but due to technological advancements in today’s age I have surprisingly found myself more open to growing trend of online education. This sounds impossible, but let me explain.

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Jan 3, 2013

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CPR: The Line Between Life and Death

A few days ago, I came across an online CPR certification information site,   www.CPRCertification101.com,and it reminded me of one of the goals I left unmet as a preschool teacher. Back then, one of the things I tried pushing for was getting all us teachers (there were 5 of us in the school) certified for CPR. I knew it was an important skill that we would need in case of an accident. Lucky for us, we never needed it (and yeah, here’s hoping no teacher ever needs it!).  Just recently, however, while teaching an alternative movement based class in one of my college classes, I found myself facing a small accident that reminded me about this goal. Although it was a mild accident, I realized that I should really work on this goal SOON. This is especially important, in my opinion, since I am a yoga teacher now, right?

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Apr 21, 2012

Posted by in Classroom Escapades, College, Reflections | 0 Comments

Multiple Intelligences

Yesterday was grade consultation day and for the first time ever, I had more than 3 students come to me for consultation. The funny thing is for most of them, it wasn’t about their performance in their class that they came to talk to me about, but about other things they were feeling and going through. Some of them were struggling in their courses (and mind you, not in my subject!) and so they were asking what they should do next. They were feeling conflicted about whether they should stay in their current programs or whether they should shift to another. I told them I did not have an answer for them, and that only they can make that decision, but that they really have to think about a few things before making a choice. First off, what are they interested in? What are their strengths and weaknesses? After that I said they have to take into consideration their resources. Lastly, I asked them to think about what they want and what is holding them back from achieving this.

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Apr 15, 2012

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Never on a Sunday.

I am the type of teacher who often lets her students get away with almost anything. And when I say that, I mean it. Seriously. My philosophy as a teacher in the undergraduate level, after all, has always been that my students are no longer children who need constant supervision and reminders of what is right and wrong. Rather, they are young adults who are capable of making personal choices and are aware of what is good for them. Therefore if they want to cut my class, by all means, it’s not my problem. Sorry nalang pag dating sa course card day. I may not seem like I check attendance or give a high premium to it, but I do take note of it for a purpose after all. If they don’t want to submit work, that’s fine, too, but it’s their call. Like I said, malalaki na naman sila.

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Sep 25, 2011

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Something to Look Forward To!

Yesterday I was just saying that I miss being a preschool teacher…

Today I saw a post on Facebook from a friend of mine asking if anyone had an early childhood education background and I so I said I did and asked why…maybe this is the project I was praying for :) Let’s see :)

Then I checked my email and I was reminded of an invitation I received from a local foundation to be their plenary speaker for a preschool teacher training this coming October. It dawned on me that’s just about a month away :) Apparently I still have my toes in the preschool waters, so to speak! That realization suddenly brought so much lightness in my heart and I was reminded that I may have changed classrooms, but yes, Teacher Ria is still in there somewhere :)

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Sep 23, 2011

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Teacher, Teacher…

These past few weeks have been, to say the least, quite rough and rocky. It’s hard being all grown up after all. Haha. Seriously though, last week a friend and I were talking and I said that since I gave up the preschool, I suddenly feel like I’m a million years older. Yes, I kinda feel like since March, it’s been a million years and so I feel tired and all worn out.

Maybe I need to figure out how to work with kids again, yes? There’s really something magical that happens around them. I guess it’s their wide-eyed innocence. Or perhaps their ability to just be. And I guess it’s also because with them, what you see is what you get, no complications and whatnot.

I do know, however, I cannot go back to the preschool classroom. I feel to old for the routine of it all. Perhaps I should explore projects that allow me to work with kids instead…hmmmm….let’s see where this takes me.

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Jun 9, 2011

Posted by in Reflections, Teacher's Corner | 0 Comments

Rainy Days and School Days are Oh So NOT Fun!

Today marked the first school suspension due to rains. Well, at least in the elementary and high school levels. In college, as to be expected, classes went on as usual. I’m glad, though, that it didn’t rain too hard and that the streets weren’t too flooded, although there was some build up of water on the ground. Sure it was not enough to stall cars and stuff, but when you have to park in the street or in those  steel garages like in the malls that get so very slippery when wet, it’s such a hassle.

For me, I really, really hate rainy days when there are classes because one, I hate being cold and wet (errr….and as many know I so hate the rain to begin with!). Also, when it’s rainy, the kids often come in late. It’s so frustrating. Lastly, on rainy days, it’s just so hard to motivate everyone to work. Sigh.

Anyway, on the way home I was listening to an AM station on the radio where the show’s hosts were discussing the idea of moving the opening of classes to August instead of June. As can be expected, it was a conversation that went round and round teeeheeehee. It did get me to thinking however about what the best solution for rainy days and school days should be.I couldn’t think of one though…haha. I just wish that there was a better mechanism for the cancellation of classes in the college level when it’s rainy because at present, even when it’s super rainy and floody, there’s still classes unless it is declared as Signal Number 3. But by the time that happens, students and teachers are usually in school already. What to do…what to do….

and just like that radio conversation, this blog post is going around in circles. haha. Seriously though…any suggestions?


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May 28, 2011

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Oh, Teacher, You Look Different!

warning: this is going to be an all about me post so be prepared for some random self-affirmation and vanity. teeeheeehee.

You won’t believe how many times I heard that on my first day back in school:

“Misss…you’re so blooming!!!”

“Miss Ria, you’ve lost weight!”

“Wow, Teacher, you look so different now…in a good way :)”

Teeeheeeheee. Random moments of flattery, I tell ya. One of my friends even said, “parang tumangkad ka ha, kahit mababa heels mo ngayon”  (you even look taller, even though your heels are not as high as usual). Mwihihi. I guess it must be all the yoga I did over the break that really made my skin so much clearer, my posture so much better (after all, the stretching, the ‘ creating spaces’ and strengthening the spine to hold myself up better must be much like getting an hgh shot or popping a few growth enhancers, right?? hehe), and for the most part, made my aura so much brighter because I am much more relaxed, calm and balanced even if I get stressed from time to time. Oh, and of course, the hair cut and color did add a little change to my physical appearance but the weight loss I guess and the more tone physique is what really makes a difference.

It was nice to know that the changes I have made in my life are starting to reflect on my entirely. After all, as I teach in class, well-being is really a holistic thing.Another thing I realized, however, is that I respond better to these comments and complements now….before I’d get all flustered and stuff…now, I just smile and say thank you :) Yep…teacher is different now.

She grew up. Bow. Teeheehee.


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May 12, 2011

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More Things I’ll Miss this Coming School Year

The other day I started dusting off my old syllabi and materials for class (no, I’m not working yet, but getting ready to do so haha! I am still enjoying the last few days of my I-refuse-to-work vacation, after all!) and came across a pile of old preschool books that I realized I will not be using anymore. Sigh. It got me to thinking of the things I’ll be missing as the school year opens….

I will surely miss….

  • little girls in pigtails and big giant headbands
  • the sound of pure laughter coming from the belly
  • the sight of little boys with eyes as wide as a deer caught in headlights (or more like a bear caught in one of those off-road ATV Lights) as teacher catches them doing something they shouldn’t be doing
  • singing off-key and dancing with two left feet (errr…maybe I won’t miss this much!)
  • hugs, hugs, huuuuugs…..

sigh…there’s really so much I’m going to be missing come June.

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Mar 27, 2011

Posted by in College, Reflections | 0 Comments

Higher Learning

As I was making my final exam for the developmental psychology class I am teaching this trimester, I was suddenly reminded of the movie Higher Learning. It’s been quite a long time since that film was released, but it dawned on me that the movie was still relevant to many of the concepts I was teaching.

The story revolved around three college freshmen who realized that going to school was more than just a quest to getting their college degrees, rather, it is really a stop in one’s life journey. The learned that the important lessons in life were not just taken from within the four walls of the classroom but that it really went beyond that.

In my class, we did talk about the changing dynamics of education, especially in the past few years. As an educator, I  have seen an influx of very, very young students in masters programs in various universities. In fact, some of my old students ask me to fill up endorsement forms and letters of recommendation for graduate school immediately after they graduate. This lead us to questioning how these decisions influence later life choices and developmental needs and goals. Suffice it to say, these class discussions have really given me a new perspective on the way my students think and how different things are from the time of the movie I mentioned earlier. While there may be differences, however, I think the core components of this life stage still remain: this is the period where adolescents and young adults really search for their identity and step on a path that leads them to their future.

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Mar 27, 2011

Posted by in Advocacies, Reflections | 7 Comments

No Hands Zone! Hisense Launches Multipoint Wireless Mobility

A few months ago I wrote a post about Justin Bieber and Charice signing the No Texting Zone Pact on the Oprah Winfrey show and so when I got an invitation to the launch of of Hisense Wireless Wonders headsets and Bluetooth accessories, I did not hesitate to attend. Being highly dependent on my mobile phone and given that my many jobs requires me to be out of the house for long periods of time, I thought it best to check out these new gadgets and to see if they will suit my busy lifestyle.

What exactly was launched during the event? Well, for one, we were introduced to the line of Multipoint Headsets and other Bluetooth Accessories that can make mobile connectivity simpler, quicker and most of all, safer. These devices allow you to pair multiple devices thus allowing you to connect hands-free with no hassles of having to pair and re-pair devices repeatedly. The multipoint feature of the Hisense HB200M headsets allow you to even connect simultaneously with two different phones, even if they are under different network providers. Thus, you are always ready to receive your calls with instant connectivity.

Hisense also introduced the HB650S Car kit (which I seriously wanted to win during the raffle, hehe!). Given that I spend so much time in my car, having this will definitely reduce risks as I take calls from time to time. Yes, I know we shouldn’t use the phone while driving, but…well, this definitely makes it safer, right? :) What’s good about the car kit is that it has a Smart TTS (Text to Speech) feature enables it to inform you who is calling, without you needing to check on the display.

Adding to the versatility of Hisense Bluetooth devices is the fact that it is designed for both fashion and functionality. Whether its for work or for play, these devices will definitely add some flair to wireless mobility.

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Mar 27, 2011

Posted by in Reflections | 0 Comments

Part-time Woes

I have always loved the fact that I work part-time. I love the flexibility it gives me in terms of managing my schedule and allowing me to do many other things that I love, such as go to yoga, have my “me days” and just take it easy over the weekends. However, every once in a while I am reminded of the little hassles that come with a part-time position, especially now that it’s tax season and that the school year is ending. Yes, granted it’s not that hard to do, it’s still a hassle, right? Haha. Also, being in a part-time position means I have to do a lot of extra paperwork for application of, let’s say, medicare supplement plans. Unlike full time employees, it doesn’t come automatically, I have to file for it. To be fair, however, I get to enjoy the benefit as well, although not completely subsidized. Then again, it’s a small price to pay for all the other things I get to enjoy given my part-time position right?

Okay…I will stop complaining now and get back to work :) See ya peeps.

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Feb 27, 2011

Posted by in Reflections, Teacher's Corner | 0 Comments

No Students Allowed

Working with adolescents still surprise me, even if I have been working with them for the longest time. That’s one major reason why I don’t like adding them up on my social networking sites, although I do know that some of them do read my blogs. I’m afraid that something I say will be taken out of context and then before I know it, I get caught in something that was not meant to happen. For example, I do talk about a lot of personal things I like to do outside of my teaching life. I am, after all, still human, right? But it bothers me when they see pictures of me in compromising positions (errr…I just mean in a party where drinks are served, in the beach wearing a swimsuit etc.) and so I try to avoid allowing them access to that.

Also, I don’t want them to say that they learned something from me inadvertently. For example, what if I say something about an herbal supplement or a diet drink that I tried…then they do it too…and they say I was able to learn more about slimquick here (or whatever, you know what I mean!!!) and pastes the URL of my status message or Tweet to their own walls and whatnot. Dangerous grounds. Haha.

And so while I know there are ways around social media, I make it a point to try to keep my world as student free as possible, albeit I know impossible. I do, however, APPRECIATE IT SOOOOO VERY MUCH when my students drop by my blog and leave me comments or questions :) Twitter they’re welcome to, but Facebook and Plurk, for now, I will stand firm and say, no students allowed please :)

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Feb 26, 2011

Posted by in Advocacies, Reflections | 0 Comments

Media’s Mixed Messages to Teens

In my practice, both as a teacher and a clinician, I have worked with one too many girls who have struggled with weight and eating disorders. Sometimes it can be a challenge for me, especially since I myself struggle with weight, but I guess that’s really part of the process, right?

What frustrates me about working with these issues and concerns is how difficult it is to maintain or reinforce what we are working with, especially given the mixed signals students (and all people in general I guess) get from various signals from all over. Although I will talk about media in this post, I recognize that they’re not the only culprit in this whole game. I want to make that clear after all :)

How does media influence an adolescents body image to begin with? Well, let’s face it: through television, magazines and the like, there really is a glorification of what is ” supposed”  to be beautiful. Although, yes, there are shows and the like that DO EMPHASIZE that there is more to a person than size, it is still very much overshadowed by many other signals being given to them. As such, they go on all sorts of diets and take all these diet pills that promise weight loss in just x number of days. Add to this the reinforcements of advertisements and so on and so forth. Sigh. It’s a vicious cycle I tell ya.

So, what’s the solution? I honestly don’t know. Granted that the need to fit in and to look a certain way is part of the developmental process, I think there should be clear-cut and more significant steps that need to be undertaken to make long-term change happen. As such, I applaud the efforts of shows like America’s Next Top Model (yes, even if it is a model search I appreciate how Tyra would always say beauty comes in all shapes, colors and sizes…although in that show we still can see a lot of the stereotypes, right?) and Glee as they try to make changes happen.

What else can we do? Drop me a line here and lets see where we can go :)

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Jan 6, 2011

Posted by in Reflections | 0 Comments

When I Grow Up…

Today, being the first day back in class, I asked my kids to tell me about their vacations. We had a blast talking about their Christmas celebrations and their favorite presents from Santa when out of the blue, one of the kids started crying. Apparently his seatmate was explaining to him that Santa wasn’t real and it was just a man in a costume. Egaaad….

These are one of those few conversations I hate having to deal with. Although I never really grew up believing in Santa, I don’t want to be the one to rain on the kids’  parades, especially since I don’t know how their parents handle things like that. So what I did instead was to have the kids play pretend. I had them pretend what they wanted to be when they grew up and said that the Santas they saw in the malls were just like them as they put on the old white lab coats, fireman’s hats, and various types of uniforms (from baseball jerseys, to basketball shorts, even replicas of medical nursing uniforms as well). I explained that sometimes, the clothes we wear explain or define our jobs and roles, and that went for the mall Santa’s though. That helped pacify the little boy a bit but now I can’t help but wonder what his mom has to say about it :) Will find out in the morning!!!

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