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May 29, 2012

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Teacher Goes Full Circle

I started my new job last week and it has been quite an experience. Suffice it to say being in a new campus makes me feel like a child again because it takes me back to being the new girl in school. Literally. It’s an interesting feeling. I don’t really know yet what to make of it, and how I feel about it, but to be honest, being the new girl is not something I really like feeling :( It makes me a little anxious, especially since I have no one to really chat with yet. Add to that the fact that I really am not the open and sociable type, right? Well, lets see how this goes nonetheless :)

 

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May 13, 2012

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Campus on the Green

I’m looking forward to starting out a new teaching position soon…pending of course the finalization of a few details but for the most part, I’m super excited for things to come. It’s gonna be on a greener campus (well, I’m not sure if that’s the right word for it). What I mean is that this will be in a campus that’s more rustic and not as surrounded by steel buildings. Excited much. I guess that’s really why I also decided to teach rather than work in an office building. I don’t think I’ll do very well in office buildings all day long. I need space to move around and lots of air to breathe in. Anyway, when things fall into place, I shall post pictures of my new workplace :)

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May 9, 2012

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We’re All A Little Different…

If there’s one important thing I learned to appreciate through because of writing my thesis, it’s the fact that we’re all a little different. I was reminded of this a lot because I struggled greatly with writing that darned paper. It was so frustrating because I am a good writer. At least I think I am. Seriously though, I would like to think that I am a good creative writer. However, technical writing is really not my thing.

I began to appreciate the fact that we’re all a little different because of that. One of my colleagues, for example, is really good at the technical stuff, but not at the creative stuff. I guess that’s also true for kids who can be very good at math but sucky in sports. I remember one time I had a student who could memorize the entire atlas, name all the different species of dinosaurs, identify every possible power tool and construction equipment, and even differentiate between nail bits and end mills, but when I’d ask him to answer reading comprehension questions, he could never do it.

And so like I was saying, through my thesis I learned to appreciate that we all are indeed different learners. As such, while I may have completed my research, I can’t help but feel that I gave too much of a literary tone to it. Oh well. Haha.

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May 5, 2012

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Schoolyard Picking

I’ve been watching re-runs of the show Survivor China and I couldn’t help but think about how I hate the practice of schoolyard picking. Schoolyard picking refers to the practice of having two or more team leaders pick out their team members from a line of their peers. No matter what you say, there will always be one who will be picked last.  All too often, the one who gets picked last. Many times, the one who gets picked last are those who are overweight, less competent in the activity, or simply put, less socially acceptable because of whatever reason. It isn’t a nice feeling. I prefer using techniques such as counting off or random selections for groupings. I feel it’s more fair. What do you think???

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Apr 30, 2012

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News Bit: Homeschooling Conference

Sharing with you guys some information that was sent to me :)

I don’t really know much about how homeschooling is really done and monitored here in the Philippines, but I do have a lot of friends who have embraced the philosophy of homeschooling. As such, I cannot really say much about the practice but for those looking for alternatives for the education of their children, I strongly encourage you to check out this conference :)

Details of the press release are as follows:

This year’s Homeschooling Conference is themed “Laying a Strong Foundation.” It will feature lectures from esteemed homeschooling authorities both here and abroad including: noted inspirational speaker, best-selling author and homeschool parent, Bo Sanchez; and former high school and college educator and best-selling author of award-winning books like “Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling,” “Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens,” and “Ultimate Planners for Moms, Teens and Students,” Debra Bell.

The event is supported by the 3,000-strong force of Filipino families, who are currently homeschooling by choice and discovering its priceless benefits.

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Apr 24, 2012

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Channeling Mary Poppins

This thesis writing thing is leaving me defeated and uber challenged. I’m THIS close to throwing in the towel. Seriously. I kinda feel all this emotional and mental turmoil is not worth it. I wanna just channel Mary Poppins and be a nanny abroad, hanging on to a gutter brush on one hand and an umbrella on the other, while singing cutesy little songs. Sigh.

HOWEVER, I love teaching all too much to give up on it. Why oh why does writing this paper have to be so difficult??? Gaaaah.

 

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Apr 15, 2012

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I Don’t Wanna Wear Shoes…

This will be one of the most random posts ever. You have been warned :)

For the longest time, I was known for my stilettos and my flair for the dramatic when I get all dolled up. Even when I was teaching in preschool, I would wear heels to school. Daily. Always. No matter when. Sometimes it would be a wedge, sometimes pumps, but more often than not, stilettos. I’d also always been in pretty dresses and accessorized to the hilt…dangly earrings, emerald rings. chunk necklaces, you name it I wore it.

However, since I have fallen in love with yoga, I have stopped wearing shoes…and now I long for a job that won’t require me to wear shoes on a daily basis. Flip flops will do, no more shoes, please :) I wear stretchy pants and tank tops, and pearl studs if ever, are now my daily attire.

Nope, I’m not becoming unfashionable, I’ve just changed gears.

And now I know what I wanna do…I wanna be a yoga teacher. When I do, I can still say I am an accidental teacher, I guess. Teaching yoga was something I never thought I’d do, but right now, with all my heart, I know it is what I am meant to do :)

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Apr 3, 2012

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Spell What?

All too often, I have parents come to me and ask about why their kids have difficulty in reading and spelling. They’re good in all other aspects, they say, but when it comes to this, they’re lagging behind. I often tell these parents to first take a deep breath and assess the situation. In what instances, for example, do they have difficulty in? In what context? Often times I observe that the children, even at age 4, are expected  to know how to read and spell words that are beyond what would be age-appropriate. Um…how can you expect a child to spell out physician or understand what an annuity quote is when you read through a brochure in the doctor’s office, for example? Give them books that are suited for their age, I say, and perhaps you’ll see that they do better. Also, I tell them not to pressure their kids into spelling words out correctly immediately (at the preschool level). I am a big fan, after all, of invented spelling. This is their way of learning and discovering phonics and so giving them time to explore will allow for the development of skills. At the end of the day, I feel that too many a time, parents and teachers forget that kids are just that…kids.

Random thoughts from Teacher Ri.

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Apr 1, 2012

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Summer Activities For Kids

It’s that time of the year again: Summer Vacation! Three full months of freedom: no waking up early, no teachers, no homework and all fun, fun, fuuuun! However, this does not mean that kids have nothing to do all summer. In fact, my mommy friends say that summertime is actually just as busy (if not even more!) than the school year. What with the many different activities their kids are enrolled in.

As a teacher, what I suggest is that kids get to participate in activities that are less academic based. While I have nothing against taking advanced lessons, doing programs like Kumon or Enopi, and other school-like activities, I feel it would be nicer if the kids be given a chance to explore other areas of interest. Here are some things I can think of:

1. Sports. Enrolling kids in sports programs are excellent ways to improve their social skills and build self-esteem. They also learn sportsmanship and discipline. Plus its a good way to expend excess energies. Team sports are best, but activities like swimming, kids yoga and the like are also highly recommended.

2. Art and Music. These programs will allow the kids to tap into their creative sides. They can also learn how to be more imaginative, to experiment, and to tap into their hidden potential. Since Mother’s Day comes during the summer, perhaps a project they can explore is putting on a show for mom or perhaps making beaded mother day rings to give to them. This can teach them the concepts of sharing and generosity, as well as patience and perseverance.

3. Writing and Literature. Although these may seem a little “school-like”, allowing them to take creative writing courses can help them build their writing skills both in terms of technical writing (how to write good essays) and creative expression.

There are many other things kids can do over the summer. Hopefully they don’t spend majority of their days watching tv and just doing nothing. Happy Summer everyone!

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Apr 1, 2012

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Teacher Who?

Ten years later, I am still stuck in my masteral program. Egaaad. Am I making progress, yes. Am I getting to the finish line? Not really. Hayz. I do love teaching more than anything, but this thesis is really getting the better of me. I have invested so much time, effort and not to mention money in it but I am soooo stuck. What makes it worse is the fact that I want to study something else now. Oh noes. I soon may need to enroll in a debt management program because of my many changing interests. Har. Seriously though, this new thing I wanna study, it’s soooo completely different from everything else I’ve done. And yeah, after it I don’t end up in the academe. Teaching still, yes, but in a different venue. Wish me luck, will ya? But yeah, I wanna get my degree. Heeelp.

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Mar 22, 2012

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Happy Graduation!!!

It’s that time of the year again…graduation. This year is a little bittersweet for me because it’s the first time I am not part of my preschool’s graduation :( I haven’t regretted my decision to leave the school, mind you, but days like this, I do miss it. I saw the pictures my old co-teachers posted on Facebook and that made me miss it even more! I remembered how on my last year, just before graduation, we had a “What do you want to be when you grow up” photo shoot and my kids were dressed in the cutest outfits! There were those who came in nurses uniforms while some came with a doctor’s lab coat, some had basketball players jerseys on and one even came as a mad scientist! So cute.
This year the school’s theme was Hawaiian and I’m sure it was super cute!! There were a few kids I still knew in the program and it’s nice to see how much they’ve grown. I hope I’m able to keep tabs on them in the future.

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Mar 22, 2012

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Little Green Steps

One of my goals this year, not just as a teacher, but as a human being in general, is to go green. I want to be able to make a contribution in whatever small way to saving the earth. After all, I have contributed in my own way many times to the detriment of our environment, right? So I guess it’s time I tried to redeem myself. One thing I have made a point to do as a teacher is to have my students submit homework either via email or printed in recycled paper. When we have pop quizzes and in my daily attendance questions, I use small pieces of old paper. As a shopper, I try to bring reusable bags more consistently. As an emerging vegetarian (I have just recently shifted to this lifestyle), I am thinking of getting myself one of those composters from CompostBins.com so I can reduce my wastes as well.

Whatever it is, I have come to the realization that every little step counts. What inspired me to think that way? Something my student said…

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Mar 2, 2012

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Switching Gears

Over the past year I have fallen madly, deeply in love with the practice of yoga. So much so I am kinda thinking that maybe soon that’s what I want to teach instead. It still is teaching after all, right??? Let’s see where it goes. It’s funny how the practice has changed so many aspects in my life, and even my dreams. Not too long ago I was contemplating going back to teaching preschool again, or perhaps putting one up for myself to the point that I was Googling and checking out sites for supplies, classroom decorations and equipment. However, with this new realization that maybe I want to teach yoga instead, I’ve been looking for teacher training sites and looking at different studio designs.

Gaaaah…am I quarter life crisis-ing again???? Or worse…am I midlifing??? Egaaad :)

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Feb 19, 2012

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Summer Lovin’!

It’s just about that time of the year again :) Yey! I suddenly miss the busy-ness of preparing for moving up day and planning for the summer programs in school. I remember having to draft out lists of to-do’s and what-to-pack’s for the summer fun classes we used to have. I miss having to clean out the backpacks for hiking, inflatable pools for swimming, and sand toys for “beach play”.

Now that I’m in the “adult” world, my summer will be filled with research. Boo. I sooo miss summer lovin’.

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Jan 18, 2012

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Going With The Dress Code

After my last post, it occurred to me that perhaps even my college students need reminders on going with the dress code. In fact, even I, on occasion, need to be reminded. Especially with footwear! It’s so much more comfortable to just go to school in flip flops rather than heels…especially now that I have discovered the joy of not squeezing my feet into those stilettos (haha). I remember that when I first started teaching, I’d wear not just heels, but formal business attire. Now I don’t. I have only one or two colleagues left who really get all formal now (complete with the tie, tie clips and steel cufflinks). Perhaps I should start going more with the dress code and I can have my students follow suit. What do you think???

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Jan 18, 2012

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Today’s Random Snappy: This is what school shoes should look like!

Last week I went to Payless shoe store in Nuvali and got a good laugh when I tried on these shoes :) It reminded me of shoes I  had in the first grade! Although it made me laugh, I liked how they had this in the store because, as those who have read in this blog several times over, one of my pet peeves is really how kids now wear shoes with heels. HELLO!!! It really gets to me because it is such a dangerous option for the kids. I have had many kids in class fall over and get hurt because of their shoes. This, on the other hand, is really how school shoes for kids should look like.

 

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