As a child educator for almost all my adult life, i have always known that the best way to learn is through play, art, story telling, and music and movement. now, i’m looking forward...
Happy World Teachers Day! Every now and then, I still find myself questioning why and how I happened to fall into teaching. I still haven’t figured out the answer to that, but every...
Join the Rainbow Kids Yoga Tea...1
I Teach Because They Taught Me...2
Rekindling the Passion3
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.Read More
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!Read More
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.Read More
There is no other word I can think of for this post but that. I am flabbergasted. Earlier today I gave my students an exam and I got asked the most jaw-dropping question…
In the essay part of the exam, I got asked not once, not twice, but a total of four times if they could answer it in bullet points. Um….how does one answer that??? Diplomatically, I mean? I guess my students are just used to me being so flexible but I felt quite disappointed with such questions, mainly because I thought the instruction was clear enough. Oh well.
Oh, I did regain my composure and answered them with a “Welll, if you think bullet points equals an essay, go ahead”.
Sigh…the non-joys of teaching.Read More
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.
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…
One of the modules I love teaching best in my PERSEF class is the one on community development and advocacy. In this module, I ask my students to identify a social problem in their community that concerns or affects them. Even though this is only a class project for them, it amazes me to see how brilliant their ideas can get. However, that’s all it remains to be…an idea.
Enter the Unilab Ideas Positive competition.
Now on it’s third year, the Unilab Ideas Positive competition gives college students all across the country to spark change with one idea. Because they believe in the youth’s ideas and capacity to make a positive change in their community, the Unilab Foundation is offering 15 teams a total of Php 1.5 M as seed money in order to make their health and wellness ideas for their communities a reality. They will also provide these students with a a 3-day social marketing boot camp, where they learn and understand social marketing approaches from a pool of experts using current and relevant social marketing practices and case studies in order for their ideas to come into full fruition.
As mentioned, this is the third year of this project and this time, they are moving out of Metro Manila and opening the competition to the entire Philippines. As such, more college students can participate and more communities can benefit.
To be part of this project and for more information about the program, log on to www.unilabideaspositive.com.Read More
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??? EgaaadRead More
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’.Read More
One of my fondest memories of preschool teaching was when one of my little kids handed me a CD for circle time. She proudly came in to the classroom waving it in the air saying, “Teacher, Teacher, for you!”. After I thanked her, she says “teacher, please play it during circle time because when you sing, it’s not nice eh!” . OUCH! Haha. While that little incident did make me stop and think about including music and movement in my curriculum, I did not let it deter me from doing so. I realized that the incorporation of music and movement activities in class DOES have a lot of advantages for the kids.
Incorporating music and movement at whatever grade is important. For early childhood classes, introducing simple instruments can be explored. In fact, making such simple instruments can be included in arts activities. For older kids, more complex instruments can be introduced and for advanced learners, they can even explore the mechanics of such instruments. For example, they can learn about how to change guitar strings, replace drum skins and the like. They can also look into the wiring system of electronic musical instruments and use a seymour duncan jb in order to experiment on how adjusting guitar strings can bring a better balance to the sounds the instrument produces. From there they learn more than just music, but even elements of electronics, engineering and mechanics.
Overall, much as I am not very musically inclined, I do see the value of making music a part of everyday learning.Read More