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 11, 2012

Posted by in Advocacies | 1 Comment

What’s Your Bright Idea? Spark Change with Unilab’s Ideas Positive Competition

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.

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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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Feb 1, 2012

Posted by in Music and Movement | 0 Comments

Music and Movement in Kids Curriculum

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.

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Jan 27, 2012

Posted by in Advocacies, Going Green | 2 Comments

Bid for A Greener Future with WWF

It has been quite a long time since I got myself involved in an advocacy project and so when I was invited to participate in a project that The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) was doing in celebration of its 50 years of conservation, I immediately jumped at the opportunity.

What really motivated me to say yes to this project was Joe, the dog I adopted last year. Raising him made me realize that while he and his brother, Bubba, are quite lucky they live in a home, are fed and are safe, many other animals are not. Not only that, the places that these animals make their homes in are not protected either, all because of what we call “modernization”.  And so I decided that my project this year will be on going green in whatever small way I can.

However, while individual efforts at going green, such as taking steps to choose earth friendly products, recycle, and so on and so forth, are important, we can also be part of a bigger solution by teaming up with organizations that can put together individual efforts into collective action. One such organization is the WWF.

In celebration of its 50th year, the World Wildlife Fund invites us all to bid for a greener future with an online fundraising auction, GREENER AT 50, via Ebay Philippines. Proceeds of the project will benefit the WWF-Philippines’ environmental sustainability projects. Up for grabs in the online auction are limited edition items from celebrities, such as a signed pair of pointe shoes by prima ballerina, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, and other memorabilia from celebrities and personalities including the Philippine Volcanoes Team, Pat Dy, Sara Black, Boy Abunda. You can also get the opportunity to immerse in exclusive WWF sites and discover nature from your own experience!

Check out www.ebay.ph/wwfgreenerat50 to view the items for auction and get ready to start bidding for a greener environment.

This year, let’s all be part of the solution and bid for the future with WWF-Philippines.

Log on to wwf.org.ph to learn more about WWF-Philippines and like them on facebook http://www.facebook.com/WWF-Philippines.

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Jan 26, 2012

Posted by in Teaching Resources | 0 Comments

Don’t think twice to learn English

It is easy to discover why English is such an important language. Everyone should know how to speak this tongue, due to its worldwide impact. Let’s analyze some facts about the English language.

English is the 4th most widely spoken native language worldwide. As to its number of speakers, it is the most spoken official language in the whole world. Also, it is the first choice when it comes to international affairs, which may be owed to the fact that it has official status even in countries where it isn’t the main spoken language. In global trade and commerce, English is spoken as the default language as well.

Have you noticed that most of the Internet is in English too? It seems like the language rules the Digital world. Typically, English is the language of newest applications, programs and software in general. Everything is written in English before it is made available in other languages.

When it comes to Education, English has vital importance as well. In universities in Canada, the United States, Great Britain, New Zealand and Singapore, thousands of students come from foreign countries. However, the default language of instruction is…guess? Yes, it’s English. When seeking to learn English Cairns students don’t think twice. They know that this language will open many doors for them in the field of studies. Consider that the majority of the top business and medical schools and advanced-study institutes are situated in the United States and the United Kingdom.

It should come as no surprise that knowledge of English opens job and employment opportunities in many different countries and markets. While studying to learn English Sydney students are aware of how much brushing up their English will do for them. To get job opportunities it is of vital importance to be not only fluent, but also be able to switch the register from formal to informal in order to be able to adapt to any kind of situation in a proper manner.

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Jan 24, 2012

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Teacher Made Materials: Why Bother?

Just before the Chinese New Year came in I decided to give cleaning my room another go. I was sorting through my files, discarding papers and throwing away old projects when I came across some of the teacher made materials I had made waaaaay back when I started teaching preschoolers. I found them at the very back of those plastic stackable storage cabinets that I love so much and I suddenly missed being a preschool teacher again.

Anyway, going back to those teacher made materials, it got me to thinking about all the time I spent making flashcards, bingo cards, etc etc. After all, they can be bought in the stores, right?

For me, as a teacher, even though the toys and educational materials were available in the stores, I still made little teacher made materials even to the end. Why did I bother? Mainly because I liked being able to modify materials for my kids the way the kids need them. This is not to say, however, that I don’t use store-bought materials! I just realized that teacher made materials are really more individualized and activity specific.

I am grateful, however, that by the time I got to my eighth year or so of teaching I could afford the conveniences like a laminating machine and a ring binder. Before, I used to painstakingly use packing tape to wrap materials. QUE HORROR!!!

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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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