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
It is a sad fact that good quality learning materials are costly. While it is true that cheaper and more affordable alternatives are readily available, their quality is not always as good. For example, I was able to buy a relatively affordable pocket chart for my class, but compared to the more expensive one that I got a few years back, it broke more quickly than the old one. Another example is how the low-cost building blocks can really not compare to Duplo or Lego.
However, the question of expense should not compromise the quality of education we give our kids, or at least I would like to believe. I work hard at finding ways to give my best to the kids without having to spend too much. Unfortunately for me, the use of discount coupons and rebates, such as the Radio Shack coupons I was able to use years ago to get one of those V-tech computers, is not very popular where I live. As such, I have to rely on store sales all the time.
Nonetheless, there are many ways to cut costs on a daily basis. Here are a few of my ideas:
- Buy in bulk. Whether it is art supplies or printer ink, get them in the bigger bags since these are often waaaay cheaper. Plus there are often promos for these, such as the HP coupon codes that allow you to get small tokens, rebates and refunds.
- Utilize scraps! I use a whole bunch of these…from toilet paper rolls old boxes, these will definitely lessen the need to purchase new items.
- Scratch paper is your friend! I use these for drawings, practice sheets and the like.
- Make sure your light bulbs and the like are cost-efficient. Recently, we were able to change some of our bulbs to the “green” and “low energy” bulbs. Hopefully this will translate to savings soon. These bulbs are available in local hardwares. Sometimes there are even Home Depot coupons and discount vouchers that can lower the costs of these more expensive light bulbs to the regular ones which are generally cheaper.
- Be vigilant. For me, this is the best cost-cutting measure. Make sure you utilize materials and equipment at it’s best so that you can save in the long run. Keeping these in tip-top shape will make sure nothing goes to waste.
fellow bloggers with SM Winema Project Head, Sharon Yu…
yes…she used to be my student!
One of the most rewarding things for me as a teacher is seeing my kids grow up to become their own people. Over the years I have received updates from parents bubbling with pride over their child’s latest accomplishments and every time I get these messages, I feel a surge of pride rush in me. Even though I know a lot has happened since they were in my class, I can’t help but feel I am part of that growth and progress as well, even just a little bit.
In the past two years, my very first preschoolers have graduated from elementary school and are now in high school. It’s amazing how quickly time flies and in my head, I still think of them as the little kids I used to carry around!
My college kids have graduated too. I guess that’s even stranger for me than having the little ones grow up! For one, a guy from the very first class I taught in the university is now my colleague in the department. More than that, he’s a very accomplished researcher. I also have found myself “working” with former students in a totally different capacity now. Since I have gotten into this blogging thing, I have run in to two former students from an advertising/marketing class I once taught. The last time I saw one of them, we had a long talk about the movie Inception and about Psychology. And you know what, for some reason, I felt so tongue-tied and clueless all of a sudden!!!
In any case, seeing them grow up has truly been a testament to why I do this job
This is about a year old but I guess I really have to say that my car has been my biggest investment ever. Well, financial investment that is. Given that teaching is not really the most lucrative profession around, it really took some time for me to be able to pay off the amortization of the car, but at the end of the day, it was so worth it!
I am also glad that I opted to maintain a comprehensive insurance coverage, even though the car is halfway through it’s fourth year. Sometime last year, for example, a small pebble hit my windshield and a crack appeared. Thankfully, my insurance company replaced it with no questions asked.
This year, when I asked for a my renewal insurance quote, I made sure to include an “Acts of God” coverage. I think this is especially important especially given the changes in today’s weather. We all know how floods are so prevalent nowadays, right?Read More
I was able to dig up one of my old teacher made materials just in time for our class discussion on clothing. I made this probably five or six years ago and I was amazed that it still existed!
When I first made this, what I had in mind was integrating academic concepts to a “fun” game. As such, I created a paper doll, a farmer to be exact. The goal was to dress up the farmer with articles of clothing that matched based on the letter seen on his hat. I guess you can see what I mean in the photo
Cute, don’t you think? hmmm….maybe I should patent this right about now hahaha!Read More
I guess this will not only relate to preschools but to any business venture as well, but one of the key steps in making your plans is considering all options for protecting your investment. From a commercial insurance policy to getting a group health plan for your employees, this can translate to big savings in the long run. For example, last year during Typhoon Ondoy, many schools, ours included, lost some equipment and materials due to flooding. Lucky for us, it wasn’t so bad for our school but for other schools, they lost much, much more. Having a good coverage can surely be a good way to help you get back to your feet, right?
Other important things to plan ahead for, especially in the school setting, are as follows:
- Keeping your fire insurance up to date and ensuring you have the necessary equipment such as a fire extinguisher, a fire exit and the like, just in case of emergency.
- Everyday health and safety measures should also be kept in check. Having your first aid kits fully stocked is one good way to get this done.
- Having a list of emergency numbers, including the numbers of each of the children’s parents close to the phone is also important so they can easily be contacted if the need arises.
- When planning field trips, activities and the like, check out the travel and group health insurance quotes that partner establishments offer.
These are just a few of the things to plan ahead for in ensuring the best for whatever it is you are doing, be it on a personal or business levelRead More
Photo credit Shaun Sullivan, c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved
One of my favorite places to explore for unusual toys or play equipment is the hardware store. I love browsing the aisles in my local store such as Home Depot or The Handyman for things that are not necessarily toys, but end up being great learning materials.
In my personal experience, I’ve used floorboards, tiles, putty, and cement for different kinds of activities. I’ve even made pachinko boards with those teeny tiny nails and scrap wood. From old tires, we’ve made swing sets and obstacle courses. My dream, however, is to get one of those extra large stainless steel drums or those cement tunnels (like that in the photo above) for our school playground. I remember that as a child, those were my favorite spots in my village playground. I would creep into the tunnel with a book and just spend hours there in my own little hideaway.
Some things I keep in mind, however, when using non-toy materials for toys are the following:
- Is it safe?
- Are there any potential risks to using these?
- How can I make it more attractive to kids (especially since hardware stuff are pretty plain and simple, right?
- Is making the toy out of this worth the effort or is it cheaper to simply buy a ready-made toy?
Have you made any toys from non-toy materials? If so, what and would you like to share these ideas?Read More
Before anything else, I’d like to thank everyone who joined in on the IDEAS THAT CHANGE contest sponsored by Unilab. I was quite encouraged by the many ideas that you guys have shared. I wish all of you could be winners, but unfortunately, I only have 5 gift packs to give.
So, with no further ado, here are the winners as selected by our generous sponsors:
2. Ellen Joy
3. April Grace Lacson
5. Erica Yu-b
I will send you an email regarding your prizes
Again, congratulations!Read More
These past two weeks have ushered in campaign period once again at the University I teach in. I can’t help but admire how the whole student government campaign process has changed since I myself was a student. On one hand, I see it as a positive sign, but on the other, it kinda strikes me how our whole political system needs to be improved on.
For one, today’s campaigns are so commercialized and exaggerated. In the realm of real world politics, platforms seem to take a back seat to this commercialization. In the student government world, I can still see how platforms are still important to the kids running. I think this is a good thing, especially since that’s what winning leaders should be made of: good governance and not just good connections.
Nonetheless, I still see how different campaign materials and the like have gone since the time I ran for student government. I remember in my time, we would have to make posters by hand and have just a few “professionally” done posters. Now, large tarpaulines are all over campus.
Before, we would wear pins on our same-colored shirts, but not have them printed with slogans and catch phrases, especially since it was SOOOO expensive to have a small batch of shirts printed. Today, each political party has several designs available.
Before, we would hand out bookmarks and stickers. Today, they hand out pins and baller bands. I wouldn’t be surprised if soon this goes from just personalized ballpens to custom water bottles to promote their parties.
It’s not that these changes have become detrimental to the way student government goes. It just gets me to thinking how much money goes into the production of these. While for the student government, I don’t see it as a problem, mainly because it’s not like they will try to recoup their expenses by being a corrupt student leader. But in real life politics? That makes me question the whole process.Read More
For our discussion on clothing (as part of how we take care of our body) and colors, I decided to let the kids experiment on tie dying this week I started out the week with a discussion on primary and secondary colors, particularly how primary colors can mix together to make a new color. Since then my kids have been calling red, blue and yellow “magic colors” because they can become something else when mixed.
We also discussed the different types of clothing we wear and for what purpose (i.e. raincoats, aprons, gloves, socks, costumes and so on and so forth )
For a culminating activity, we made rainbow shirts!
The kids had a blast! So did teacher I was a bit worried at first about how this would have turned out, mainly because my past experiences with these activities were not very good. Luckily, my partner, Teacher Joy, had experience in this and did great in mixing the dye. I usually put too much water and I used to use vinegar instead of salt in the mixture. Plus I used to “cook” the shirts. Apparently, that was wrong! Haha!
This time, what we did was to prepare the different colors of dye then tie up the shirt and dye it section by section. Plus I squeezed out the excess dye before moving to the next color. Success! For the shirts that kinda had extra white spaces on it, we decided to use the stampers to add some flair
Again, the kids exclaimed “this was the bestest day ever, Teacher!”
We did the shirts yesterday and today, before heading home, we tried it on!Read More
One of the biggest things I worry about as a teacher is my kids’ safety. Be it during play time or dismissal time, I want to be sure they are as safe as possible. This is why I always tell remind my co-teachers that we should never have our backs turned to the kids. Perhaps I may be hypervigilant about this, but it has always been one of the things I am overly attentive with. For example, even during dismissal time, I feel uncomfortable leaving the kids with their nannies in the waiting area because it’s not very child-friendly. For one, it’s hot. Secondly, it’s cemented and quite a small area. That’s why I always ask my kids to stay inside the library or play area while waiting.
I have had my fair share of accidents in school, despite my vigilance. The worst of which was when one little girl ran down the steps and hit her head. Even though the step was somewhat padded, because of the pebble wash under the padding, she got a HUGE bump on her forehead. What made things worse was I was unable to reach her mom immediately and the child’s nanny did not inform her as well that I wanted to talk to her until late in the evening. That was definitely the worst experience ever.
The thing I fear the most, though, is accidentally losing a child from the school premises. Thankfully, we have strict guidelines and procedures for pick-up time and during class hours to ensure that the kids are not taken without our knowledge, even if this is by their parents. We make sure that one of us will physically hand-off the kids to the parent/driver or whoever is assigned to pick him/her up.
Here are other safety tips and reminders for all of us teachers:
1. Childproof your school furniture, including electrical sockets, table corners and doors.
2. Have nanny-safety seminars once a semester to remind them of rules and reminders about kid safety.
3. Empower your teachers with CPR and emergency training.
4. Make sure your fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and emergency sets are in place.
5. Install a security system (such as CCTV’s) as well as heavy duty Kwikset locks/handles and barrel bolts that kids cannot manipulate on their own (yes, even a four year old can manage to unlock doors!) so there’s no way they can’t get out alone.
6. Do emergency evacuation drills periodically.
These are just a few safety tips and reminders. Do you have other suggestions?Read More