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Sep 30, 2010

Posted by in Tips and Tricks | 0 Comments

Field Trip Reminders!

One of the kids’ favorite activities EVER are field trips. I don’t think this ever goes away…even my college kids ask me to take them on little field trips all the time! However, for the teachers, field trips can be a logistical nightmare. Sometimes it can get difficult to iron out the kinks of any trip, but somehow it always works out. Some tips to keep in mind, however are as follows:

  • Make sure all teachers are given copies of all lists needed (bus assignments, special considerations, etc.). That way everyone is on the same page.
  • Keep a list of parents numbers handy, just in case of emergency
  • Stock up the first aid kit. Be ready for anything.
  • Bring extra water, clothes, barf bags, cleaning aides and the like. With kids, anything can go wrong at any moment!
  • Check on the policies of the places you are visiting, so you can prepare for these. For example, if you do a theater activity, do note that snacks are not allowed, therefore the kids, their nannies and parents should be reminded to leave these in the bus instead, especially since checking them in to the counter can take a long time.
  • Try to get travel and0 emergency insurance quotes included in your tour packages, even if this may up the rates a little bit. It’s better to be prepared than to be sorry, right?

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May 11, 2010

Posted by in Teacher's Corner | 0 Comments

Keeping school kids safe

Last March, my brother met a tricycle accident on his way home from school. He had come from rehearsing their class play. As is customary for many high school students here in the Philippines, he commuted home. He had done it countless times in the past, so we never imagined anything could come out of it.

At 7:40 that evening, just when I was getting ready for a massage, my mother called me up. With a panicky voice, she asked me to rush to the nearby hospital with some cash because my brother had gotten in an accident. All she said was that the tricycle he was riding had figured in a vehicular accident. I had no idea what to expect or how bad it was.

When I got to the hospital, I immediately heard my brother’s cries of pain. He had not yet been given any pain killers because they had no consent yet, and he was a minor. Upon walking into the curtained area, I saw him lying there, his face and clothing covered in a lot of blood. In his forehead was a large gash, several inches long. His forehead was protruded and his eyes seemed shrunken in to his head because of the swelling.

Thankfully, despite the bad way he looked, he didn’t suffer a concussion or have any major fractures. All he needed were 7 stitches and a lot of pain killers.

When the school found out about the accident, they immediately went to check on him and supported him in many ways. The accident happened a few days before final exams and he was quite worried about how this will affect his grades. They gave him accommodations to complete his requirements and he finished the school year with no problems. The school doctor even gave us a form from the insurance company. Apparently their school had provisions for coverage in case of accidents, and since he was coming home from school when the accident happened, he was eligible for a claim.

It was nice to know that there are such provisions that attend to such accidents. I always thought coverage by insurancespecialists would end when you step outside the school premises. I guess keeping school kids safe should really not be limited to class hours only. Besides the normal provisions needed to keep kids safe, it is important to make sure all efforts for your students safety must be explored.

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Sep 27, 2009

Posted by in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Pass or Fail? The Bayanihan Challenge.

Over the past 24 hours, I’ve been trying to monitor what people, establishments, and the like did to help Filipinos weather the wrath of Typhoon Ondoy. This was the worst rainfall ever recorded by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services or PAGASA. Reports also state that this is even worse than the rainfall dumped by Hurricane Katrina. If there is one thing the typhoon proved, it’s that the spirit of Bayanihan is still alive. However, while some acts were amazing others were, well…way beyond disappointing.

Here is a compilation of efforts seen and experienced by those in my social networking and microblogging sites. As such, these are reposts/plurks and I do not know how true or accurate accounts are. I am just sharing what I read.

So you decide…did these people pass or fail the Bayanihan Challenge?

___________

DLSU/CSB/UP Diliman (as plurked) : faculty, staff and students trapped on campus were made to spend the night. Matresses and some food provided. Officials even implored for them not to leave as it was unsafe.

Schools like Playschool International, Xavier School, Ateneo, Poveda (and many others I am sure) are accepting donations and mobilizing volunteers.

Neighbors in Antipolo area welcomed stranded neighbors in their homes which were on higher ground. Also reported same cases in Fairview.

Bloggers maximized their online potential by compiling lists of relief centers, contact numbers and ways to help victims. Spreadsheets and similar media were also utilized to help locate and map out locations of those still trapped and in need of help.

Individuals post on Facebook appeals for help and updates on those trapped and rescued, while others joke about the country deserving what it got and that people should not complain kasi “di babaha kung di nagtatapon ng basura eh” (granted there is a point in that…but seriously?)

Supreme Court cancels Bar Exams early Saturday afternoon, thus allowing barristers from not making journey to Manila area necessary.

Licensure Exam for Teachers (LET) cancelled in Metro Manila around 10 PM of Saturday, but reported pursual of exams in Northern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao would push through. Last minute, exams were canceled too.

Establishments like Fitness First in MOA allowed customers to stay overnight as they were unable to head home. Other reports, however, said that people were asked to leave because the mall would close. Some malls opened their doors for those who could not head home.

MRT/LRT operates for 24 hours. Flate rate of Php 10.00 implemented to help stranded commuters. Also, people were allowed to camp out in LRT/MRT stations.

Taxis jacked up prices to take residents to their destinations. One example, a taxi ride from airport to Muntinlupa was priced at Php 1200.

Overheard on DZMM (I wasn’t paying attention much), a donut store was selling whatever donuts they had left at Php 80.00. Reporter stated it was shared by a texter.

Cebu Pacific waives Rebooking fees for those who missed flights TODAY to accommodate those who could not make it to the airport.

MMDA suspends Number Coding throughout the week.  As reported by a friend: “in the midst of the deluge yesterday, hub’s company truck was towed in EDSA. Obstruction daw. Duh. Ang bad bad bad talaga ng ibang tao! X-(.  MMDA people towed the truck. MMDA!!! They were supposed to be helping instead of being major pains in the ass!!! What violation is that when a truck stalls because of flooding? Somebody from MMDA pls clarify this to me.”

Relief goods were quickly gathered, but difficulties in distributing them were encountered as flood waters made reaching evacuation centers and homes virtually impossible.

Reports of shortages of rubber boats all over the metro. Large companies let choppers, trucks. All as the Philippine Star reports GMA used P 800 – Million emergency fund for her foreign trips and junkets.

____________

In my favorite movie, Freedom Writers, I remember most the line offered by the character of Miep Gees, the woman who hid Anne Frank in her attic from the Nazi’s when the student called her a hero. She replied: Oh, no. No, no, no, young man, no. I am not a hero. No. I did what I had to do, because it was the right thing to do. That is all. But even an ordinary secretary or a housewife or a teenager can, within their own small ways, turn on a small light in a dark room. You are the heroes. You are heroes every day.

Typhoon Ondoy gave us all a chance to be a hero. Did you rise to the challenge? I sure hope so. 

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Sep 26, 2009

Posted by in Teacher's Corner | 6 Comments

Rainy Days are Here Again: How Should Schools and Workplaces Respond to the Challenge?

According to PAGASA, today’s rainfall was the worst in recent history. I found myself glued to the television for most of the day, watching how flood waters rose and inundated places which no one would have ever imagined. In fact, I was amazed at a photo I came across in my friends blog site (photo was taken from a student’s Facebook profile, I think).  On one hand, I am grateful this disaster happened on a Saturday when there are no classes for most students. I feel for the students who had make-up or laboratory classes and graduate classes today.

This led me to thinking about how schools should respond when weather is this bad. Ideally, it would be nice if classes were suspended early enough to avoid people getting stuck in the middle of a downpour. However, with today’s weather, even when there is no storm signal warning, the flood waters and weird weather gets the better of everybody. Since classes started last June, there already has been a lot of cancellations, many of which coming around noontime, when rains usually get bad.  Not to defend the Department of Education or the weather bureau, I think they are also caught in a quandry. Granted that sometimes some people drop the proverbial “ball”, sometimes they don’t really have a choice.  I mean, if they cancel to early, they get called out for it. Too late, it’s the same thing. As the saying goes, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

For college students,  it’s even worse! Their classes are often the last to be cancelled. Often times, it isn’t till flood waters have risen that suspensions are declared.

As mentioned, school cancellations can be a slippery issue too. As soon as a suspension is declared, parents flock to pick up their children in school, which can also prove to be a challenge. It was interesting to hear how one school schedules the dismissal of the students in increments so as to lessen traffic and attempt some organization in dismissing. On the other hand, some schools do not have such contingency measures. In the university I teach in, it is nice to know that provisions are made for students who find themselves stuck inside campus when these things happen, especially since Taft Avenue is notorious for sudden flooding. I am grateful I have never needed to avail of these provisions myself, but still it is comforting to know.As a teacher in that school, it makes me feel secure that if I have to, I can wait out the storm there and not have to brave the floods where I bet my car would end up just stalling on me. This is usually how it would look by then:

Katipunan Road outside Ateneo, Miriam, near UP

Katipunan Road outside Ateneo, Miriam, near UP

Vito Cruz near DLSU, CSB, SSC

Vito Cruz near DLSU, CSB, SSC

At this point, virtually impossible to make it home safely! What I’ve done on a personal level is pack an emergency kit. I think this would help me especially knowing that my school will allow me to stay in campus overnight if need be. Perhaps offices can do the same.

So now I pose this question: how are your schools/workplaces responding to these kinds of emergencies?

photo taken from www.azraelcoladilla.com.

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