More Than Just A Profession

After going through the readings, I see teacher professionalism as somthing that is tied up with various social, political, economic, and even cultural factors (e.g., control, customs, traditions, elitism, maternal-/paternalism, etc.). Meaning to say, since education is universal, teacher professionalism should also cover the discussion of education stakeholders like the community, students, school administrators, parents, and the government among others.

More than just a profession, teaching is a passion. My officemate who worked as a publich school teacher for a couple of years helped me through this module. She enlightened me on the realities of being a teacher and asked if I am still up for the challenge. Well, I am here already and there is no turning back. I salute all professional teachers who defy the odds.

I actually liked it that we were tasked to relate the topics in the Philippine setting. In this journal, I want to pay homage to what kind of teachers Filipinos are. Filipino teachers who traverse rivers, climb mountains, brave extreme weathers, among others just to give quality education to far-flung areas. Filipino teachers who opt to leave the country to teach foreign students just to send their own children to school here in the Philippines.  Filipino teachers who work way beyond his/her job description to give his/her students more than just assignments but hope that they can live a better life. Filipino teachers who played a major role why where we are at this very moment.

If we see ourselves, the teachers, the parents, the government, etc., as part of the problem, they are also part of the solution. The progress of the education system is not the responsibility of the teachers alone but all of us who benefit from it. All we have to do now is extend our helping hands to attain the kind of education that we are just used to be dreaming of.

I wish to become a Filipino teacher someday. I want to be the kind of Filipino teacher who is optimistic that we are off to something way better than what we are today. As the cliche goes: be the change you want to be.

As we are close to finishing discussing among ourselves this module she said, “If you cannot find your passion in teaching, you cannot keep it as a profession.” To which I nod.

Personally, I do not like doing things half-hearted.

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Collect and Reflect

I had difficulty in determining skills that I already “promoted” as my second nature. For some reason, it came to me that I have not reached the level of unconscious competence yet or I am just not aware that I am already there. If there is one thing I am certain of at present, I still have a long way to go in the process in following this learning model. Unconscious competence is still a long way to go. All I have to do now is to work hard every day and face challenges head-on to reach the learning goal.
For someone whose first experience in “teaching” was teaching toddlers how to kick and punch in Taekwondo class during weekends, it is hard for me at this time to determine if I am an effective active/proactive teacher (because I firmly believe if I am one). Also, it is too early to find out for me if I already have a concrete teaching theory and/or philosophy that I will put in practice. I am not saying I am starting from scratch in terms of teaching philosophy. After going through the assigned readings, I found it in my heart to start a journal again like I did when I was younger (that was a diary to be exact). Good thing that Teacher Roja assigned our class to set up a blog that will help us track our progress, point out our mistakes, and improve our weaknesses as part of the process of learning in this course. This blog is more than just a course requirement, after all.
The three characteristics (Dewey) of a reflective teacher is within me, I believe. My endeavor now in relation to this is to find it in my system, in my very being, to actualize and improve it along with other traits that will help my future teacher self and my future students to have a sound relationship even outside the four corners of the classroom and the school gates. If there is one thing I have to develop as an aspiring teacher, that is my patience and pain tolerance for sure.

This module actually helped me grasp more my decision of signing up for the PTC program of UPOU. Being able to teach effectively after passing the boards (hopefully) is a dream come true. The whole module made me rethink my post-graduate decisions, in general. Giving teaching a try is maybe one of the best decisions I have made so far.There are times that I doubt my decision of enrolling to this course before this module happened to me as if it is the only sign that I was waiting for to fully convince myself that I am entering another league in my life – whatever lesson I encountered so far helped me step up my game.

All of the things that I can learn and do as a future educator is just out there in the open waiting to be discovered. Everyday is a chance to reflect. Everyday is learning through gains and loses.

Almost Rejected

I am not really sure if I already ran out of words to start my introduction or I am just overwhelmed by the fact that I was accepted to the PTC program of the UPOU. It felt like I was waiting for the longest time of my life since I applied for the program in January. I took my undergraduate course in UP Baguio, living away from my family for the last 5 years. And now, I almost got declined to pursue PTC. Maybe it is always this way for me when it comes to my UP education. Always hard but always worth the wait.

“Will I be an effective educator after finishing this course?” is the kind of question I do not have a certain answer yet. Maybe it is too early to answer but now is the time to start looking for it. Speaking as a student, effective teaching for me means being able to apply what was taught in the classroom to everyday life, that learning should always be directed to achieve an end. This has become my standard to my former teachers way of teaching. Also, effective teaching is not spoon-feeding.

 An idea of having an ideal teacher is almost the same as having the idea of an ideal partner. For one, the teacher must know what he/she is teaching in his/her head but also by his/her heart because it is difficult to trust yourself to someone who is not fully aware of what he/she is saying or doing. This can also be a gauge of measuring or determining one’s passion for something.
 We are brought up in a society where we look up to our teachers as our second parents. Sure they are. Teachers transcend their roles beyond teaching simple arithmetic, for example. Teachers are motivators, inspirations, your mortal enemy sometimes, but sure they are able to affect who we are today.
 There is more to learn about myself from time management to my concentration to memory. I am sure that UPOU will be very challenging for someone like me who is new to distant learning. I am very thankful that I am here and the only task left for me to do now is finish it.
 Getting into UPOU is my way of  giving back to the Filipino people who inspired and helped me finish my undergraduate degree. This is my pledge to the course and to the country as well: I will serve you in the best way I can.