Major Major x 2

Module 2 got me like: NOT AGAIN.

Kidding. I am not forced to like philosophy. I do not actually like it at first because of the lengthy readings I went through in college. I did it, finished the degree with flying colors. I thought I am not going back it to it ever again. The 19-year old me was just a curious cat as to why everyone in school was avoiding it. That curiosity of the teen-age me got me into some sort of mess of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, St. Augustine, Wittgenstein, Sartre, and a lot more of dead men only god knows who. The curiosity I happen to have almost 6 years ago made me fall in love with what I am reading now. Some people call it “weird” but I am happy that I found the exciting in the “horror” that is philosophy.

The philosophies that I just read included different takes now because they already included its application to the field of education and teaching as a profession. Nevertheless, I am very happy to read that the references are inclusive enough to have the names I may have mentioned in the first paragraph. Open-mindedness and a very clear mind were top 2 of the things I need as to understand one philosophy not to mistaken one to another and read first before arguing with the article. Just like the old times.

Idealism, Realism, Existentialism, and Pragmatism has gone a long way already. So did I (hope). One philosophy comes out as a result of a former, whether a complement or a totally different one questioning the first. That was the first thing I have learned some 5 years ago. What I actually did in this module (which somehow or totally deviates from the objectives) is to determine which philosophies my Philosophy professors applied in teaching us as I read each major philosophy. I figured out that one of my 3 Philosophy professors is a pure pragmatist (though he is a existentialist at times), regardless of what period in Philosophy that we were discussing (our philosophy curriculum is divided periodically) since I met him 3 or 4 times during college. He always wanted us to push further and believed in what we can do. He was like a team captain always ready for pep talk, he was the one always able to integrate words of encouragement to us to make philosophy more bearable. My other two professors are a combination of Idealism, Existentialism, and Realism. They are a perfect combination of the three as they look after the class’ character development. The three of them always reiterate that what we learn inside the classroom is just all theories waiting to be applied in real-life situation. They made me open to debates. They made tell what I do not know and made me question what I already know. And that, my friends, is the point of philosophy in a very general sense. I learned from the best.

Philosophy is very dynamic on its own. We might get confused if we are the people who is adapting to changes in philosophy as we are the ones who are making it in the first place. That is how powerful our minds and actions are. That is how also how powerful philosophy is to make such impact to our lives.

The challenge to become the best teacher my future students can have lies within me and the application of teaching philosophies that I have learned and reviewed in this module. Seems easy to say, but I am sure as everyone else in this class that this endeavor will never be easy.

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Finding Philo

 

Philosophy has always been a part of all of us since we were born, maybe even before we uttered our first words. Philosophy has always been a part of me since I was in college. Shifting from political science to philosophy as my minor was a make or break decision for me back when I was in my second year as a social science undergraduate. But hey! I did it.

Philosophy, for me as a student, is discovering someone’s philosophy, adopting it as my own, modify some of its parts, and live according to it. Somehow giving it my own brand. These are still the rules of the game for someone like me who aspires to become an educator in the very near future. Only by this time, I am to find my own teaching philosophy within and begin to pass it on to my students to-be. Sounds easy but I bet it is not in actual practice.

Like everyday, there are still a lot of things to reflect on as I continue to find what philosophy would define me as a teacher. I am not saying that I need only one philosophy that will serve as a guide. I wish to become familiar, if not mastering, all possible philosophies needed to become an effective teacher and produce holistic kinds of students.

This journal is about three weeks late, I know. There are a lot of things that happened these past days. This is a part I should not include in my philosophy “branding”.

We discover and learn something very important to us and we might not be mindful of it at first glance. That’s philosophy. If philosophy comes out because it becomes a need, we’ll then, I’m out to find one for me.

 

First Term Jitters

This first term is my second term in the PTC program of UPOU.

My first term in UPOU, about four months ago, was alongside with the peak season in the publishing house where I work full-time. Three or four months ago, my office desk was full of manuscripts waiting for copy reading, plain reading, and proof reading. About six months ago, I decided to become a CrossFit athlete as well.

I think I did good during my first term in the PTC program as a first time distance learner. I felt really good about myself because I did not get a 3 or a 5 in both of my subjects. Full load in PTC units and full-time work looks pretty hard for me at a first glance but I did it!

Guess what? Nothing has changed – it is still peak season at work, I’m still breaking personal records in the gym, frequent dates, and movie nights with my siblings. My life-work-school-balance is on a roll.

Now, I am already onto my second term as a distant learner, more pressure is on. My first term is already history and  I sure did learn from it. There are a lot more aspects I need to improve on as a distant learner. Time management looks challenging more than ever. I will (try my very best) to allot more time to studying than I did last term so as to avoid cramming and sacrificing the quality of my output.

I was thrilled when Philosophy of Education was offered for this term. The word “philosophy” rings a bell to me everytime I hear or read it.

I got 25 points, my highest, in Social Reconstructivism. Here are my other scores: Progressivism at 23, Perrenialism at 22, Existentialism at 21, and Essentialism at 18. My test score is a revelation for myself. At first I thought I would score the highest in Existentialism but it was Social Reconstructivism. I cannot but agree with the scores because it tells a lot about me as a person, what more a future teacher.

Sure thing, culture and other aspects affect the way I live and most probably the way I will teach.

Goodbye and Thank You

EDS 111 showed me how hard it is to become a teacher only in 3 months. It literally and figuratively changed the way I think about teaching. Teaching is a profession more than passion. This is contrary to what I believe in that teaching was just pure passion.

The influence and drive to face the challenge of teaching head on was ignited in me. I never thought I would come this far in PTC. I cannot even believe that my first term is close to done since I am yet to pass last two requirements in my other class. I must say that this term prepared me for the worst especially in terms of time management when I begin to teach someday.

Since my current work is also in line with the field of education working in a well respected publishing house in the country, it is my pledge to do my best as an editor for this is one of the things that I can do now to help the current state of Filipino education.

I sure learned a lot from the modules. I also discovered something about myself that I have not known for a long time. But sure, it was from my classmates who did not hesitate to share their stories and experiences I learned the most. Thank you.

I Can Only Do So Much

I have become more self conscious (reflective, hopefully) what kind of teacher I want to be, how my students want me to be, and how will I actually be like when I begin to teach.

Doing the final assignment of this course is somehow linked on the last module especially on how poverty affects the learning process and teaching style of a teacher. In my assignment, I looked into three documentaries all produced by GMA 7 (2 from I Witness and 1 from Frontrow). Layag, Maestra Salbabida, and Buwis Buhay Gabay Buhay depicts the everyday life of a teacher to the barrios. Taken in different years, the documentaries showed me the importance of how important education both as a student and as a teacher.

Far flung and poverty stricken areas were featured. I can only imagine how they survive a day. But maybe, it is the collective nature of the community that what keeps them going, a typical Filipino family and community quality. It is in these places that we find teachers who wakes up early in the morning, walking with a combination of trekking and occasional swimming in wild rivers. After watching the documentaries, my initial impression of it is not impossible of finding teachers in such far flung places. I have this single reason as to why I believe in this reality: Teaching is really a noble profession and is passion driven as the cliche goes.

For a moment I was convinced that poverty drives away students from education and just look for something that will get them through the day. It is already a usual story that children engage in child labor to help their family. The teachers on the other hand have all the legitimate reasons to leave the barrios and seek greener pastures in the Metro or abroad. However, poverty was given another light in the documentaries for it is the very same reason why they both the students and the teachers work hard just to go to school.

Education is a right according to our constitution but only few people have an access to it. The challenge lies now on the question for how long they are still go through the obstacle of going to school everyday? For all I know, I am not getting tired of bringing up this issue all the time because it is the best thing I can so with my abilities and resouces. For now, I can only do so much.

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping the Fire Alive

My professional development started when I thought of enrolling to the PTC program of the Open U. Little did I know that I would actually pursue it after being guaranteed a slot. Every day, little by little, one (late) requirement at a time, I want to believe that I am surviving. I want to believe that I can make it through this sem.

Activity 4 made me think of more what if’s after hearing the story of my sister’s former teacher who turned to be my friend. It is a sort of a sad story told to someone like me who aspires to become the best teacher I want myself to be. She turned out to be the best teacher for to students but not to herself. Lack of self motivation, check. Lack of support for professional development from the school administration, check. If her initial aspirations were considered by the school administration, her professional development could have fought a good fight.

This did not made me doubt what I want  to do after completing the program. This posed a withstanding challenge that I have to finish what I have started and should not stop learning and defying the odds. I hope that I will land to a school that considers the well-being and professional development of their teachers. On my end, I should also not let go of the fire that I have within me. I along with my target school should have a common goal of providing quality education to the youth and at the same time feeds their staff’s eagerness to move forward and advance in their field.

I hope all the teachers and aspiring educators find the dream school they deserve.

I hope my friend teacher finds a good school. I hope that after all these professional challenges that she faces, she still finds it in her heart the passion of pushing kids that they can do everything.

In One Way Or Another

It’s been already a month since this term started but I still get caught in the trap of my own schedule. I admit I still do not have a firm grasp on how to balance school schedule against other aspects of my life. I still get rattled everytime my phone beeps to remind me that the deadline is in 2 days, in 1 day, in 2 hours. If I get an academic award (I know there’s none) for bring the best crammer, it will be such an honor. If I also get an academic award (I know there’s none too) for beating deadlines in their faces, it will be something that I will brag about.

I still find myself drowing in jargons in this module and in my other class. Everytime I read the required resources, I find myself looking up as if I’m running out of oxygen. That’s what I have been through for a past month now, especially on this module. There are times that I resort to finding instructional videos that tackle the same subject as in the module guide. Sometimes I’m lucky, sometimes I’m not.

On the bright side of all of these grasping, gripping, and running, I figured out that this is something that what I should have learned by now-there are unlimited number of things to learn I just do not explore that much. If this is the case, there are also unlimited number of ways to teach effectively. It may sound funny but this sounds like a cliche my mother always tells us, “Kung ayaw may dahilan, kung gusto may paraan.”

There are a lot of things happening in my life right now and I really wonder how am I still alive. Maybe it’s about a purpose. Maybe it’s everything about the purpose.

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.

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.