Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Teaching: An Incessant Journey

Teaching: An Incessant Journey

        As I was writing down my thoughts about professional standards of a teacher (which was a work related requirement before the Chinese New Year), I went counting back and found out that this is already my 10th year of teaching. It is such a surprise to see that I have been teaching and learning for a decade already. I have met different students. I have gained different experiences. I have fought different challenges. I have listened to different stories and witnessed surprises. This for me is just a beginning of a journey – a reflection of an incessant journey called teaching.

        I still see myself as a teacher for the next decade and decades to come. But up till now, I still want to find out “What makes a good teacher?” If I consider myself a good teacher, then I have to look at my personal qualities that I can boast. Personally, there are two qualities that I have that are beneficial to children- organization and sharing life lessons. The former takes years to learn while the latter takes years to experience. You put these two ingredients together will make learning recipe more meaningful to children.



        How then did I learn how to be organized? When, I was a kid, my mom would ask me to fix the clothes in my dresser. I paired socks up before putting them in the socks bag. I do the dishes and followed the basics like removing excess food first or soap the cups then the spoons then the plates. I also bound my old notebooks together by poking a hole using a nail and sewing them with the white yarn. All these things are basic organization experiences that I have gone through. I grew up fixing my bed when I wake up and it became a habit. These are also life lessons that I considered useful as I was growing.



        In the classroom, organization can be observed in preparing the lessons of the day, daily routines formed, and certain rules suggested for kids to follow. This year, I have started it with organizing the rules of the class. I printed out colored pictures of rules that I want kids to follow in the classroom. These simple rules include eyes looking, ears listening, and mouth quiet, sit straight, raise hands, helping hands, and be friendly. I also added up good pictures to go with the rules. This way kids will see the meaning of the words. With good organization, the teaching would be smooth and fruitful. I always start the day by reminding kids about the class rules and repeat the Seven Rules aloud. I have seen better results. This way organization really matters.

 
        In the lesson, kids should be aware of what they are expected of for the month. With the thematic teaching, kids are aware of the theme lessons they will take up. Walls of the month’s theme are ready for kids to begin learning. My English wall will also be ready. Thematic words and concepts, posters, teaching materials are well decorated in the classroom. Kids will feel the new theme atmosphere when they see changes in the walls. Last year, themes that were taken included My Schoolhouse, Food around the World, My Body, Family and Christmas. I hope that come new term I would consistently make kids aware of the month’s lessons.

        Organization also comes in routines. Learning routines are important. Kids should be safe when they know the sequence of activities in the day. The more practice we do with the routines, the more effective classroom activities will be.

       Life lessons are learned as several bits of memorable experiences that are puzzled into great pictures turned into flashcards of life. Life lessons can be great stories you can share with kids. In teaching I try to show my real experiences to kids. If I talk about animals, then I show real pictures of my pets, my travels to the zoo and the like. This way when kids listen to the stories, they are more colorable. Then, kids can also share experiences about animals they have seen, touched or cared. Recently, while talking about family, I grab my computer and showed them my family tree which my cousin made. I found kids were interested to see the pictures of my family members. These prompted several queries ranging from the most bizarre to the most serious ones. Some kids asked “Do you have mother?” “Where is your grandpa?”  “Is he still alive?” “How many people are there in your family?” “Who’s this and who’s that?” They even asked me to show more pictures of my family. Some gave hilarious comments about facial features and skin colors. Some kids wanted to see special pictures of the babies in the family. Some were quietly listening and watching. Using these pictures learning can become more active and interesting. Kids as people would love to see real people.

         Kids in the future will never remember what knowledge or contents we have taught them but will remember teachers who have contributed to them with life lessons. The primary reason for teaching is to prepare the kids to become good members of the society. I have a great role in the life changing process of my kids.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Re-watching movies

@ I had a week long rest and it was worth it. My daily routine was to wake up at 11 am, ate anything for brunch, do the laundry, clean the house, watched TV series and movies in the net, played Crazy Eight and Crosswise at www.spogg.com, went to the gym and dance classes, banyamos, re-watched movies again and katorlog. It was the same routine and it was productive.

 This is the only holiday where I never got the chance to travel with my colleagues @Rhose and @Jess. We opted to relax at home. (haaaaay nuay lang gale kel cen.)

 I watched (re-watched) a lot of series from Degrassi, The Glee Project, Supernatural, Fringe, Glee, RuPaul’s, SYTYCD, etc. Whew! And re-watched X-men, X2, X-men:The Last Stand, X-Men:Wolverine after watching X-Men: First Class.

 I enjoyed the Glee Project the most. Damian deserved to win the contest. Samuel also did very well in the tasks. Lindsay was super manipulative and can really act. Alex was very fierce and daring. Luckily, the four gets to be on the show. Damian and Samuel will be in 7 episodes while Alex and Lindsay got 2 episode arcs. But my fave was Hannah. I was saddened she did not make it to the finale. Looking at the aspiring gleeks, they looked very ready to start the new glee cast. I hope all of them get the chance to be on the show. It would be very nice to see new faces and members of glee club.

There were also sales in the mall and I got a pair of white sandals from a Horacio Pagani shop. wait... Who is Horacio Pagani? I know Horacio Pagani is a popular car designer. I am just wondering if he is now designing clothes... not sure.

 Classes started this week and I am back to work mode again! ;)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My sunburnt Arms

I have to deal with this sunburnt arms for the next couple of days until it gets dried up and peeled off then new skin cells will appear. I was on a team building seminar with my school colleagues yesterday at HuLuShanZhuang, Huludao, China. It is a training ground were organizations would bring their employees for certain team building activities. I had great time working with my team in several activities like wall climbing (without those safety ropes), crawling on some ropes, climbing on tires, climbing the mountain blindfolded, balancing on several kinds of bridge, bouncing a volleyball on a drum, crossing on a long wired bridge, and etc. After doing all these activities under the heat of the sun, I got this. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! The sunscreen did not work well. I still had a great time. Of course, I enjoyed the camaraderie and team spirit of my colleagues.

Next weekend, I will be with fellow foreign teachers for our Summer Sports Fest. I am expecting for another burn. hmmmm, i have to double up the SPFs!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fire Cupping Therapy

I was looking at my hard disk files and found these pictures. This was taken after getting a Chinese Fire Cupping Therapy last spring. It is locally called "baguaner" /bagwar/. Several glass cups were heated and placed on my back. These cups then suctioned the skin which is effective in mobilizing blood flow. It looked scary especially when you see the fiery cups. It felt very tight when all the cups are placed at my back. In the end, it felt relaxing and soothing. You get these polka dotted back after the theraphy. They say..."the darker the spots means the unhealthier you are."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy Valley Best Ride

          I'm rekindling the child in me, after going to several "amusement/ themed" parks lately. I was at Beijing Happy Valley Amusement Park last May. There were many people in that place. The lines to each thrill rides are really long. You have to wait for long hours to get into the ride. I had fun but the long wait was terrible. If you want to enjoy the rides, then go early. I think most rides are fantastic but you don't have enough time to move around because the place is that super big. I went in the afternoon that means the place is jam-packed with many people of different ages. Some even in their wheel chairs are there. Hmmmm... here are the snapshots of my adventure in the place.
They also have beautiful slash colorful parades ala Disneyland
         


I saw the line to this Aztec Roller Coaster and thought of not lining up because the line was toooooooo loooooooooooong. I thought of taking pictures instead.

There are like four themes in the park. This is the Antlantic City... mucho ANTS!






   

         One of the best fun rides I tried was the biggest Aztec Sun Ride in Happy Valley. After lining up for several hours, (obviously, mucho gat hente!) it was worth the wait. Look at those tiny people on that giant swing... haaaaay! I am so excited to ride it at this time but I have to wait!
Time for my ride! Whew! It was by far the best ride ever! I looked so poised because I knew there were cameras around and I have to maintain my composure. The people around me looked so nervous! whew! Em lovin them facial expressions!

They have this not-so-scary-horror-house! It was a boring horror house. I think GLORIA sa Dapitan Horror House would be far better than this.
The 3D IMAX was cool. They showed an animation produced by LEGO Inc.

It was very tiring day. I suggest you bring many food when you go here and you can eat while lining up for your next ride. The prices of food inside the park is really very expensive. In the end, it was still a great experience.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Top 25 of 2010

Good day! Sometimes internet connections can be very weird. I still feel I am deprived from using the internet with its limitless functions... I wonder why I was able to use blogger knowing that it is still banned here in China. Whew... including Youtube too. Good I have few minutes to write this up before the web page would eventually turn blank.
As in Chinese... they would always say KUAI DIAN ER! (Move Quickly!)

At the end of the year.. I had to check on my music to see which songs are on the top 25 list! What's the most played song in your ipod? hehehe

Mine would be Bruno Mars' Just the Way You Are! I can listen to this song the whole day!
On the same place is my favorite Glee Track by Kurt (of course, Chris Colfer) Defying Gravity. I would sing this song all over again the whole day! I love how Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth did this great duo from Wicked!

:) I hope I can get to post more... I hope the firewall in China has totally broken! Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Homeward Bound

It's good to be home.

It was a pretty good travel from Hludao-Beijing-Manila then to Zamboanga. Last Saturday was the school's 7th Graduation Ceremonies. As usual, I was the emcee again. We started a quarter past 9 which was super late in terms of "chinese's time standards." The program was supposed to start at exactly 9, however, the people from the local media was late. Luckily, we managed to finish at 11:15. After my last phrase "...live and grow in the loving world, " I rushed to change my attire and got my packed things which i brought to the WarTai Hotel early that day. I had to run past other kids and parents waiting on the elevator door.   I had to move quickly and jump into the taxi to the bus station. Ms. Rose and Ms. Jessie helped me through the rushing. We reached the bus station and I had to line up immediately as the officers checked the tickets.

I reached Beijing and had to rest for the next day's flight. I stayed in Dheck's flat in Bejing. The next day, Dheck and I luckily managed to rent a car to bring us from the flat to the airport. It was a 40 minute ride from ZhongGuanCUn to the Airport. We checked-in at 3 in the afternoon. The checking in was on time but the plane left  Beijing 30 minutes past the scheduled time 4:15pm. China Southern Airlines is one good Chinese Airlines but they rarely have delays. It was just a bad day perhaps. On the other side, it was a safe a nice journey. There were a lot of pinoy kids on board the plane. The kids were participants to a mathematics competition sponsored by Mathematics Teachers Guild (MTG). I heard some kids fared in the competition well. I saw some kids with big glass trophies. The airlines had to stop in Xiamen at 7:15pm  and flew to Manila after an hour. By the way, one good point: They serve good meals 2 times. We reached Manila at 10 30pm and had to rushed through the long immigration line. Most people lining up were 'balikbayans' like me. It was blisstalgic (bliss+nostalgic) to see how excited their faces are while carrying duty free bags with chocolates and other stuffs.

After the long line, we rode the shuttle bus to Terminal 2/Centennial Airport at 1 am. As soon as I reached there, I saw the infamous bee mascot in red and yellow. waaaaaaaa! Jollibee time! We enjoyed eating spag and chicken after a year of crazing. I waited at the airport for my next flight which is at 4 am. Luckily, I reached the city safe and sound with God's grace and guidance.  There was no bombing cases! ouch.. I really feel disheartened to listen to bad news like bombings in the city. I hope these incidents would not happen again.

Whooops, I feel so happy to be back home again. See you around guys.