Categories
PERSONAL

A Month with First Graders

Imagine yourself teaching 32 five-year old students. Sounds fun, right?

Two years ago, I resigned in my first school simply because I was asked to teach sixth graders. I got hired to my second school to teach the same grade level. After a year, I got transferred to fourth grade. This year, I was asked to teach in grade one.  I got no ideas what else lies ahead. I couldn’t absorb the reason why I was asked to teach first graders. I even asked God several times, “Lord, why me?” I struggled to accept this fact.

Now, one month has passed. I am still teaching the same faces which I reluctantly accepted. Good thing, as time passes by, my soul starts to adjust to this new environment, faces, and struggles.

My first week was really tiring. I almost cried after our third day in school. Teaching primary grade was no joke. It took all my energy and being (and self-awareness, btw). I got no time to rest. We had to set the routine, show examples, and discuss every single thing every day. We had to open their lunch boxes, water bottles, and some food wrappers.

It’s our job, anyways, but compared to my previous classes, this is more challenging.

After one month, I have these realizations that no other experiences could give.

I love how innocent kids are. We had this class activity before wherein kids need to draw their family. As I observe them, I noticed that one of my students drew her family, their house, clouds, and a face between two clouds. I asked her, “Who is that?” (I was referring to the face on the sky.) She answered, “That’s Jesus.” I replied, “Why did you draw him?” She said, “Because He’s always watching us.”

First graders are simply cute. In our first week, I received a letter from my student. On its envelope, it was written “Teacher Darna.” It should be Teacher Derla or Miss Derla. But, I didn’t find this offensive, though. It laughed after reading it because my last name sounds like Darna. Maybe, in my past life, I was somehow a superhero.

Kids will always say you are cool, beautiful, or sometimes, ugly–and they mean it! This just showed their honesty. If they do not like something, they say it. But, if they find something or someone attractive or cute, they will never hesitate to tell it. They are fond of giving complements, letters, and cute reminders of their  love for you.

I can say that I am adjusting, but sometimes, incidents happen. These events could be a turning point for me whether continue performing well or simply look for something that will work better. Which is which? I dunno yet. I am still in the process of learning and adjusting. Pray for me, folks.

How’s your life, so far?

 

Sending you good vibes,

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Categories
LIFE LESSONS

Live, Love, and Teach with a Purpose

Most students are back in the classroom. For us in St. Paul, classes resume on June 19. I thank God for having time to blog about the theme and topic I’ve been itching to share with you, guys: my work. I studied Education major in English back in college. Since my course of study is related to English, it was easy for me to get full-time, and even tons of part-time jobs. But, it never ends there.

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Live

I live by the quote “Live life with a purpose.” I totally adhere to this because our social purpose keeps our heart moving. As an educator, I have always had this goal of supporting the greatest advocacy in life — teaching. I’ve considered the English language as my forte; thus, teaching English is my life’s purpose. I’m lucky that I discovered this early. Some have taken time in knowing what their true passion is.

It was in the summer when I started to teach English online. I decided to teach English that time just to  make my vacation worthwhile. I had nothing else to do. So, I decided to teach ESL foreign students. Luckily, I got hired and experienced new working environment. However, after few weeks, I decided to quit for I did not see my purpose in just merely teaching them online. I was not motivated to teach because I only teach for a living, not as a passion.

 

Love

I quit not because I was tired but because I did not see myself growing and doing a socially significant task. I felt like a robot that catered to the needs of human beings. This was the reason why I searched for another company that would cater my goals, purpose, and at the same time, my forte. That was the time I searched for another company and found Learntalk. They do almost the same thing as what my previous company did, but what makes them different is their contribution to building a nation.

In fact, recently, they had a training program that included the Jesuit Volunteer Philippines Foundation, Inc. (JVPFI). Last May 25, 2017, Learntalk gave teacher training about the use of  English in the classroom to these volunteers. This allowed the volunteers to be more knowledgeable about using English effectively in teaching.  Valery, Learntalk’s training manager, told the volunteers to keep their students engaged and interested.

 

Teach

This partnership allowed the Jesuits volunteers to learn  how to handle students using the Learntalk methodology and how to write lesson plans based on British Council standards. They were taught strategies in keeping their students engaged in discussion. Long and boring discussion was discouraged. Indeed, Learntalk’s mission, “English for everyone,” is true to all. As a teacher, I am amazed on how these people show concern and pay attention to the needs of the  nation. They continuously extend their services by communicating with the Uruguayan government so they could also provide English lessons to public schools.

How I wish I could do things such these. But now, I am still confined in the four corners of my classroom, still, teaching English to first graders. I am new to teaching to little kids. Hence, it is really something challenging, but something that I look forward to. Currently, my partner and I are in the process of finishing our materials for the entire school year. By the way, I am also on the process of planning a unique design for my classroom. Do you have any suggestions?

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