Sunday, June 21, 2015

First Day of School

    This school year perhaps is one of the years which I have the most number of students. I currently have fifty students in my enrollment, four of which are re-entries while two are transferees.
     This serves me a challenge since I would be handling fifty different personalities and attitudes. I also had the problem with my armchairs since I initially have only forty-three. This means I lack seven more chairs to accommodate my students.
     On the first day of school, I got the vibe that this school year would be quite challenging. I notice that most of my students these year, especially the boys are "tiny" sixth graders, who based on my experience, are more restless and energetic. And I was right. hehehe...Hay.. They talk and tease a lot, not to mention that they have the tendency to roam around the classroom. Anyway, I also had quite a number of "big boys", most of them are over-aged. Hopefully I could utilize them and their maturity to help me control the naughtiness of the small ones. My girls on their other hand, were mostly "well behaved" and hopefully they would until the rest of the year.
    This year, I also am a bit frustrated knowing that I have the most teaching loads in the intermediate grade as compared to my other co-teachers. I have three coordinatorship, but it seems these were not given consideration. Hay, I can only complain but at the end of the day, I can do nothing about it. I just have to think that my focus is my students though I felt unfair about the distribution of loads. (FYI, in public schools, whether a teacher has the most or least load, the salary is still constant, as compared to private schools in which more loads mean more salary). The more that I think about it, the more I get frustrated. So better for me to just accept and just to think that what I do is of service to my students. I love teaching but if there is one thing I hate about, it is to deal with my colleagues and the feeling that you are not heard being a young teacher.
   Though I may have qualms about my status as a teacher in the eyes of my colleagues, I still am excited about this school year. My students are the main reason why I teach, and I plan to just focus on them. I am excited what dramas and laughs we will share together, and their backstories and life problems. Hopefully, I could give them a school year that they will treasure for the rest of their lives.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Brigada Eskwela: My Anime-Inspired Classroom

    It was a week after Brigada Eswkela 2015 that I decided to have a rigidon of my classroom. I didn't initially planned it since I am quite lazy due to the extreme heat of the summer, not to mention that the electrical line in my room is broken (I can't use the electric fan).
    As a teacher, I always believe that the physical structuring of the classroom greatly affects the learning of our students. A disorganized, untidy and congested classroom makes not a conducive learning environment. At the same time, as teachers, our classroom is our office. As much as possible, we want our workplace to be comfortable and quite homey for us. This makes our work efficient and less stressful amidst the tons of works we do everyday.
    Recently, the Department of Education released guidelines for classrooms. I don't know if there was a memo or something but I always hear these "guidelines" from the principals and other teachers. According to them, rooms should be painted with candle-light cream or light raw sienna. Other colors are not advisable. Second, bulletin boards and posters inside the classroom should be minimized if not removed. They wanted to make the room with less of these to avoid "distractions". Third, chairs should all face the chalkboard, so the use of other arrangements, like forming a U, chairs facing each other etc are not advisable. And wait, curtains are also not allowed.
    For me, these guidelines limit teachers to be creative with their classrooms. I know that there are colors which are not good for classroom uses but I think teachers should be given the freedom to design his or her classroom. I also am not a fan of rooms without anything on the walls. The bulletin boards reflect both the teacher and students' efforts to make the room lively and fun. That learning is "not boring". Frankly, the only place that I remember where pictures or anything on the walls are not allowed is the psychiatric ward, and our students are not pyschos right? I quite agree with the arrangement of chairs that it should be facing the chalkboard. I find the U-shaped arrangement where students face each other distracting. Students would have the chance to talk or do facial signals, thus would not listen to the teacher. However, sitting/chair arrangement should be flexible with respect to the objective or the activity of the day's lesson. About the curtains, I love having them in the classroom. It enhances the physical appearance of the classroom and at the same time regulates the amount of light in the classroom.
    Here are some snapshots in my classroom. As you can see, I am an otaku so you can see elements of anime 360 degrees...hehe...Obviously, you see some violations about the above-stated guidelines..and I don't care...hehehe

Hello Natsu!!!

Hi Alice!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Brigada Eskwela 2015

   May 18 to 23 is our annual School Maintenance Week, or more popularly known as Brigada Eskwela. During this week, we clean, renovate and prepare our school and classrooms for the opening of classes. This is done together with the parents, students and the community. Stakeholders are also included with the cooperation of government and non-government organizations, private and religious groups.

    Actually,  I wasn't able to clean my room that much because there was an issue with our electrical line. I can't stand staying at my room because of the heat. I can't use our electric fan and I don't want to bath in sweat. I was just thankful to my students who recently have graduated and whom I have contacted via Facebook that they helped clean the room. I was also glad that my students from two years back also were there who helped clean the computer room.

Here are some of the snapshots:

Students help cleaning up the Grade 2 area.

ALS or Alternative Learning System students helping out as well

Our mighty members of the Philippine National Police

Our friends from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who are very surprising to be fluent in our local dialect....

image source: courtesy of Maam Ramina Guevara, documentation committee