Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Success 101: Play!

“Go get Nick! Go get Nick!”… the kids shouted in unison. “Tag him! Tag him!”… as the adrenalin rush sent a thundering chant so loud filling the entire gym with excitement. Nick was sneaky and slippery like snake but with one quick and fast turn fueled with hormonal competitive instinct… I changed phase and tagged him! Uproar turned the gym upside down and next thing I knew my heart was up to my throat.

It was one of the best games I ever played in… [thinking… and counting] thirty five years!

——————————————————-

I did play a lot when I was younger but I don’t think I played hard enough like these kids do under my care. I wasn’t able to play hard enough because I was afraid my trendy clothes will get dirty or ruin my hair or my nails. I wasn’t able to play hard enough because I didn’t want to get sweaty and smelly. And I wasn’t able to play hard enough because I was so busy playing “grown-up”.

As a kid… I think I was matured for my age as compared to my playmates. Back then, I was more interested in fashion and planning for my future. I was a dreamer. I had big plans for myself and set a time frame to achieve them. I had no time to play with my playmates because I thought it was just a waste of time. I had no time for childish game.

As a grown up… I feel that I missed a lot from growing up. Now, I am turning back the time. I am learning new games. Kids taught me to play games that can make my trendy clothes dirty and I don’t care if they ruin my hair or my nails. Now I am playing “tag-you-re-it” and “octopus, octopus” and I am always sweaty. Kids taught me games that I refused to learn when I was a kid because it’s too childish. Now I am playing monopoly and card games like Skip-Bo and Uno, and I love kids’ games. And kids taught me to play active games that make the time pass by so quickly. And now, I am loving every minute of it.

PLAY… For kids – it Is an essential part of growing it. For adults – it is an essential part to get in touch with the child in us. Life is too short. Take a break… relax… play… and let life pass by like a child in play… active… full of enthusiasm… and competitive.

“The world is your play ground.
Why aren’t you playing?”
~ Ellie Katz

As I always say to my kids when they are getting stationary and passive… Go Play!

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

AHA Moment: The Prom

Prom! Who didn't have a chance to experience it? Who doesn't look forward to it? And who dreaded it?

Prom! Ah, memories... memories... memories. Those were just memories.

One of the fond memories I had during my teaching career was attending the JS Prom. The Prom is one of the highlights of High School. Most students look forward to it. And most of them have their own share of Prom memories… either good or “never mind”.

You see, I went to a conservative High School under the exclusive management of Catholic Nuns. During that time, we were not allowed to have a Prom because it was inappropriate for a boy and a girl to dance. But no matter how strict the Nuns were that time, we managed to convince them to have a Prom. And we did. It was held in the classrooms…in broad daylight… in the middle of a hot humid [almost summer] day… wearing Gala Uniforms. Boys and girls did dance with each other but under the strict supervision of the Nuns patrolling the dance floor like military soldiers searching for boys and girls behaving badly.

So when I was accepted to teach in High School 1996… it was indeed the day that I really attended a Prom… in the Plaza… under the twinkling stars… in the middle of a cool [almost summer] night… wearing a Gown. I attended Prom for 11 long years. Each year is different. Each year I wore different gowns. And each year I danced my heart out.

Looking back now… I can say that I did have a wonderful High School memories both as a student and as a teacher.

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Subject Matter: Preparedness

Be prepared! There will be a test tomorrow.

As a student, once the teacher said that… I would instantaneously succumb to a mild to serious panic attack depending on what kind of test the teacher was talking about. I hate test! Who doesn’t? Tests or exams have a negative implication regardless of the result.

As a teacher, once I say that magic phrase… I would instantaneously scanned my students’ faces for any hint of panic attack and would tell myself… you are so mean! I love giving test! It’s my way of knowing if I was effective as a teacher and this time… result matters.

As a human being, we are always tested. Life is a constant performance evaluation that no one is ever exempted from taking. Life is a continuous process of learning and re-learning lessons that will help us pass the test of faith. And life is a never-ending test of perseverance, fortitude and recognition of God’s blessings.

————————————————

Two years ago, a former colleague who was also a friend of mine took the greatest test of her life. Sad to say, even if she was one of the best teachers I’ve ever known, she failed the test. She was tested with lung cancer.

The news shocked the entire campus where she was teaching but her determination to fight the dreaded disease made her stronger that she could imagine. Teacher as she was, she prepared for everything.

Here is the letter she wrote to our principal the day before she underwent series of test for her disease.

Dear Ma’am Alvero,

The blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Ma’am siguro po habang binabasa ninyo ang sulat kong ito ay nakaalis na po ako at papunta na po ulit sa Manila for the next set of test sa health problem ko. Alam ninyo Ma’am, this is my worst hospitalization simula noong una pa akong na-coconfine. Hirap na hirap ako sa lahat ng ginagawa sa aking test. Isa pa nga may problema ako sa puso kaya nahihirapan din akong gamutin ng doktor at bagsak ang aking katawan. Halos mamatay ako sa nerbiyos pero isa lang ang tinandaan ko na sinabi ninyo sa akin… ipagbaubaya mo sa itaas ang lahat at ikaw ay tutulungan Niya. Alam ni God ang dapat niyang gawin. Thanks for the encouragement.
Ma’am alam po ninyo ng kuhanan ako ng tubig sa likod dahil may tubig ako sa baga, yung lumabas na tubig ay may kasamang dugo. Tinapat na po si Kristel ng Doktor ko at sinabi na hindi maganda ang resulta ng nakuhang at nakita nila… which is almost 75% cancerous. Pero sabi niya kailangan pa rin ipa-test ang resulta para makasiguro. Wala pang sinabi sa akin ang doktor pero umiiyak na si Krsitel kaya alam kong hindi maganda ang result a. Nawalan po ako ng pag-asa sabi ko… “Bakit ako pa?”. Sabi ni Kristel, “Ninang doktor lang sila! Never lose hope Ninang.” Habang nag-iiyak lahat… “Please pray at Siya pa rin ang nakakaalam ng lahat. Alam mo Ninang sobrang bait mo tine-test ka lang ni God kaya kakayanin mo. Kailangang kayanin mo lahat Ninang!” 
Ma’am ginawa kong hindi humingi ng awa at patawad at humiling ng pangalawang pagkakataon para mabuhay. Sabi ko… “pabalato po Ninyo sa akin dahil birthday ko po naman”. From that time hindi po ako makakain at makatulog tapos ang daming na ginawa. The first time tumawag ang tatay ko sa cellphone at sinabi hindi daw ako nagpaalam sa kanya kung wala pa daw nagsabi sa kanyang kapatid ko wala siyang alam hanggang umiyak siya at sinabi niya… “sana ako na lang at ako’y matanda na”. Sabi ko.. “panano kung ako ang gusto ni God”. Just pray for me”. Alam mo ba ang sabi niya… “walang mag-aasikaso sa akin. Ngayon pa lang kagulo na kami”. “Magsanay na kayo ng wala ako”, yun ang sabi ko. Sinabi ko rin iyan sa mga anak ko… “sanayin na ninyo na wala ako dahil hindi natin alam ang kahihinatnan ng lahat ng ito”.
Alam ko na marami akong kaibigan na nag-pray sa akin at nagtitirik ng kandila for my early recovery at nagte-text na magpagaling ako. Ilan lang ang na-reply ko kasi nga po di ko pa alam ang mangyayari. Wala akong ginagawa kundi magsulat ng magsulat kasi ang katwiran ko kuhanin man Niya ako, kahit sulat makapag-iwan ako at tanggap ko na kung ano ang kapalaran ko. 
Sa aking Kumareng Gerry, thanks sa mga text mo. Kahit na patay ang tatay mo nagagawa mo pa akong itext na mag-ingat ako at magpagaling di naman kita mareply. You’re such a good friend. Kay Ate Sylvia, thanks for the prayers lagi mong sinasabi kasama ako sa panalangin mo. Ate Nora – sa sinabi mong may awa si God, thank you. Kay Armie – alam ko bahagi ka ng pamilya namin. Kung anong problema namin kaagapay ka. Sa lahat ng teachers na nanalangin… thank you. At doon sa ilang mga teachers nagsasabi na buti pa ako walang pinoproblema, hindi ninyo alam mas malaki ang problem ko kaysa sa inyo. Huwag namna kayong maghinanakit kapag sa oras na kayo ay lumapit sa aking na hindi ko kayo matulungan dumarating ang pagkakataon na talagang wala ako at minsan ako’y nadadala na dahil dumadagdag pa sa aking isipin ang problemang di dapat sa akin. Alam kong naghihinanakit kayo dahil minsna kayo pa yong hindi kumikibo, sana wag ganon. Ginawa ko na ang letter na ito kasi baka hindi na ako magkapagsalita next time. Mawala man ako naiparating ko na lang lahat ito.
Ma’am Alvero, thank you po sa lahat ng ginagawa ninyong pag-unawa everytime na magpapaalam ako sa inyo. Ginawa ko po ang letter na ito para ipaabot sa lahat ng teachers ang pasasalamat ko. Pakibasa na lang po ninyo ito. Alam ko po na magiging ok ako, kung hindi man po at least nakapagpasalamat ako sa kanilang halat. Alam ko pong God is good, God is great, God is almighty. See you soon. Pagagalingin po niya ako at hindi ako pababayaan.
Pasensya na kayo sobrang emotional ako. Dito ko dinadaan sa sulat para maibsan ako.

Thanks,

Gladly Nina B. Vines

AND TWO YEARS AGO... My dear friend and colleague finally lost her battle to lung cancer. She finally flanked all the tests that the doctors gave her but she did pass the greatest test of her life – her unwavering faith in God. Until the end, she held tight to that faith. Until the end, she struggled to keep her faith strong. And until the end she kept her faith alive in everyone whose lives she had touched. She taught us to have a stronger faith.

My dear friend has finally joined the Greatest Teacher of all.

Have peace now Mare… You will always be missed and the lessons you taught each one of us will surely be cherished until we meet again in the next life. I love you.

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

OMG Moment: The Teacher's Alibi

Once a teacher… always a teacher. I believe in that.

Though I am not in the teaching profession right now and doing everything to avoid teaching… I can feel deep in my heart that one day I will be back in the classroom. And even if I had tons of alibis to really stay away from being a teacher… I can sense that deep in my guts that one day I will be back teaching again.

Well, you may ask… “Yeah, why not teach?

Didn’t I say I have tons of alibis? Yes, I did and I can give you one.

1. Need to get certified first before I could teach here in the US.

“So why not get certified, then?” You may ask.

Then I will answer, “because I am still thinking if I want to teach High School here in the US“. [That’s my number 2. Alibi.]

You see, I was a former High School Teacher back home. And from where I came from, high school students are easy to handle. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that HS students here are not easy to handle. There are other factors that I need to consider like… their culture, their physical attributes, and language barrier just to name a few.

The Cultural Aspect.

I think I still need to learn American culture more so that I can adapt to my future students’ way of thinking, way of life, personal orientation, individual idiosyncrasies and behavioral pattern. Knowing all this will give me square and fair chance to deal with them on personal and professional level. Having an understanding of their culture will help me design a teaching strategies that can cater to their needs and to get positive result. But then, at this point in time… I am still in culture shock so I need more time for that.

- The Physical Aspect

I am a small woman. Being an Asian, we have that physical attribute to being vertically challenged. I am barely 5 feet in height and obviously, when I teach HS kids, my students are taller than me. You may think that this is very insignificant. But with my stature, it is. Their height is too intimidating and I am scared that they will crash me to death when I fail them or pin me on the wall when I give them difficult assignments. It’s either they kill me or I kill them first. hahahaha I am just kidding. But of course, those are just my other alibis to avoid teaching. LOL

- The Language Aspect.

English is not my first language. Though I teach English subject in HS, my training and knowledge is not enough to give me the confidence to teach American kids. And though I am confident with my grammar and spelling of English words… I have problems with correct “accent” and proper “diction”. Right now, I am still learning in that aspect too. My kids at work are my teachers. I am trying to learn from 5 to 11 year old kids at work on how to pronounce common words. It is imperative for me to be able to speak the way they do so that they will be able to understand me better. Right now, I am struggling in that department. I am having a hard time telling my kids to do things. I don’t know if they don’t understand what I am saying or they are just having a hard time listening.

So there you go. Those are really my alibis… and for what’s it worth… I am just procrastinating because… I can!

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hindsight: The Work of a Teacher

I was watching my favorite TV show and having my cup of tea one fine night. I just had a relaxing deep tissue body massage that I regularly have on weekend nights and getting ready for bed. It was passed my bedtime but I was still in the mood for another cup of tea.

It was dark outside and most of my neighbors were already passed asleep. The dog next door must have seen something or somebody nearby that made him so agitated. His yowling was loud but not as loud as the banging noise at my front gate. I looked at the time and obviously it was late. But I had no choice but to get up from my relaxing slumber pose, put on my robe and answered the door. It was one of my student’s moms.

Ms. Orona, pasensya na po kung naabala ko kayo sa ganitong oras”. [Ms. Orona, I’m sorry to bother you at this hour.]… she said apologetically.

Hihingi lang po sana ako ng tulong sa inyo.” [I just want to ask your help.]… she continued without hesitation.

Then she said searching my face for a hint of understanding… “Puede bang pagsabihan nyo ang aking anak na makinig sa akin?” [Can you please tell my son to listen to me?]

Sa inyo lang po kasi un nakikinig eh, nahihirapan akong disiplinahin siya.” [He only listens to you. I am having a hard time disciplining him.]

End of story.

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Teachers are role models. Students look up to them. They should be role models. Parents respect them. And they must be role models. Student and parents have faith in them.

As teachers we have bigger responsibility that we can imagine. Our responsibility to our students is not confined in the four corners of the classroom but rather… it goes beyond the walls of our students’ hearts.

As teachers we have a wide spectrum of challenges. Our job is not limited to teaching what is in our lesson plans but rather… it goes further than teaching them lessons in life.

And as a teacher we are accountable not only to our students but to ourselves as well. Our work does not end when our students take the school bus at the end of the day but rather… it continues when they are already at home.

And our story… never ends.

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Subject Matter: Storm

Back home, when there was a storm, my ear would be literally glued on the radio’s speaker as I listened to the news. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out that it was not a good day. At my house, you could tell that it was indeed another not-so-dry-and-not-so-awesome-day when you see those buckets in every room almost half filed with rain water dripping from my dilapidated ceiling caused by the leakage on my rusted roof. We had a storm signal number 3 and for a teacher like me… it was a good sign.

It means no classes… no students to deal with… another lesson plan spared!

—————————————————————
[2008 Ice Storm in Maine]

Storm is Mother Nature’s lesson plan. It teaches us lessons of survival. It gives us a chance to see blessings in a different light. And it helps us to hone some skills to get through with tough times.

Dry spell likewise, is Mother Nature’s teaching tools. It equips us with strength to face hardship. It allows us to use our God-given abilities to live life to the fullest. And more importantly, it gives us an opportunity to grow strongly rooted on the ground to weather any storm.

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Success 101: Take Responsibility

I once had a chance to attend a whole day training required by the State for Child Care licensing. It was a very enlightening and productive training except for the crappy weather. And one of the things that really struck me was the topic on the “responsibility” of a child care provider and/or teacher.

This pledge made a great impact on me in such a way that I thought it would be nice to share it here.

A Pledge of Responsibility for Children

We are responsible for children
…..who put chocolate fingers everywhere,
…..like to be tickled,
…..who stomp in puddles and ruin their new pants,
…..who sneak Popsicles before supper,
…..can never find their shoes.
And we are responsible for children
…..can’t bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,
…..who are born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead,
…..who never go to the circus,
…..who live in an x-rated world.
We are responsible for children
…..who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
…..who sleep with the dog and bury the goldfish,
…..who cover themselves with Band-aids and sing off key,
…..who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink,
…..who slurp their soup.
…..who never get dessert,
…..who have no blanket to drag behind them,
…..who watch their parents watch them die,
…..who can’t find any bread to steal,
…..who don’t have any rooms to clean up,
…..whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser,
…..whose monsters are real.
We are responsible for children
…..who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
…..who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
…..who like ghost stories,
…..who shove dirty clothes under the bed and never rinse out the tub,
…..who get visits from the tooth fairy,
…..who don’t like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
…..whose tears we sometimes laugh at, and
…..whose smiles can make us cry.
We are responsible for children
…..whose nightmares come in the daytime,
…..who will eat anything,
…..who have never seen a dentist,
…..who aren’t spoiled by anybody,
…..who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
…..who live and move, but have no being.
We are responsible for children
…..who want to be carried and for those who must,
…..for those we never give up on and
…..for those who don’t get a second chance,
…..for those we smother, … and
…..for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

~Ina Hughes~

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As a teacher… I am responsible to teach my students not just the basic skills to help them live a normal life but life-lessons that will help them live a productive life.

As a mentor… I am responsible to mold them to become not just responsible citizen but hone their abilities and God-given talents to help them became effective contributors of the society.

As a human being… I am responsible to provide them not only endless opportunities to see themselves as important individuals but to give them a chance to share their blessings to humanity.

These are the reasons why there are teachers who despite their meager salary chose to teach the children even the unteachable ones… why there are mentors who despite rich opportunities being offered to them opted to render valuable time to hone children’s’ skills and teach those who lack them… and why there are human beings who despite their weaknesses are willing to share their time and talents to give students the strengths that they deserve.

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hindsight: Sentiments

Having been out of work for more than a year when I first move here gave me the stress I have never experienced when I was still working. Strange but true. Work is one of the reasons why people are stressed out. But I have never realized that being at home and not working is more stressful than having a real job. Well, I guess housework is a real job now.

I have also realized that housework is more taxing than making lesson plans, checking papers, computing grades and other teaching-related functions that I used to do. My mind is more restless just to think what I will cook for supper than when I was thinking about the next lesson to teach my students.

Well, being a stay-at-home wife is a noble profession. And just like any profession, you also get some benefits from it. You may not get paid as much as a regular employee but certainly you get the rewards that you cannot get elsewhere.

That was my sentiments four years ago.

—————————————————————————

Fast forward to the future… my sentiments turned 360 degrees. I got the job and I should be happy and stress-free. Surprisingly, I am not. Is it normal? Is it just a passing of time? Is it just human instinct? Is it just common as common cold? Is it just seasonal as the season? Or is it just me, being a wimp?

Rewind to the present... my sentiments went down like a mercury to freezing point. I want to cool down, lay low and slow down. I want to have more time at home even just doing chores because I don't have time no more and my laundry is mountainous, my dishes pile is gigantic and my mess in the bedroom is phenomenal. Now, here I am being a wimp.

Moments like these come and go. Holding on or holding your head up above waters makes the difference. Life is always a learning and re-learning experience. And only one thing is sure… it is always inevitable. Yes, I am indeed a wimp. hayyy

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Smarty Pants

"Wisdom is brilliant, she never fades. By those who love her, she is readily seen, by those who seek her, she is readily found. She anticipates those who desire her by making herself known first. Whoever gets up early to seek her will have no trouble but will find her sitting at the door." Wisdom 6:12-14
I was a smarty pants as a kid, bragging aside. Well, I give credit to my mom who was my first teacher.

I may be a smarty pants as a kid, but I was never academically inspired to do more than what I was expected. Well, maybe because my parents didn't set any high expectations of me. They just wanted me to have fun in school and learn the basic to get by in life.

I maybe a smarty pants as a kid, but my parents were smartest pants who instilled values that I realized help me become a responsible, caring, and respectful human being [bragging aside]. I may not be perfect though, but being able to go to elementary, high school and college life without being sent to "detention" for bad behavior is huge. Being able to make good choices between drugs and textbooks is huge. And having something beautiful and wonderful memories to look back is huge.

I am just a smarty pants and no biggies though I have big dreams. I do get by in life okay equipped with the basic knowledge I learned from school. But I live a meaningful life basically from the wisdom I learned from the faith my parents had in me.


Prayer
Lord, thank you for the wisdom you have blessed my parents with
Thank you for giving me the wisdom to obey my parents
And thank you for guiding we with your wisdom
Amen




Thursday, November 3, 2011

be creative

Be creative! It's one easy way to express one's frustration.

- Ruthi Orona-Gregoire -

For more Thursday Challenge... visit HERE.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Homework: Wanna Bet?

It was just an ordinary morning at work. About few minutes before the school bell rang, my staff approached me and told me… “That teacher is so mean!

I was surprised by his remark then out of curiosity I asked him… “Why? What did she do?

She told the kid to sit, in a very mean way.” He replied.

The kid might not be listening and had to tell him again in a more authoritative way.” I said.

Well, she could have said it differently.” He said judgingly.

I laughed by his remarked and said… “When you become a teacher, you’ll see, you will lose it too.”

No, I will be kind and nice and the best teacher ever and kids will love me because I will always be nice.” He replied very confidently.

I just laughed and said… “You don’t know what you are talking about. Trust me!

Wanna bet?” he snapped quickly so sure of himself.

FAST FORWARD:Are you threatening me? Do you think I am scared of your mother?” Those were just some of the words that I clearly heard my [same] staff was saying that very afternoon when one of the kids was arguing with him about “breaking the rules” issues. His face was so red and his voice was a little frustrated and perturbed. It was the first time I saw him so pissed off and the first time I heard him raised his voice.

He totally lost it!

I should have placed my bet! Darn!

——————————————————————

When I was “not” a teacher yet, I have these entire huge plans for my future dream career. I was able to picture in my mind the kind of teacher I will be and the kind of teacher I will not be so that kids will love me. I was all so consumed by my idealism that one day… I will change the world.

When I was a teacher, I came face to face with the reality of my [then] future dream career. I was able to find the hard truth of what kind of a teacher I am and the kind of teacher I am not. I was devastated by my own idealism and one day… I changed not the world but my personal perception in life.

When I was no longer a teacher, I still dream of an idealistic career that will change the world. Teaching is a noble profession and indeed the best venue to start making the difference. I am not saying that I totally lost my faith in my profession but rather. .. I learned that the world is not what you think it is so I changed my mind.

What I am saying now is that when I finally become a teacher I became more realistic than idealistic. Teaching truly brought out the best and the worst in me. It is the best time of my life when I fully comprehend the true meaning of compassion, patience, understanding, perseverance and humility. On the other hand, I realized that I too have weaknesses… that I am vulnerable and that there are things that I cannot change because it is what it is. My teaching career taught me that life indeed.. is full of surprises.

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The humbled servant

"The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be raised up." Matthew 23:11-12

Last summer, I decided to take a housekeeping job in a condominium by the beach.

I was so excited about it because I thought it would be awesome to do something that I don't need to use my brains to do my job. Compared to what I used to do as a secretary and a teacher and now as a site leader/child-care provider, I thought housekeeping will be an easy-breezy job.

I thought it won't require any effort to accomplish my task since it doesn't involve any excellent written and verbal communication skills to clean the toilet. It doesn't need any mathematical abilities to fold laundry. And it doesn't require any educational background to vacuum the floors.

I thought it would be a cool job for the summer because the workplace is just right there at the beach. I planned to spend some "me" time at the beach after work lying on my beach towel reading a book and people watching while sipping a strawberry smoothie. That didn't happen.

I lasted only 2 days in the job. I got sick. And came home crying at the end of the day. It was such a hard work. Cleaning rooms is hard work. I thought it was easy because for me it's just a chore. All my expectations of myself went down the drain and my admiration and respect for the people who do this for a job went up the ceiling.

Though I never look down on people who do manual labor, I never given it a thought that their job is indeed hard work until I took the job. Though I don't discriminate people whose job involved physical labor, I don't highly look at it as important until I found myself in their shoes. And though I had never dream of doing chores for the rest of my life, I do believe that housekeeping is an important skill to keep the house runs smoothly.

Prayers
Lord, thank you for giving me the strength to do my job
but most importantly, for giving me job no matter how small or big it is
Help me to find inspiration from the people who do hard work
and appreciate their contributions no matter how small or big they are. Amen.





Thursday, October 27, 2011

Orange

Orange is not just a color. It is not just a fruit. It is a characteristics that also means - happiness or harvest or blessings or yummy.

- Ruthi Orona-Gregoire -

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Subject Matter: Rules

just had a thought of you.. Before, I was asking myself even other people why you hated me, why you were so mean to me. Then as time goes by and as I’m growing older, I realized that I was stubborn, and blinded to see what’s your real intention. I realized you didn’t want to do those things to me, you just needed to. You want me and everyone to be prepared on what to come. I was able to apply things I’ve learned from you and I’m still applying them. You’re one of the people whom I consider my treasured mentor. So I think its never too late to say ‘Thank you’.. So thank you Ma’am. Continue inspiring and spreading thoughts to others even those being learned the hard way. Sooner or later, they will realize you’re just doing it out of concern and for their betterment just like what you did to me! Take care!

… it was a message I got on my “wall” in my Facebook. It was from a former student who happens to be a relative too. It was something I didn’t see coming.

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As a teacher, I consider myself strict. As a strict teacher, I consider myself brutally strict. I can’t help it. I was raised by a disciplinarian. However, I am not really proud of it.

As a teacher, I expect my students to follow rules. But I know how hard it is especially when you are young and foolish. I was once young and foolish but even then I always have some reservations on certain things because my mom set some boundaries. But still it didn’t stop me to break some rules. And I am not really proud of it, either.

As a teacher, I knew my students had a hard time dealing with me. I knew how scared they were every time I entered the classroom. And I knew some  of them surely had wet their pants when I started calling out names from my index cards. But I certainly not proud of it, too.

As a teacher, sure I was strict. But then if you are my students you don’t have to worry about anything if you just know how to follow rules. Rules are not made to make things easier but rather to make things right. Rules are not drawn to punish a person who break them but rather to avoid punishment all together. And rules are not written to accommodate the person who implements them but rather to execute proper guidelines. And trust me... those who follow the rules turned out to be the persons that I hope them to be. And, I'M PROUD OF IT!

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fire

Let the fire burning - to warm the coldest heart... to fuel the weakest spirit... to light up the darkest wisdom.
- Ruthi Orona-Gregoire -

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Empty

Empty promises are just that... empty.

- Ruthi Orona-Gregoire -

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Homework: Teaching the Teacher

Same time last year, I talked to my long time friend and colleague on the phone early that morning. It was not the regular “hi-hello-goodbye-what’s-new-wuzzup” kind of call that we usually had. It was a tough conversation that was so hard to for me to digest. It was the most devastating news that I ever received so far from home. And it was indeed a faith-shaking moment that I can’t believe I was having at that particular moment.
[Our last picture together.]

My friend was also my former co-teacher.

And true to her profession… she taught me something that I know I will cherish for as long as I live.

She was a year younger than me but has been a teacher long before I joined the profession. When I was still new in that school and finding my way into the system, she taught me a lot of things that helped me survived the crucial stage of the “teachingdom”. She provided me not only with some special materials she personally made to facilitate teaching strategies but effective secret tools to help me deal with the unforeseen troubles that my young students might play on me. If you know what I mean!

She was more than a teacher. She took care of her students like her own children [she has 2 and one of them is my Godchild] when they were not in the classroom and treats them “business-as-usual” when in the classroom. She played and she worked with them. She laughed and cried with them when called for. She was a friend and a mother to all of them. She was a mentor of the young hearts.

She was one of the toughest teachers I have ever known. She was firm and full of conviction. She fought for what she believed in. She was ready to gnaw anybody down just to prove her points. And she was ready to exchange blows if her conviction was challenged by deception.

But she was not just a teacher who teaches. She was not just a friend who listens. She was not just a mother who cares. She was not just a mentor who molds. Neither was she a tough person who fights for what is right. She was a person of unwavering faith... a survivor... and an inspiration.
[She fought her hardest battle till the end.]

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Teaching is not all about the students. Teaching is about the teacher too. My friend taught me the real meaning of miracle. She has lung cancer. Her body maybe fragile at that moment but her spirit wasn't. She must have doubted whether she will see her kids graduate from college or get married and have children of their own but she never doubted her trust in God. She may have not been strong enough to fight this toughest battle she was facing that moment but her faith was strong enough to fight for her.

I miss my friend. It’s so tough that we don’t talk or see each any more but our friendship will live forever.

My friend is my teacher. She taught me life lessons that will help me go through life with the same conviction that she had. But more importantly she taught me to appreciate life better and showed me a new way to see life in a different light… in a different way… in a whole new perspective.

NOTE: My friend lost her battle to cancer 6 months after that conversation. I miss her so much.

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Time Flies

I hear myself complain a lot of time - that... I don't have time. Why? How much time does one need if twenty four hours are not enough?
I hear myself rant most of the time - that... I'm running out of time. Why? Where did time go if it did run out?
And I hear myself whine a few time - that... this is not the time. Why? When is the right time?
Time flies. Even without wings.
Time heals. Sometimes leaving scars.
Time's free. But indeed priceless.
Prayer:
Lord, thank you for giving me the time to thank you for all the blessings that you did take the time to give me.
Forgive me for not having the time to always be grateful for your kindness.
Grand me a grateful heart that I may always find time to be humble and kind to others.
Amen
NOTE: Photos did not go any editing process except for the addition of the watermark to establish ownership.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Garden

Garden is a place where wild flowers co-exist with other God's creations... the good and the bad.

- Ruthi Orona-Gregoire -

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Construction

Construction bridges the gap between "dream and reality". It bridges the gap between "experimentation and innovation". And it bridges the gap between "idealism and pragmatism".
- Ruthi Orona-Gregoire -

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hindsight: Who's the best?

I was busy writing down receipts from the payments I received from parents when I suddenly felt the cold wind brushed against my already cold cheeks. I knew someone came in because that cold wind must have come from an open door. It was only a quarter past six in the morning and I somehow had a clue who must have just arrived.

There she was clad in a wrinkled pink tops with the hem falling apart and a matching stained sweatpants. Her hair was a mess just like every morning and her face has traces of dried drool. I could tell that she was tired and still sleepy and had to force herself to get out of the bed because Dad has to go to work early.

As usual, I called her and asked her to go to the bathroom and wash her face. She did just what I told her without argument. After a couple of minutes she was back and she sat beside me. Then I asked if she wanted me to fix her hair. She just looked at me and nodded her messy head.

I started combing her hair. I was too careful not to hurt her because there were tangles all over. I brought out my plastic bag of elastic bands and asked her to choose a color. She took out 2 red bands and handed them to me. I tied her hair in pig tails and I instantly saw her beautiful face.

There, I can see your face again.” I said. And her eyes lighted up and she smiled shyly. She stood up and went back to the bathroom to check herself in the mirror.

After a couple of minutes she was back and told me… “Thank you Miss Ruthi… You are the best.” Then, she hugged me.

—————————————

You are the best!

The word lingers as I drove home after that morning shift.

For 11 long years of being a teacher, I was used to hear those words. And it was only now that it made a great impact on me. It was only now when I was no longer a teacher that the word made sense to me. And it was only now that I realized how important a simple concern given to a child will make a great difference in a person.

When I started working as a Site Leader for the YMCA’s School Aged Enrichment Program, I was not really too excited. As an educator, I know that I am under-employed. But I have no choice. It was the only job available that time. So I took it. Eventually, I learned to love my work simply because I didn’t have to deal with a lot of headache that I used to deal with when I was still a teacher.

My job may not be as noble as the teacher’s but I guess I am making a big impact on the lives of the children under my care just by being the caring person that they don’t find at home.

My job may be as simple as watching kids and keeping them safe and happy before their parents pick them up after work but I guess I have made them happy individuals that their parents can be proud of.

And my job may be as easy as just playing, laughing and hanging out with them but I guess I was able to have fun too which I missed when I was still a full time teacher.

This job, definitely changes my point of view and perspective in life.

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Subject Matter: Parenting

“He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5)

The place was in chaos as expected. It was one of those commencement exercises that came to an end. And as expected graduates, parents, teachers and friends alike were bumping, greeting, posing, shouting, laughing… making the entire social hall a totally chaotic place on earth.

Ma’am, the valedictorian is my son.” a proud father told me, as we walked towards the exit door.

Well, congratulations then“… was all I said and quickly joined my colleagues leaving the graduation venue.

[It was a scene during our Graduation Day when I was still a teacher.]

I want you to take good care of him!” pointing at the young hand-cupped blond teenager, Horacio Cain told the big black inmate as they were ushered to the prison cell.

And why would I do that?” the inmate asked him.

Because…” Horacio replied, “he is my son!

[It was a scene in one of the TV episodes of CSI:Miami]

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All fathers [and mothers] are always proud of their children, even the not-so-good ones. I cannot think of anything to compare a parent’s love to one’s child. But if there is one thing I know… that the child learns love from home first and foremost.

A child, before he enters our classroom had already learned values that any exceptional teacher can’t altered. Being a teacher, we can teach him lessons in life but we cannot un-teach him the lessons that he already learned in life. We can provide him with choices but we can’t choose for him. And we can almost always influence his way of life but we cannot lead his life for him.

Being a teacher… we are also considered as parents to our students. And being so, we have the responsibilities similar to their biological parents. But even so, we cannot replace them even if there are times that our students prefer us from their own parents.

It is not just the mystery of life… it is life.

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

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