Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Homework: Former Students

One of my greatest joy as a teacher is when my former students still remember me after so many years of being away from their dear Alma Mater. It makes me proud being their teacher. Some of them are very verbal about how I made a difference in their lives. But what they don’t realize is that they also made a big difference in mine.

Last week when I went for my regular run I came up with a new idea to get in touch with my former students. You see, I used to be the adviser and moderator of our school paper. I trained students for the inter-school contest in campus journalism and I am proud to say that we always bring home awards. My students enjoyed writing as much as I do. We went through a lot putting up the school paper and the experience brought out the best in us.

It has been over 10 years now since the last school paper that was published under my supervision. Now, it is managed by one of my former students who is now a teacher herself in the same school where I taught. Though I still contribute an article in the paper every now and then, I still miss the familiar headache that my students caused me every time we are coming up with an issue. And just last week, out of my delirious excitement I contacted my former student and told her that I wanted to give an award on graduation day for the gradating Editor-in-Chief of the School Paper. Well, it's just my way of inspiring our younger generation to write and express their talent to achieve literary excellence.



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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, March 24, 2011

Green

Green is for hope.
Hope to fight the big C.

- Ruthi Orona-Gregoire -

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

AHA Moment: The Teacher that I Am

I am a teacher by profession. I am a teacher by choice. I am a teacher by heart. I love teaching. Despite the fact that towards the end of my career I had some doubts if changing career was indeed the wisest decision I’ve ever made. I still love teaching because deep in my heart I know I have the same passion I used to have the first time I set foot in the classroom. I still love teaching because I can still feel that burning desire to be with the students and share my life experiences. I still love teaching despite the fact that my ideas are somehow clouded by my withered enthusiasm brought by the disillusions I encountered in the field.

When my corporate job was giving me persistent nightmares, caustic hallucination and unhealthy psychological rants… teaching was not really the career I had in mind. All I knew then was, I need a change of career, period! What kind of career? That, I didn’t actually know. I just need an alibi, perhaps to get out of the corporate jungle fast and easy so I took education units to justify that alibi. But little did I know that that decision will end my endless struggle for survival and will start a life I didn’t know exist.

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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, March 17, 2011

Metal

Precious as metal,
Music riches one's soul.

- Ruthi Orona-Gregoire -

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hindsight: In The Classroom

For 11 long years, my life evolved within the confines of the 4 corners of the classroom. It was really not that bad. Actually, I enjoyed it. It was the most fulfilling and most exciting phase of my life. I have learned a lot from that experience. I have witnessed how my students developed certain talents and skills that really amazed me to no end. I was so proud how my students out-done themselves in various activities and became young leaders. But more than anything else, the experience taught me more that what I know about myself.

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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.

Monday, March 14, 2011

On Getting Older

I turn 46 today!

I woke up this morning and all of a sudden I am 46 years old. BAM! Just like that! Ah, the miracle of life! [LOL] So what did a 46-year old woman does when she woke up and realized that she just turned a year older? She checked herself in the mirror!
As I looked myself in the mirror I saw the same old face with amazing features - puffy eyes with dark circles around them due to lack of sleep [blame it to Facebook and blogging]... dry, flaky dull skin [blame it to winter]... quite a few strands of gray hair sticking out her hairline around a broad forehead [blame it to ceramic flat iron]... and chapped dehydrated lips [blame it to Maine weather].
Then, I looked harder and I saw the same person who is not much different from the old one who constantly makes mistakes and tries her best to correct them. I saw the same old human being without any inhibitions in life and willing to take what life has to offer - one mistake or blessing... at a time. And I saw the same old woman who never stops dreaming dreams and working hard to achieve them.
I turn 46 today and I really don't know how much time I still have left in my hand. 46 years old is not too old and yet it isn't too young either. Looking back I had so many regrets but I don't have any plans to sulk and dwell on them. Life is too short and I still have a lot of things that I need or dream to do and accomplish. And yes, there is no time for me to be stagnant because opportunities are everywhere and ours for the taking.
I am 46 years old. Not too old but not too young anymore. I accomplished quite a few in the past 45 years of my life and I am hopeful that I can achieve some more to add to my legacy. I am 46 years old and I refuse to slow down... or stop... or give up. There are lots of things I want to do and I have half of my lifetime to achieve them. I just need to celebrate life today... and tomorrow - I am back to work. I will work to achieve more of my dreams.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

On Being Human

"The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." Psalms 51:17
Do we sin because we are basically sinners or because we are just human beings?
Are we sinners because we are weak to temptations or because human beings are weaklings?
Does it matter if we human beings sin and sinners repent?
A broken spirit is a spirit stripped of hatred.
A contrite heart is a heart devoid of conceit.
And a repentant sinner is a human being who fears God.
Prayer
Lord, Forgive me for I have sinned.
And let my spirit rejoice in our grace.
Amen


Friday, March 11, 2011

Life and All About It

Life is precious. There is no doubt about it.
Life is short. No need to argue about it.
And life is what we make it. And it's not ethereal.
That - I believe!
In a couple of days...
I will turn 46.
And, I will look back at the past 46 years of my life.
Then, I will look forward to another 46 years of blessings.
46 years...
It's more than a number.
It's not just a figure.
It's all about me.

Prayer
Lord, thank you very much for 46 wonderful years
Thank you for all the blessings and graces you showered me
And most of all... thank you for loving me.



Thursday, March 10, 2011

Many

Many times we feel different.
But sometimes we feel the same.
Other times we feel out-of-place.
And few times we feel we fit in.

- Ruthi Orona-Gregoire -

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

AHA Moment: The Out-of-School Teacher

This is my fifth year as an out-of-school teacher. If we have what we call “out-of-school youth” [school-age kids who are not in school for varied reasons like – poverty, truancy, and lost of interest just to name a few] we also have what we call “out-of-school teachers” [educators who supposed to be in classroom teaching but they are not for varied reasons like – change of residence, status, career or migration just to name a few ]. Out-of school teachers are those who are deprived of their rights to perform the greatest passion of their life.

For almost five years now, the classroom is the only place I have not been to [except when I need to meet with my step-son’s teachers]. For 11 long years of teaching in the public high school, I realized the importance of my role as a mentor and a teacher not only to my students but for myself as well. The decision I made 12 years ago to join the educational field is indeed the best decision I made so far. The change of career changed my outlook in life. And the career shift opened up to me a different understanding for learning.

I may not be well-compensated for the work I’ve done [monetary wise], but the intangible benefits of seeing my students graduate… earn a degree… start a family… leave the country to seek greener pastures… build their own dreams and achieving them… and reaping success one after another – to me is the most important rewards I’ve ever had. For I believe that their success – is also mine.

11 years have passed and the lessons of the past are still fresh. The special bonds I had with my former students are still tight. The special relationship we had is still intact. And the respect we have for one another is still present. Most of them are still grateful and always looking back. Some have gone the other way and chose not to look back. But there are still a few who keep in touch to continue the learning process.

11 years have passed still some of my students never fail to amaze me. They are still as hungry for knowledge as they used to. 11 years have passed but they still remember the lessons I taught them. 11 years have passed and they are still willing to learn new things from me. And so I thought that my job is already over after the last bell. I thought my job is done after they closed the books. I thought my job ended after they left the classroom. Apparently, a teacher’s job is never done until her students stop learning. And so my work continues even after I left school and become an out-of-school teacher.

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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, March 3, 2011

Car

We drive it to reach our destination
We ride it to spare us from tiredness
We need it get us around.
And when we crash it... we regret that we ever drove one.

- Ruthi Orona-Gregoire -

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hindsight: First Teacher

I have a fond memory of my first day in school… as a kindergarten kid. I remember my teacher wore a very nice and sexy dress that looked like it came out from a fashion magazine. She wore her thick, back hair long. It was so long and I think it was longer than the dress she was wearing. It was the seventies and the fashion trend that time was hip – women either wore a mini dress or hot pants, they are either strutting in maxi and platform soled shoes or knee-high boots, and they either matched their outfits with sunny attitude or a “peace-man” neck piece or brooch. But other than that, I remember too that I had fun doodling, writing, singing, playing and making friends in kindergarten school. And of course, I also remember that… I graduated [after a year] with some honors.

But I don’t actually remember how I learned to write my long names straight and tidy… how I was able to read other words aside from “apple, banana and cat”… and how I was able to do the “math” in kindergarten… but one thing for sure, I remember that when I entered school I can already identify shapes… know the different colors of the rainbow… can tell time… can recite tons of nursery rhymes and can sing a lot of nursery songs.

I have a fond memory of my “very first” day in school and I have a very vivid memory of my “very first” teacher too. My very first teacher wasn’t wearing hip trendy dress. She was in fact, wearing a nice, clean and fresh smelling house clothes that she made herself and that I loved snipping everytime she would come near me and guide my tiny fingers to properly hold that big black pencil as I wrote my name. I love the feel of my very first teacher’s warm hug as she read to me my very first book while sitting on her lap. And I love the sound of the tapping of that ruler as my very first teacher pointed at the different drawings shapes on the mini chalkboard. And oh how I love the smell of my very first school as my very first teacher finished up cooking the meal of the day while I was finishing up with my school work of the day.

My first day of school was not actually in the real classroom. My first day in school was actually in our living room just across the kitchen. My first school desk was actually the center table of the living room furniture just across my first teacher’s sewing machine. My very first teacher was not a real teacher at all. My very first teacher was in fact, a dressmaker. My very first teacher was actually my mom and she was also the very first teacher of my two brothers.

I have a fond memory of my very first school and my very first teacher. I remember how happy it was learning with my two brothers. It was chaotic but always fun. It was serious but always prolific. It was indeed didactic but always homey. My siblings and I learned almost everything before we actually went to school. But the most important lesson I learned from my very first school and my from my very first teacher was – to stop and smell the roses.

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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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