Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hindsight: Making or Breaking

A couple of years ago, my 4th Grader, then 10 year old niece almost became the only and the youngest drop-out in the family. My brother told me that Lara was dropping out of school. Lara is a vibrant and smart little girl. She was accelerated from nursery to kindergarten the first time she entered school because she was too smart for her age. At the age of 4 and before she formally went to school, she already knew her ABCs. She can count up to 100. She can identify all the shapes [including the pentagon, the hexagon and the octagon]. She can even name all the 9 planets of the solar system and she knew that the sun is not a planet but rather a star. She was even able to write her first story book even way before she can actually write. She would dictate to “Auntie” her creative ideas and I would type it on the computer while big sister was making sure that auntie was really typing down what she was saying.

But Lara was not having fun in school that year. She was not the same little girl who is always excited to go to school even if she has no new school bag. She used to love school even if she has no new school supplies like crayons. Last year, she told her Dad that she wanted to join the drawing contest. But my brother told her not to because she has no new crayons. She came home that day with a medal for winning first place in the drawing contest. My brother realized that Lara just borrowed some crayons from her classmate so she can join.

That year, Lara lost interest in school. She comes home crying almost everyday. My sister-in-law asked her why she doesn’t like school anymore. And the reason she gave her was something she couldn’t take for granted. She went to the school the following day and told the teacher that Lara will stop going to school for the meantime and will just take a vacation until she is ready to go back again or perhaps… she will be homeschooled.

Lara was just like any students. She may even like some of the students who I handled in the past. Lara lost interest in school because of her “teacher”. According to her… her teacher was always mad every time she asked her questions about the lesson. It turned out that Lara would ask questions about the lesson and the teacher didn’t like to repeat the lesson. Lara cannot understand her lessons and the teacher was not willing to re-teach or make extra effort in explaining the lessons. The attitude of the teacher affected Lara’s attitude towards school. Lara’s teacher was always angry and mad at the students who didn’t understand her lessons. And that the teacher was always hollering at Lara every time she asked questions and that scared her. So, she didn't want to go to school anymore.


On the hindsight, I realized that a teacher can make or break a student’s soul. I could be guilty of all those accusations. I realized that I am not a perfect teacher myself. I can get angry at times. I can be impatient sometimes. And I could be grumpy most of the time. I could also be guilty in being a human being capable of human mistakes and frailty. But I know that is not an excuse.

As a teacher....

- I have responsibilities beyond what I am expected to handle. As a teacher, it is not my responsibility to judge my students but rather, accept them as they are.

- I hold in my hands the future of my students and what they become in the future is my greatest achievement or my worse failure.

- it is not important if I finished the lesson or if I was able to execute my lesson plan or not. As a teacher, it is not important if I pass all my students regardless if they learned from me or not.

- what is important is that… my students learn to love learning and strive to continue learning even after they left school.

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, May 18, 2011

Subject Matter: Decision Making

I wrote up 3 kids the other day for playing.

It’s was just another ordinary Friday afternoon and as expected I was multi-tasking – watching several kids doing beads bracelets at the “Crank it Up” station… doing the summary report of students’ attendance… computing the kids “steps” for the AOM program… writing receipts for child care payments… and updating my Y board.

I was in the middle of my Friday multi-tasking toil when one of my preschooler girls approached me showing me her bruised forehead. I had to stop whatever I was doing to get an ice pack and asked her what happened. According to her, they were playing outside and another kid threw a stick at her and hit her on the forehead.

Apparently, three kids decided to play a game. There is only one rule of the game… throw sticks at each other.

“Did you make the right choice today?” was my first question when I asked them about the incident. And they all quickly answered, “No!”


Making choices is one thing. Making the “right” choices is another.

Everyday we are faced with many choices. From the moment we open our eyes to the time we close them, choices are made. The consequences of those choices depend on how well we judge things because it can make or break us.

The kids made a bad choice that day. They knew that the game they played was not safe. They knew the consequences of the choices they made. And they knew that they will be in big trouble for playing that game [because they know the Y rules… no throwing of things at people] but still they played the game.

Is it the thrill? Is it the challenge? Or is it the ability of human spirit to test his limitation?

I did make a lot of wrong choices in the past and the decision I made had a permanent impact in my life. I did have some regrets and wish that I had a second chance to undo what I did but then, not a lot of people are given a second chance. I just hope that I will always make the right choices in life and never try to test my limitation that will jeopardize my future.


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, May 11, 2011

OMG Moment: Re-educating Myself

My NOTE: This was written during the first few months of my adjustment period here in Maine. I am posting it here because I am currently downsizing my blog accounts and merging them for easy management. Hope you find this interesting.

I have been out of work for more than six months now. For the first couple of months or so it was a-OK. Bumming out is easy and user friendly. I don’t need to do extra effort to achieve anything. I am having the time of my life… the good one. I am able to do the things I wanted to do when I was still busy struggling to make a living. I finally find the chance to do my crafts (crochet, beads-work, scrap-booking, and other Martha-Stewart-kind-of-things-that-looked-easy-and-actually-hard-to-do stuff). I have more time and longer hours for sleeping and drifting away to dreamland and the rare occasions to engage on TV marathon. I enjoy the thrills of breaking my own record playing my PC games (feeding frenzy and text twist). I spend countless hours online talking to my cyber-friends, updating my Friendster accounts and writing down my nagging thoughts (read: Blogging) and a whole lot more. It’s awesome. I also enjoy doing the things that I used to hate like… cleaning the house, doing/folding the laundry, fixing meals, doing the dishes and everything in between. I have never been this domesticated in my entire life before. And I am loving it.

For the past 11 years of being a teacher, I woke up one day and realized that I finally got tired of the classroom. A change of environment is a welcome treat. I need a vacation! Oh how much I dreamt about it… chatting with my friends online instead of lesson planning… listening to Norah Jones instead of my students’ deafening noise… relaxing in a spa and having a long, nice, and calming massage instead of dealing with my stressful classes and the pressures of documenting students’ grades and computing them… bonding with my BFFs in other cities of the world instead of being dismayed by the intrigues from co-workers and their endless complaints about their work, family and in-laws. Oh how I hated our school uniform because I can’t wear my scarves collection. And I felt so bad that I was not compensated no matter how hard I worked because my VMV Hypoallergenics beauty supplies are getting more expensive. I hated the fact that VMV eye serum works so well that it really gave my eyes a quick fix… and it was hurting my budget so bad too. I am NOT loving any of it.

They say, “be careful with what you wish for, you might get it”. I did! I am now on an extended vacation. I quit my job… I am [currently] unemployed… I should be jumping for joy and shouting on top of my lungs… YAHOO or YEHEY! I am now able to do the things I was dreaming of. I am now free from the pressures of work. And there are more perks. I teach myself new meaning to old words. And I literally able to comprehend the true meaning of the word “unsatisfied”. Because… I now miss lesson planning, the noisy classrooms, the stressful classes, the intrigues, even the school uniform and my “low income”. I am now tired of doing crafts (I am beginning to develop arthritis [I was just guessing] because my hand is killing me). I hate sleeping more hours, it makes my eyes looked more tired and I don’t have VMV eye serum now (I can’t afford it I have no income so I switched to Neutrogena [thanks to hubby]). I am bored watching TV, tired of playing my computer games and updating my Friendster account (almost every two hours). I don’t enjoy cleaning the house anymore because there is nothing to clean at all (it is always spic and span). I feel lazy doing and folding the laundry). I hate fixing meals because my new family don’t eat rice (I miss rice). I hate washing the dishes (it makes my hands dry). And I hate everything in between. Being domesticated sucks!


Isn’t it funny how we hate the things we are used to do and when we are not doing them anymore we miss doing them somehow? Is “contentment” an understatement or an answer to “boredom”? Is the cliché “you can’t teach old dog new tricks” just a cliché? Are some habits really hard to break? Maybe it is really true that once you get used to doing things no matter how much you hate it, you will miss doing it when you are given the chance for a change because contentment and satisfaction are huge words. Or better yet, change is the “huge” word. Technically, I’m no longer a teacher neither am I a student, but I need to re-teach myself some few lessons in life because boredom makes you forget important things.

Change is the only permanent thing in this world so to speak and being so – to be able to accept it is either overwhelming or otherwise. Just like the season… some people waited all summer for winter to come and when it is here, they hate it. Trying to get out of our comfort zone is both a challenge and a sacrifice. And being able to cope with the end-result of that decision is both fulfilling and heart-breaking. The irony of life is the secret ingredient that makes it magical.

I am now bored of doing the things I used to dream about and I missed all the things I hate doing before. And in a couple of months from now, I might have my green card approved and that means that I will be able to work again. And knowing myself… I know sooner or later I will be complaining again (about not having the time to do my crafts, sleep more hours, watch TV, etc, etc, etc.) In a few more months from now, I might be writing again (about how I hate my work, the workplace, the intrigues, the routine… and so on… and so forth). And I will be complaining again just like before. I will be wishing again for change. Just like how I prayed for rain during summer time because it was so hot and dry and for the sun to come out on rainy days because it was all so wet and damp. I must have been driving God crazy with all my prayers then.

Oh boy, when will I be contented? Should I “teach” myself over again how to love the things I hate to do? I think so… because I need to accept the fact that there is nothing permanent in this world. Should I be grateful that I am complaining? I think so… because I am sure that I am still alive… living… struggling… surviving! I am still human… capable of reinventing myself! Will I be able to challenge myself again and make my life more interesting this time? I think so… because I have life’s little lessons to teach and re-teach myself to live life to the fullest. Do I need to be reminded that life is a constant change? Yes, because life… after all – is magical! I need to live it and believe in it constantly – for a change.


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, May 4, 2011

Hindsight: The Classroom

I miss teaching. I miss being in the classroom. It’s been awhile since I had my last class. It’s been awhile since I made my last lesson plan. It’s been awhile since I last attended a school activity.

I miss school. I miss the noise that used to annoy me. It’s been awhile since I last freaked out in front of the class because my students were unruly. It’s been awhile since I last laughed my heart out because of some funny and crazy incidents and antics that my students were capable of doing. It’s been a while since I last got impressed by my students’ ability to do a task or two.

I miss my students. I miss my students despite the fact that they exasperate me. It’s been a while since I last had a meeting with a parent due to a student’s bad behavior. It’s been awhile since I last received a letter from my student telling me how I inspire her. It’s been awhile since I last had a heart to heart talk with a student who was pouring out her personal problems with me.

I miss my life as a teacher. I miss the classroom… the chalkboard… the chalk… the eraser. I miss my students… their innocent outlook in life… their thoughtfulness over simple things… their playfulness and unreluctant attitude towards doing new things… their inability to hold grudges on people who fail them. I miss a lot about my life as a techer. And having taught for 11 long years, I really need a lot of time to getting used to – the new life that I have now. I need to un-teach myself and get used to not being in the classroom for a long long while.


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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