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!

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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.

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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.

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