Monday, September 22, 2008

Pedagogue’s Fondness

Standing in the hub of the throng,
In a horde which I mull over as life
Nurturing their infantile and inventive psyches,
Taking them to greater heights
Where they could be in a paradise.

I hear unpretentious words from them
Which I appreciate and tweak.
Yet I have to be careful as I preach
Because they are fragile and special
To me, their understanding is vital.

They’re like lilies blooming in the pond,
Unique with each one’s beauty and stance.
Forty of them are individuals.
Forty thoughts, forty feelings, forty dreams
Oh! How lofty am I to come to grips with them.

Pedagogy is life and I live with it
It’s like drizzle sprinkling the lilies in the pond
Making them grow into magnificent bloom
Teaching is endowing the learners a feeling of being special
Shaping an edifice of trust for themselves and for everyone.

My Speech During the Recognition Program of Dagohoy High School

The following is the speech which I prepared and presented as guest speaker during the Recognition Program of Dagohoy High School last April 1, 2008 at Dagohoy Cultural Center, Dagohoy, Bohol.

To the OIC-School Principal− Mrs. Virginia R. Macul, guidance counselor-designate− Mrs. Teodora D. Salces, to the Federated Parents, Teachers and Community Association (FPTCA) President− Engr. Ranulfo Sepe, to the teachers and non-teaching staff of Dagohoy High School, parents, students, visitors and guests… my warmest greetings to all! Maajong buntag kanatong tanan!

First of all, I won’t miss this moment to express my heartfelt thanks to my Alma Mater− Dagohoy High School for giving me this opportunity. As an alumnus of this institution who is now a fledgling member of the family of educators, I found this chance as an honor and privilege. It is my honor to be back to my Alma Mater to inspire our dear parents and students who will soon bring pride and glory to Dagohoy High.

My dear parents and students let me share to you this short and simple story which has been my source of inspiration and guidance for years now. While maintaining the simplicity of the story, let me use our very own dialect as I relate it to you.

(This story was spoken using the Visayan dialect. Visayan is one of the dialects in the Philippines spoken by most number of Filipinos in different parts of the country. The language is more prevalent in the central region.)

There once a fisherman fishing with his grandson on a very fine day. There was a high possibility of catching good fish that day because the weather was so pleasant.

Without any thought, the fisherman immediately threw the hook unto the water and after few minutes he got a big fish of good quality. But the fisherman removed it from the hook and threw the fish back into the water. His grandson just looked at him with bewilderment. And then, the fisherman threw the hook again unto the water and the same thing happened− he got a big fish of good quality. He did the same thing again and again and finally he got a small fish in which he kept in his boat. His grandson was not able to stand what was happening anymore. Puzzled, he asked his grandfather, “Lolo, I really don’t understand what’s happening! We’ve got big fish earlier but you threw all of them back to the sea. Now that we have a small one, you would like to keep it.” And then the fisherman answered back his confused grandson, “Don’t you know? Our pan is so small. How can we cook those big fish?”

My friends, that story might sound very funny but it tells us very important lessons in life.

How many times have we thrown our big fish away? How many times have we neglected the blessings which life has offered us because we have been so unthankful and preferred to focus on our resentments? We might have or have not noticed them; we wake up each day with abundant blessings in life. The fact that we have another day to keep our life going and to keep building on our dreams is more than enough reason to be thankful.

Rejoice! Celebrate every little achievement that you have in life even if those achievements are not worth of a celebration for other people. Maintain a thankful heart. That way, we are maintaining a healthy image of a healthy person ready to face all the challenges in life. There’s so much more reasons to smile than to frown and smiling are much easier than frowning.

We won’t be happy if we always feel sorry for ourselves for not being to do something we have expected. Life is life and what is past is past. No matter what, life goes on.

Another inspiration which we could get from the story is the inspiration to dream. Our power to dream is limitless, thus, we should enlarge our vision. Let’s not be limited by the size of our pan. Whether our pan is small or big, we can cut the fish into small pieces. It’s the same thing in life. Let’s not let our meager resources be a hindrance in dreaming big things. We can attain those dreams little by little until our pan would feel sorry for us. Anyway, we can buy bigger pan afterwards.

I believe, it is in this principle that my parent stand through in raising their five children. I am very proud to say that I have been raised by two people whose income is so fickle to support the education of their five children. My father is a farmer and my mother is a plain housewife. But even though, they did not mind their meager resources in pursuing their dream to send their five children into college. And true enough, they were able to produce five professionals out of their very little income. HOW? I think they dreamt of it.

Students, there are so many ways, if we only explore, in order to attain our ambitions in life. All we have to do is to believe that we will be able to do it and one day we will be standing triumphantly. Parents, I am very sure that these students here have their own aspirations in life. You don’t really need all those money to send them to college and realize their dreams. All that you have to do is to guide them, support them and inspire them to achieve what they are able to achieve. After all, each one of us is capable of achieving something.

Presently, I am teaching in Thailand and I am sharing my expertise as a foreign teacher abroad not because of an accident. I have dreamt for it and my parents gave their all-out support ever since I conceived that dream in me. What I have and what I am right now might not be an achievement worthy of a celebration for other people but for me, it is something that I could dream somebody at my age can achieve.

Thank you very much…

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Few days more to go and semestral break is here. As a teacher, I am doing the usual end-of-the-term-rush. Plenty of papers to evaluate, projects to check, test papers to make, and a whole lot more which keep my life as a pedagogue going.

This week, I will be conducting listening, speaking, reading and writing tests to my 2nd graders and will be doing a lot of checking afterwards. Good that I was able to finish the test paper and the marking rubrics last week so everything would be very fine this week. I have got not so much with my 4th graders for I won't conduct any formal test this term. I have been using authentic evaluation techniques to assess how they have been going in terms of listening, speaking, reading and writing in my Mathematics ESL class. Things might be eating me up in few days but for sure, I won't be out of breath.

This time, I am planning to keep myself away for a while from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Although I am in the outskirt of Metro Bangkok, I can feel it as I see the traffic jam inside the school every morning and afternoon. The traffic officer's always whistling. It even woke me up at times. I think I should retire from hearing those whistles sometimes. I should find time for myself so I could reflect on the things that had happened in the previous semester and think of ways in improving it fot the second semester.

SEMESTRAL BREAK is coming... but I couldn't think of a lengthy break this time. But at least, I could start ticking my calendar now.