Out of the classroom and into the fray

Last March, I was asked to take on more responsibilities aside from teaching. Two senior high English classes and the Student Activities Program were to be my responsibilities.

Two months later–and a week before classes were to start–they took away my teaching load. I wasn’t sure if I should have been happy about that or disappointed that I won’t be in the classroom anymore.

I’m not sure how much I can divulge here, but let me just say now that I think I should have just stuck with teaching. I miss the interaction with students, the banter, the teaching, the learning. What I face now are forms, forms, and more forms.

On the other hand, I also relish in this new responsibility of providing the students an opportunity to explore interests outside the academe. The committee work and club work and even scouting (*sigh*) allow me to see students in a different light, and I’m grateful for this. I also love the fact that I don’t have to take home papers to check anymore.

But now I ask myself: what is it that makes me happy nowadays? I’m not as happy in the classroom, I loathe checking and–to a degree–scouting (love the kids, though), and filling out countless forms gives me migraines and has gotten me sick within the second month in this job (full time).

I’m dangerously close to quitting. I don’t want to, but I feel like I need to.

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Chances

C

I woke up to bad news: I wasn’t accepted to the #ADE2017 program. It’s been the second time I was rejected by ADE and the second time I was rejected this year.

If that old saying was true, that bad things happen in threes, then I’ve got one more rejection coming this year, and I hope it’s not by the licensing office. *pray for me*


The major rejections this year coupled with the minor ones (both personal and work-related) have seriously put a dent on my already teeny tiny ego, and it’s hard to see, recognize, and acknowledge and and all chances or opportunities that come my way.

Everybody struggles to proceed with life, and so do I. It is hard, and more effort is needed to look for those silver linings. However, I do recognize that this is not the end of… whatever. Life is grand, and all I need to do is look up and see it.

Gratitude

It takes effort to find things to be grateful for every day, but it keeps one grounded and appreciative of even the smallest things.

Gratitude list:

  • Grace Poe: I’m not sure I’m voting for her, but I’m grateful to her for the impressive character she’s showing. She’s tough and she comes to debates prepared. Despite her inexperience, she’s popular enough to hold influence over a significant number of people. Plus she hasn’t resorted to bullying during her campaign which is very impressive. The drawback? Her family’s American. Kind of problematic if the first family isn’t Filipino.
  • Galcris: Galvin and Cris are the wonder couple behind the community Every Teacher A Reader. I met them again at the FIT2016 conference and they shared plans of having another gathering of teachers at the beach. Provided that my schedule permits, I am completely on board with this plan. Books and beach? Perfect combination!
  • Gentlemen: they are a dying breed, so I’m grateful that my SO is part of that rarity.

Education

I am at an education conference now in the metro, and the wealth of resources here is astounding!

This year I was asked to give a talk, so I chose to talk about writing because it’s something that I know how to do. My first session today seemed successful, so I’m hoping my second one on Friday will also be successful.

Grayitude list

  • Education: it is a right and a privilege at the same time, and I am thankful to have had a good one.
  • Early mornings: while I detest waking up early, these early mornings do make for some wonderful views.

  

  • Eat Fresh: it’s a small Hong Kong style eatery near the conference venue, and wow that laksa was some powerful stuff.

2015 in review

My favorite teacher, Rica Bolipata-Santos, posted this writing assignment on her FB account:

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Ma’am Rica said that it wasn’t really important to follow the number but that we should “Write [our] year, in honor and in supplication.”

So I choose to write my year in months, with these highlights and disappointments and game changers and things I focused on and forgot remembered in the order they happened.

Continue reading

Why?

The first time I encountered JUST THIS QUESTION in an academic setting was in junior year high school when our Filipino teacher asked on a major exam: Bakit? (direct translation of said question).

That was it. One word.

We were talking about literature and grammar and things like that and then out of the blue he drops on our puny little brains a philosophical question.

I didn’t get it.

WHY stray off topic?

WHY what? Where were the modifiers? the qualifiers? Where was the rest of the question?

WHY was the question incomplete?

WHY did I get a lower grade for not satisfactorily answering a question that was not included in the pointers for review?

And with this encounter began my profound dislike (bordering on hatred) for philosophy.

I didn’t understand WHY he put that question there. Even after “explaining” the question when he returned our papers to us, and he pointed out that when someone said, “Bakit hindi?” (Why not? This answer, btw, got the equivalent of an A), it was what he was looking for. WHAT EXACTLY WAS HE LOOKING FOR?

As a teacher now I would have to say that even though I hate these types of on-the-spot questions, I do see a bit of merit here. This “strategy” (if you will) informs the teacher of the student’s ability to handle a situation that is unexpected. Does the student handle it well? negatively? proactively? This type of information is important for the teacher because it helps her prepare for lessons and activities and PTC’s accordingly.

What I didn’t like about what my teacher did back then was to grade us on it. That was just… wrong.

———

This small rant just showed want kind of a learner I am. I liked the traditional. I liked the memorization because I was kinda good at it. As a teacher, though, I recognize that my book smarts–while helpful–were not enough.

Do I now appreciate what my teacher did? Only in that it told me I had to be smarter, and that my students can’t get stuck the way I did back then.

But I still don’t like what he did.

Tanggi at Tanggap

This blog post was written in Tagalog/Filipino. An English translation is provided at the bottom.

ADE fail

Oh well. Challenge accepted. 😀

TANGGI

Tinanggihan ang aking aplikasyon para sa pagsali sa eksklusibong grupo ng mga gurong gumagamit ng teknolohiyang Apple. Sa madaling salita, hindi ako nakapasok sa ADE (Apple Distinguished Educators).

Isang malaking karangalan at responsibilidad ang matawag na ADE, at pinangarap kong mapasama sa piling mga taong may ganoong titulo. Naisip ko na hindi maganda ang aplikasyon ko subalit umasa pa rin ako na makakapasok dahil ayon sa konteksto ng aking paaralan, malabo talaga na marami ang aking magawa gamit ang teknolohiya.

Una sa lahat, wala kaming koneksyon sa internet noong unang taon ng operasyon. Noong pangalawang taon, isang silid-aralan lang ay may koneksyon. Nitong nakaraang taon, kahit na may internet na kami, nag-aagawan naman kaming mga guro sa paggamit ng mga Macbook o iPad.

Naisip ko na dahil hinihingi naman nila ang aking kuwento, mabuti nang sabihin ko ang totoo na hirap ako sa paggamit ng teknolohiya pero naipakita ko naman na handa akong magtrabaho at maghanap ng oportunidad na gamitin ito.

Nalungkot ako ngayong umaga nang matanggap ko ang sulat na hindi ako nakapasa. Naiyak pa ako. Sinabihan ko agad ang aming punong-guro (ano ba Tagalog ng principal?) at tunay na napakabait niya dahil hindi naman siya nagalit. Naramdaman kong nalungkot siya (ano Tagalog ng disappointed?) kaya mas lalo akong nalungkot dahil hindi maganda ang balitang iniulat ko sa kanya.

TANGGAP

Mahirap tanggapin na may pagkukulang ka kahit na alam mo namang hindi ka naman perpektong tao. Sinisikap mong galingan pero sa bawat pagkabigo damang-dama mo ang iyong pagkukulang. Madaling magpakitang-tao–ang sabihin sa mundo gamit ang text at social media na tanggap mo ang pagtanggi sa iyo dahil may iba pa namang proyekto, pero sa kaibuturan ng iyong damdamin ay ang sakit ng pagkabigo. Sa totoo lang kahit ako ay nabababawan sa sarili dahil parang pinalaki ko ang isang maliit na bagay, pero kahit anong gawin ko ay hindi ko maalis ang sama ng loob ko. Wala naman akong sinisisi. Hindi naman ako galit sa kahit sinong tao. Sadyang hindi lang ako masaya ngayon.

Tanggap ko naman ang pagkatanggi sa akin. Naiintindihan ko kung bakit. Masakit lang ang paalala na hindi ako mas magaling sa iba o kahit man lang kasinggaling ng ibang tao… na hindi sapat ang ginawa ko.

Eh ano ngayon ang dapat gawin?

Edi kumain nang maraming masarap na pagkain para mawala ang lungkot. Ika nga sa Inggles: eat your feelings.

Pagkatapos ay itigil na ang pagmumukmok dahil wala namang nangyayari sa mga taong ‘yon lang ang ginawa sa buhay. Move on move on din ‘teh. Kailangan para sumaya.

——————–

English translation:

REJECT

My application to join an exclusive group of teachers who use Apple technology was rejected. In other words, I didn’t get accepted to ADE (Apple Distinguished Educators).

It is a huge honor and responsibility to be called an ADE, and I dreamed that I would be one of those select people with that title. I had thought that my application was not that good but still I hoped that I’d get in beause based on the context of my school, there really wasn’t a lot of opportunities to use technology.

In the first place, we didn’t have an internet connection in our first year of operations. In the second year, only one classroom had internet. This past school year, even though we already had internet, we teachers would “fight” over who’d get to use the Macbooks or iPads for our classes.

I had thought that since they were asking for my story, it would be good to tell the truth that I had great difficulty in using technology, but I showed that I was ready to work hard and look for opportunities to use tech.

I was saddened this morning when I received the email saying that I did not pass. I even cried. I immediately told our principal, and she really is amazing because she did not get mad at me. I did feel that she was a bit disappointed, which is why I got sadder knowing that I was not able to give her good news.

ACCEPT

It is difficult to accept that you lack something even though you are well aware that are not perfect. You try to do your best, but with every failure you feel that lack. It is easy to put on a brave face–to tell the world using texts and social media that you accept the rejection because there are other projects, but deep down you feel the pain of that rejection. The truth is, even I myself find this reaction shallow because it feels like I made a big deal out of something small, but no matter what I do I can’t erase this upset feeling. I mean, I don’t blame anybody. I’m not mad at anybody. I just am not happy right now.

I accept my failure. I understand why I was not accepted into the program. It just hurts–this reminder that I am not better than others or even as good as others… that what I did was not enough.

So what should I do now?

Well, I shall eat a lot of oh-so-scrumptious food to get rid of this sadness. As they say in English: eat your feelings.

After that I shall stop this moping because nothing good ever comes to those who just mope around forever. I have to move on. I need to in order to be happy.

——–

//edit.
I found pistachio ice cream. Life is good. 🙂