Turning back the hands of time (A TRIBUTE TO BATCH 1996, Maryknoll High School of Cateel)

Don’t believe everything I say.”  Why would I suggest that? Because I can only speak from my own experience. None of the events I share are inherently true or false, right or wrong.  It simply reflects my own recollection of events.  Having said that let me tell you our story, the story of batch 1996. Recollecting the events that transpired many years ago during high school could be an arduous task.   The easiest way to remember those old days is by talking to a classmate; however the details could be vague sometimes.  Matter of fact, I did not have the luxury of spending the 1st two years of my high school in Maryknoll since I was a transferee from another school.  Nevertheless I will try my best to unearth the vastness of our high school experiences.

Our high school years were marred with serious controversies; it was classified as serious because it got the ire of the school administration threatening to expel those culprits involved in the incident but upon bringing it up now with some of our classmates the incident has become so funny that we could hide our faces in humiliation if we will be sharing the stories with you.  Do I have the authority to divulge the incident that happened during that fateful night?  I don’t think so.  Therefore, I am reserving that story to be shared with my classmates who have not heard about it since then.  I just can’t wait hearing crisp laughter from all of us during the event.

If forming a “clan” among the youth were so prevalent nowadays in Cateel, that clan of today will pale in comparison to the group that came to being years ago in our batch.  Who could forget the groups of “The Campus Girls, C.R.E.A.M, Mit-ze-lorre-net, Knights Boyz, etc”.  Each group has its own identity, agenda and reason in forming such.  The birth of these different groups could have had divided our common goal of graduating from high school but it only made our batch bonded together.  I remember when we had our month-long preparation for the National Competitive Examination everybody was helping each other hurdled this exam by way of mentoring.  We did great in that exam because of the unparalleled guidance of Mrs. Elmerita Cervantes.  We are forever grateful to you Ma’am Elmie.  Mrs. Cervantes was never our teacher in any of our subjects in our senior year but the patience and the expertise she showed us in all of the subjects during that month-long preparation was supreme and unrivalled.  She knew almost everything.  Thank you!

How about Helen of Troy, Zeus, Athena, Aphrodite, Poseidon, Trojan horse and many other gods and goddesses and other characters, did it ring a bell?.  Nobody can narrate Homer’s Iliad better than Ms. Ethel Castro.  By listening to her story we simply became the characters ourselves as depicted in the book.  Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships, was a tantalizing enigma from the very start. She was perhaps the most inspired character in all literature, ancient or modern. A whole war, one which lasted for ten years, was fought over her. The characters and even the denouement or the working out of the plot following the climax were all narrated splendidly by Ms. Castro. Her version of the story can make us travel through words, so to speak.  Whew! Thank you Ma’am Ethel.

In subject such as Mathematics, whenever a teacher will give us difficult examination we might look above for inspiration, down in desperation, look left and right for information originating from our classmates but if you

have Mrs. Esther Racines-Miguel as your teacher you will blossom under her tutelage and care and can become little Pythagoras.  None of us became the proverbial “Pythagoras” but the progresses that we were making were in leaps and bounds.  We are always grateful to you Ma’am.

As our grand alumni homecoming approaches I feel jittery inside.  Anyone who has attended reunions feels that there is an amount of anxiety associated with attending reunions.  Somebody on the other hand who is contemplating of not attending also could have many excuses/reasons in mind.  I’ve gained a lot of weight, I’m not successful (I’m not a doctor, lawyer etc), I don’t look as good as I’d like, I am bald, have wrinkles, saddlebags, grey hair and no one will recognize me.  These are tried and unacceptable excuses. Changes are inevitable fact of life.  It won’t matter if you’re yellow or blue (the color of the old and the new school uniform respectively), left or right, in the middle or someplace else altogether but on October 26-28 let us see each other’s faces and be part of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

It’s been 16 years since we left the doors of our beloved Alma Mater to pursue our individual calling.  In the grand scheme of things, we had our fair share of ordeal that we confronted head-on, albeit reluctantly.  Those 16 years were mostly long and incredible journey in finding our place in this world.  We might not have the courage to pursue our dreams without the foundation of Maryknoll education.

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10 things to prioritize If I were to become the School Administrator/Principal

I wrote this essay as one of the requirements in one of my subject in Master of Arts in Educational Management.  I got a perfect score for this activity and the professor asked me to read this essay in front of the class.  Here is the excerpt of my essay:

These are the things that I need to prioritize if I were the principal of a school.  First, I will develop my people.  To do this, I will create programs geared towards the holistic development of my teachers.  I will see to it that training, seminars and workshops are in place.  I want them also to have a continuing professional education by encouraging them to enrol to short-term and long-term courses such as TESDA accredited courses (skill-based) and Masteral programs respectively.  Human development is of primordial consideration because human is the greatest wealth of an organization.

Second, I will re-visit the entire curriculum because there are possibilities that its general and specific objectives are not relevant anymore to the needs, demands and aspirations of the society where the students will eventually be applying the theories and concepts learned at school.  Also, I need to replace redundant subjects because it espouses leniency and indolence on the part of the students for over-mastering repetitive subjects.

Next, I will take the initiative of telling the studentry to organize clubs and other dynamic co-curricular and extra curricular activities so that different skills and values are honed.  These groups will serve as an avenue where students can be able to relate themselves to different types of personality.

It is important that regular conferences and meetings are observed.  I will implement it on the basis of substance over form and not the other way around which is “porma over substance”.  These meetings will give me updates as to where the school is heading.  It will allow me also to solicit advises from my people as to how we can run the school efficiently and productively.

Also, I will only hire competent and value-oriented teachers.  We can not give what we do not have, so if I will hire teachers who are not experts on their field, it will reflect to the kind of graduates that we will produce in the future.  I need teachers who will uphold the highest standards of values and morality because we are sculpting a thinking, feeling and a conscious child.

Moreover, I will include team-building activities during summer break/vacation to forge an emotional bond with all members of our organization.  It could be in the form of beach outing or local & international travelling.

More so, I will eliminate the perennial systemic greed among my people.  It may sound like a cliche or the proverbial pipe dream but through persistence, cooperation and consistency everything can be achieved to wipe out this menace plaguing an organization.  “As you will, so shall it be”- as an old adage would have put it succinctly.

One way of eliminating if not mitigating the greed and corrupt practices within the organization is through the system of check and balances.  Record-keeping and archiving of files is a must so that all transactions are truthful and transparent.  It is imperative also that rules and procedures are being followed most especially when dealing with things that are financial in nature.

Then I will discourage enterprising teachers whose time are consumed in selling goods inside the classroom.  The practice of not using the time for classroom instruction and teaching is a form of corruption because in effect the teacher is stealing the time.

Lastly, I will lobby to the board of trustees of college that the hourly rate of instructors/faculty be raised periodically so that they can meet the basic needs of their family.  Augmented financial remuneration can motivate my people to do more than expected.

Reporter#2- What do research and international standards say about teaching and learning with technology?

Success, Failure or No Significant Difference: Charting a Course for Successful Educational Technology Integration

Mary Burns discussed on how technology affects education. Two views were presented in this argument: The view of the Technology enthusiast and the Technology dissenters.

Consequently, at the end the view of both sides is correct. Techno-enthusiasts provide important educational benefits and part of the mission of education is to prepare students for the world of work. The ability to use a computer has become basic 21st century literacy, like reading, writing and numeracy. On the other hand, Techno-dissenters are correct in their underlying premise—technology has more often than not been used  poorly in schools, particularly in low-resource areas—at the expense of more necessary interventions (like upgrading teacher qualifications)

Furthermore, studies about the learning were mentioned like Blooms Taxonomy, Modeling, and HOTS and etc., these studies gives relevant ideas on how learning takes place. There are also studies that show about the integration of technology in education. Different views were presented, all have their own interpretation and conclusion whether technology is a success or a failure, the common point is that technology has something to do in our educational system. Besides, teachers must guide the students in using technology, though they are “Digital Natives” they still need guidance from the teachers to direct them in the right path.

Source: http://online-journals.org/i-jet/login?source=%2Fi-jet%2Farticle%2Fview%2F2376%2F2522

Technology in Education: Debate between Sir John Daniel and Robert Kozma

The debate between Sir John Daniel and Dr. Robert Kozma,about education in technology,focuses on the introduction of new technologies and new media affects the quality of education.Sir John Daniel on the pros side firmly believed that “technology and the media have transformed all aspects of human life-except education

As it was mentioned,by  Dr. Kozma technology has good contribution to education when coordinated with the training of teachers to integrate technology in teaching, with applications that draw on the unique capabilities of technology, and with supportive curricular, assessment, and school contexts that advance complex problem solving, creative thinking, and life-long learning—skills that are needed to support an information society and knowledge economy. In order for us teachers to avoid the weaknesses and negative effect of technology in teaching-learning process we must train our self and keep on seeking information that will make us more effective users of  technology. We must innovate ways that can capture the interest of our students in learning with the use of technology and avoid the common problem that it has brought among our learners.In contrary, Sir John Daniel said “most applications of technology in education disappoint because they ignore these principles and so fail to use technology’s intrinsic strengths to tackle real problems.” In order to avoid these problems, teachers must look very carefully the strength and weaknesses of the technology. And we must acknowledge the principles of using technology in the classroom setting for it to become very useful tool in bringing education to our learners.

Source: http://www.economist.com/debate/days/view/120

21st Century Skills

       Framework for 21st Century Learning was developed with input from teachers, education experts, and business leaders to define and illustrate the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in work, life and citizenship, as well as the support systems necessary for 21st century learning outcomes. It has been used by thousands of educators and hundreds of schools in the U.S. and abroad to put 21st century skills at the center of learning.

rainbow_external

While the graphic represents each element distinctly for descriptive purposes, P21 views all the components as fully interconnected in the process of 21st century teaching and learning.

The elements described below are the critical systems necessary to ensure 21st century readiness for every student. 21st century standards, assessments, curriculum, instruction, professional development and learning environments must be aligned to produce 21st century outcomes for today’s students.

21st Century Student Outcomes

The elements described in this section as “21st century student outcomes” (represented by the rainbow) are the skills, knowledge and expertise students should master to succeed in work and life in the 21st century.

  1. Content Knowledge and 21st Century Themes
  1. Learning and InnovationSkills: Learning and innovationskills increasingly are being recognized as the skills that separate students who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in the 21st century, and those who are not. A focus on creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration is essential to prepare students for the future.
  1. Information, Media and TechnologySkills: Today we live in a technology and media-suffused environment with: 1) access to an abundance of information, 2) rapid changes in technology tools, and 3) the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions on an unprecedented scale. To be effective in the 21st century, citizens and workers must be able to create, evaluate, and effectively utilize information, media, and technology.
  1. Life and Career SkillsToday’s life and work environments require farmore than thinkingskills and content knowledge. The ability to navigate the complex life and work environments in the globally competitive information age requires students to pay rigorous attention to developing adequate life and career skills including:
  • Flexibility & Adaptability
  • Initiative & Self Direction
  • Social & Cross-CulturalSkills
  • Productivity & Accountability
  • Leadership & Responsibility

Source: http://www/p21.org/our-work/p21-framework

Reporter#1-Technology for teaching and learning: An examination of Philippines’ national educational priorities

Five – Year Information and Communication Technology for Education Strategic Plan (DepED ICT4E Strategic Plan

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can contribute to universal access to education, equity in education, the delivery of quality learning and teaching, teachers’ professional development and more efficient education management, governance and administration.  Following the overall vision of the Department of Education, the ICT4E vision is “21st Century Education for All Filipinos, Anytime, Anywhere.  This ICT program transforms the students into dynamic life-long learners, productive, efficient and responsible citizen of this Republic.

To achieve a learner-centered ICT4E vision, the Department will undertake the following activities:

-Completely integrate ICT into the curriculum;

-Intensify competency-based professional development programs;

-Establish the necessary ICT infrastructure; and,

-Develop processes and systems for governance and management

To have a full grasp of this strategic plan, the following link will give you its summary:

http://ict\Philippines_ICT4E_Strategic_Plan_summary.pdf