Thursday, May 31, 2012

Me as a Teacher

The 2012 Sa Aklat Sisikat Gurong Kaakbay Conference commenced yesterday at the Science Education Complex, Ateneo de Manila University. There were 250 teacher participants, more or less. It kicked off with the expected opening ceremonies in the morning and a team building session by LUBID (Learning - Understanding Behaviors - Insights for Development). In the afternoon, Dr. Isagani Cruz gave an inspirational message which was followed by the first workshop/break-out session of the conference.

As tradition would have it, all of SAS's Master Trainors (MT) and senior Group Facilitators (GF) conducted the workshop, Me as A Teacher. It was a bitter sweet moment for me for reasons I could not explain yet. And to think it was only the first day of the conference! Something is up there in the air, suspended and bloated just waiting to pop. Could it be the theme of this year's conference, Nurturing Teachers as Readers and Writers that made me feel "emo"? It suggests of SAS's reason for being and history. It is so sentimental. Or perhaps, I'm touched by the happy reunion among MTs and GFs during SAS training workshops and conferences? We only get to see each other once or twice a year and always, there's laughter from memories shared and experiences together in many teacher trainings in the cities and in the regions. It could be all these I missed so much.

With teacher participants at the workshop of the SAS Gurong Kaakbay Pilipinas Conference 2012

The teacher participants I had yesterday were very serious. They took notes and listened attentively. They were very much involved in the discussion. These are expected responses after all, since the participants went through a stringent application process.

I enjoy this session every Gurong Kaakbay Conference. As a teacher, I learn a lot from my colleagues. Being with teachers makes me a better school librarian because, I get to understand their context. I continuously learn from them: how they use varied strategies in teaching; what they are truly passionate about; their joys at the success of their students; their hopes and dreams for a better educational system. Teachers simply want to teach well (despite of and in spite of).

I will be back in the Conference on Day 3 to do a workshop on Bibliotherapy. Tomorrow, Day 2 is a star studded event. The roster of plenary speakers and workshop facilitators includes Palanca Hall of Famers, Poet Laureate, award winning writers, teachers with international caliber and sought after trainors. It is as if SAS is giving its all for this year's Gurong Kaakbay Pilipinas Conference.

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