Saturday, October 10, 2015

Workshops with Teachers and Librarians: Philippine Lit Fest, TeacherTraining Institute & AKLATAN 2015

Trash or Treasure: Turn these trash into teaching treasures!
I had the wonderful opportunity of working with teachers and librarians over the past months and recent weeks. My workshops with them were all about storytelling, books and reading, creative thinking and the use of technology for teaching and learning. Why I am still doing this after a decade or so affirms how important literacy development is in this day and age. I learn a lot from these workshops. I do design the modules I conduct and deliver, but the interaction I get from participants fuels me to further create.

Knowledge shared is knowledge gained.

In the Philippine Literary Festival, I was amazed at how thirsty we all are for authentic and genuine human connections. Stories and storytelling can quench that thirst. Weaving tales and stories is magical. In the Weavers of Magic workshop, we reaffirmed our commitment to pursue the magical path through the process of creating children's literature for young readers today. In the training I had with public school teachers of Estancia and Carles, Iloilo, we discovered how materials in our immediate environment can be used as instructional materials. What we deem as trash can actually be a treasure trove of instructional materials. All we really need is to look at our deepest needs and desires to surface the imaginative power that has been hidden with in ourselves for so long. After all, creativity is a natural talent. How it is nurtured is another story though.

Teachers read children's books. My favorite part of the workshop.
In the AKLATAN 2015 Conference of the PLAI - CLRLC, I realized that we all need to go back to books. Back to Books. Back to Basics. To fully understand why we are librarians, we need to take a closer look at why books, as a technology, is still around in this age of the digital divide. How does a technology, like the book, can magically bridge gaps, make connections and celebrate the human spirit in the age of smartphones and social media? Why do we need to talk about reading in the era of ASEAN Integration and how do books play a part in learning how to read? These thoughts came to mind as I conduct my workshop with the librarians of Central Luzon. While they make their own books, I reflect on the work that Filipino Librarians are challenged to do.

The work is plentiful but the workers are too few. I only know of one thing -- we shouldn't stop learning. And as we learn, we need to reflect on our actions; on our insights; on the next step of the journey.

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