Here is part two of Teacher Ara’s interview. She talks about the literacy projects she initiated in DepEd Pangasinan. She also has advise for young and retiring coteachers.
3. What project are you working on right now and how can the teaching community help you?
This school year, I would like to focus on the development of reading programs for early grades and for the intermediate to secondary level. For the K to 3, I have the Project BRIDGE – Beginning Reading Innovation to Bridge the Gaps in Education. In this project, I am looking forward for innovative teachers who can teach beginning reading appropriately and effectively through story reading and aims to have early graders to be readers in their own respective levels (the least). For the intermediate to highschool students (JHS), I am about to launch the Project BEATLES – Books Enhance Ability Towards Language Efficiency and Sustainability. which aims to strengthen the interest of students to read books and other printed materials. Some features of these programs will be the schools’ initiatives in holding book donations, organizing reading circles, conducting quiz bees, read-a-thon and reading camp.
Another project I am working on this school year is the development of budget of work, lesson exemplars or DLPs in Filipino for all grade levels.
4. What advise can you give to a new teacher who has seen the ups and downs of the DepEd system; and a senior teacher about to retire?
I never thought I will become a teacher. I had other dream of becoming someone but not as a teacher but when I started my teaching career, especially in the public school, I can only be the best I can. I had experienced being humiliated when I was a classroom teacher. I was placed in a situation I didn’t expect to happen and I survived it, all by myself. After that incident, I gradually earned the respect of the highest officials in the community and eventually inspired me to work with commitment and dedication.
For a new teacher, one should not be overwhelmed with the bulk of works ahead. Rather than complaining and criticizing the lapses or gaps in the system, keep improving your craft and do your part as expected from you. Keep working and be competitive for future growth and possible promotion. Live within your means and manage your finances well to free yourself from financial loans. As a teacher in a public school, you should be ready and willing to give your time, effort and even money to meet the demands of your work. Since you have chosen to become a classroom teacher, might as well give yourbest in delivering your major task and do it with a big heart. If you don’t find happiness in teaching, then find a job where youcan be happy. Teaching is not just a job or a duty to perform, it is a vocation which requires dedication and a commitment. It is more of a calling or mission that has to be fulfilled wholeheartedly. Since you opted to be part of the DepEd family, then you should be supportive and ever-willing to implement its programs and projects.
For a senior teacher about to retire, make sure that yousustain that good image you have projected all through the years of your services as a teacher until the last day of your teaching career. If you have been known as a great teacher, keep that image until you retire and you will be remembered that way all throughout your life. If you are known to be on the other side, make some transformations in the remaining years of your teaching career.
5. What are your top 3 recommended books for teachers?
- The Secret Daily Teaching by Rhonda Byrne
- The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
- Self-Mastery by Eduardo A. Morato, Jr.