Friday, March 14, 2008

Teacher talk

Different kinds of people usually guest Tina Monzon-Palma’s radio show “Talk Back” aired on DZMM every Monday to Friday at 8 p.m.

In one episode, recipients of the Outstanding Teacher Awards of the Metrobank Foundation were the guests of the show.

Monzon-Palma introduced that night’s guests and they told her how they won their respective awards.

The recipients recalled the process on how they won the awards. They said they had an actual demonstration teaching in front of the judges. They were allowed to discuss a topic on which they specialize. Then, they were asked to make a 40-minute lesson plan to be shown to the judges. “It was a challenge,” one of the teachers said as he recalled that the most difficult part was explaining their topics to the judges and making them understand what they were trying to say—especially when a judge was listening to a topic that he’s not an expert in.

During the episode, the teachers talked about their meaningful experiences regarding their profession. They also talked about their different strategies on how to encourage their students in studying harder so they could have a more positive attitude in what they want to achieve in the future.

One of the guests was Dr. Fred Laureles. He teaches mostly about Industrial Arts and Work Education and has been teaching for 36 years.

Laureles told Monzon-Palma about his experiences on dealing with students who don’t work hard. In dealing with these kinds of students, he said that the first lesson he teaches them are the values of responsibility and discipline.

He said that being responsible and disciplined are crucial components of having a successful life.

“No problems will happen to them (children) if they just know how to give importance to these values,” Laureles said in Filipino.

As a Work Education teacher for grade four students, he first teaches them about basic cooking. He discusses to his students that rice, being a staple food in the country, is one of the most important food staples that should be cooked—and should be learned by everyone. He also teaches his students how to fry food like eggs and hotdogs. And when he is asked by his students, he gladly teaches them how to do simple kinds of snacks like “Banana-Q.”

“All people eat,” the veteran teacher said as he discussed the importance of knowing how to cook.

As an Industrial Arts teacher on the other hand, he teaches his students on basic woodworking and carpentry. He teaches them the correct way of hammering. He said that it’s a “skill” to be able to know these things.

With all the things Laureles had said during the radio show, he concluded that “it’s important to experience the simple things in life and learn from those experiences. That’s the way to achieve success in life.”

Another guest in the show was Dr. Saloma. He has a doctorate degree in Physics and has been teaching for 34 years.

Saloma said that he really wanted to be a scientist when he was a kid. His love for Science was evident when he mentioned that when he was still a kid in his hometown Bohol, he would normally gaze the sky at night and ask himself how he could go to the moon.

His hometown in Baklayon, Bohol was near the sea. It was where he found about fishing, boats, and scooters, and car bearings. He saw children playing with those kinds of things and they treated them as toys. He said that he was amazed about the children’s imagination and creativity. A friend of him once built a microscope from a flashlight. His friend showed him using the improvised microscope that ants were really hairy.

His experiences as a kid in his hometown made him more interested in becoming a scientist. He said that with his experiences, he is now concentrating on the “improvement of instruments using accuracy and precision that could examine nature.

His father’s influence also made him more interested in Science. Laureles, who teaches students from the Philippine Science High School System, said that parents are the most important inspiration in pursuing the students’ future endeavors.

He concluded by saying that “anything could be done when one has the imagination.”

Another guest in the show was Leticia Palyez. She is a Master Teacher in Malaybalay Central School in Malaybalay, Bukidnon and she has been teaching for 34 years.

Palyez teaches Mathematics to her students. And when asked about her strategies on dealing with her students, she said that initially, she gives them a diagnostic test so she could determine beforehand their different weaknesses. That way, she could prepare on what topics should be given more importance during their discussions.

But her most effective strategy, she shares, was singing tunes and jingles from popular novelty songs and lyrics that are about their subject matter for that day like measurements and place values. He said that children are good in memorization especially when they hear those kinds of popular songs. It would be easy for them to memorize. She even presented her “concept” to the Bukidnon State College and the people there told her to continue doing it.

When all the teachers had already spoken, Tina Monzon-Palma asked them what their final messages were about having good education for their students. All the teachers agreed that students should possess the “basic tools” in having a successful life. They said that they should have a positive attitude towards reading. They should not only treat reading as a requirement given to them by their teachers but they should also have the “love” for reading. “Reading books is the first step in having a successful life,” they concluded.

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