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Beyond the Four Walls

“When I was a young kid, ang lagi kong nilalaro with our neighbors, ako 'yong teacher. My mom, napansin niya ‘yon but I ended up taking engineering in college. I finished Industrial Engineering in UST and then pursued corporate work for 11 years. However, I was diagnosed with cancer in 2002 so I had to leave the corporate world. Thankfully, until now I am in remission. During that time, I was only 33 so inisip ko, ‘Hindi pa, napakabata ko pa para mag-retire.’ Sabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘ano bang puwede ko pang gawin?’ So I took up teaching units, took the LET, and luckily, I entered mainstream academe around 2016. Siguro ito 'yong first love ko talaga—teaching.

All my children inspired me to pursue teaching as a profession. I have four kids and I have a son who, growing up, was full of questions. Always asking ‘Why?’, ‘How?’, everything under the sun. I was inspired by him and motivated by him to choose science as my subject. When I was a student, I find science as a difficult subject. That’s why when I became a teacher, I promised myself to make my discussions simple and light so that my students will also learn to love science.

The best part of teaching science for me is seeing the look on the students’ faces when we are doing experiments, the look of amazement. And then hearing how excited they are when they are doing group works. Watching how happy they are when they are able to ace my tests. I also admire how they perform in competitions and out-of-school activities, 'yong resilience ng bata para maka-adjust doon sa situation that they are in, nakakabilib 'yon. It is also an achievement for a teacher. And then, the best talaga is learning from my students. I learn from them also, especially when they ask questions and share their insights.

I find teaching in this time of the pandemic very difficult. We had a lot of adjustments. Judging from my age, hindi na ko millennial so I was not techy but we were forced to learn to be able to adapt to the distance learning set-up. However, this is a positive thing para sa akin because this expanded my skills as well. Sabi nga, wala naman sa age ang learning, we are forever students kaya I always embrace learning new things. Challenge din juggling between household chores and school work. And I still find it difficult to adapt to the habit of unplugging after work hours. Minsan may tendency tayong maging workaholic in this kind of setup. And also, to engage my students, I need to be more creative. Dapat nga doon sa face to face creative na, lalo pa ngayon. So ‘yan 'yong tinatak ko sa sarili ko, even at this age na hindi ako techy but I’m still trying my best to learn new things every day.

In the classroom, I miss the real-time feedback. Minsan sasabihin natin,Did you get it class?’, Do you follow class?’, Kahit hindi mo na tanungin, nakikita mo lang sa mukha, uulitin mo na lang 'yong lesson. They show different types of feelings: may it be an expression of wonder, or hindi naintindihan 'yong lesson, or masyadong excited doon sa activity. The classroom noise tuwing games and activities, ‘yan talaga ang nakaka-miss kasi hindi mo siya talaga nakikita with this kind of setup. And of course, pagdating sa faculty room nandiyan na 'yong may joker para mawala 'yong aming tensions and pressures. ‘Yan din 'yong nakaka-miss kasi bihira kami magkaroon ng mga virtual meetings.

I am truly grateful to BAFI for coming up with Mind S-Cool Online. ‘Yan po ang aking go-to resource when I need a simpler explanation of science topics. With Mind S-Cool Online, you were able to deliver the topics na napaka-light at saka 'yong mga application nila in everyday life is very evident. Tapos you provided experiment guides na napaka-helpful talaga. The inclusion of Art Cart also makes the learning of science lighter. So merging it with the teaching of science is a good idea. Ang ganda ganda pa ng inyong jingle!

I miss The Mind Museum tours with my students kasi annual event na siya. Lahat ng sections sa Grade 11 dinadala ko. Kaya nga lahat ng mga bata sa lower levels, they are looking forward na mapunta sa Grade 11 kasi this is one of the activities na pinag-uusapan.

Very significant sa akin ang Manila Mini Maker Faire because this has given my students a confidence boost. Twice kaming sumali. We presented a vacuum cleaner made of Coke bottle tapos sirang elisi ng battery fan. On our second year, gumawa naman kami ng mga miniature carnival rides using scrap items and electromagnetism. 'Yong mga bata, they came up with these ideas and na-feature pa kami sa I Love Taguig. Hindi naman ako after na sumikat o magkaroon ng recognition but I’m happy for the students. ‘Yong feeling nila of accomplishment and magkaroon sila ng pagkakataon na ma-showcase 'yong kanilang ginawa. Imagine sa Maker Faire may mga scientists talaga, mga engineers talaga, so it gave them a sense of pride na kahilera nila ng table 'yong mga engineers. Napakalaking bagay po talaga sa kanila. Nakakabilib talaga ang mga bata basta bigyan mo lang talaga ng opportunity.

Itong mga students na ‘to, nasa college na sila and they are taking up engineering as their course. Sa palagay ko na-motivate din sila dahil sa pagka-expose nila sa iba’t ibang professions. One of the Cafe Scientifique that we’ve attended is Women in Science. I brought my female students and bilib na bilib sila. Mayroong nag-talk from Women Who Code, mayroon namang speaker na social science ang concentration. Nagkakaroon ng exposure ang mga bata sa iba’t ibang careers na posible nilang kuhanin.

And last na! Science Wonder Workshop! The first time I attended was in 2016 yata. It was a three-day workshop at sinabi noon ni Ms. Maribel na, ‘it’s a workshop like no other’. We love it. We were able to bond and share the science experiences with our co-teachers sa aming mga kalapit na schools in Taguig. We built friendships over the years. We are looking forward for more, I hope there will be more.

‘Di bale matatapos din itong pandemic and soon gagawin ulit natin ‘yan.


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