Inclusivity yet again

I must have mentioned inclusivity in my previous eJournal entries before I even read this module. That is because I find its importance in the diverse world that we are in now. Diversity in schools is something that should not be taken for granted, instead it’s something that should be appreciated.

We all have experiences when it comes to diversity not only in school but also at work and almost everywhere.

Growing up in the Cordilleras, I encountered people from different ethnic tribes. I am a member of the Igorot community. It’s funny how others make fun of my indigenous group. The comments thrown are sometimes atrocious and below the belt. I just wish those people who give out rude comments will be enlightened one of these days. I can’t blame them anyways.

I think we have preconceived notions about other people. Through exposure and experience, these preconceived notions are either strengthened or modified.

When it comes to the school setting, the administration and teachers should be able to foster inclusivity. The school should not tolerate bullying caused by differences in culture, religion, background and even gender preference. Instead, the school must promote acceptance amongst its students.

If inclusivity is observed in schools, it would promote a healthier learning environment.

 

CPD

A true professional isn’t afraid to challenge himself to learn, relearn and unlearn. Instead of being content with the stock knowledge that he has, a professional perseveres to improve his knowledge and skills.

Continuing Professional Development is essential in the teaching profession. As facilitators of learning, teachers should seek to widen and update their knowledge to ensure that whatever they taught are up to date. When I was in elementary, Pluto was still part of the solar system. In 2006, it was then classified as a dwarf planet discrediting it as the ninth planet of the solar system. Had a teacher been uninformed regarding this, he could still be teaching that Pluto is the ninth planet of the solar system which is of course an obsolete information this time. Such example is simple but justifies the need to keep abreast with updates and changes.

Teachers should also be updated with their teaching strategies. Through technology, teaching has evolved. From the old school use of the blackboard and textbooks, teaching now relies heavily on technology. Some teachers might find it difficult to adjust to the current trends because they have been accustomed to their teaching styles for the longest time. They are left with no choice but to keep up with the changes that are presented right in front of them.

The Professional Regulation Commission as per its bulletin dated January 04, 2017 clarifies the mandatory earning of CPD prior to renewal of licenses. This is important to ensure the integrity of every profession.

 

Inclusivity

The world is ever changing. In order for us to keep pace with the world, we should always be on the lookout for things to come.

Teaching is a profession that will always exist no matter what. Teaching doesn’t only happen in a four walled room but it occurs everywhere. Teaching doesn’t rely solely on teachers but involves anyone.

One of the important aspects discussed in the module is inclusivity when in comes to teaching. Considering that we have different culture, religion and race, teaching should go beyond a general approach. Sensitivity when it comes to teaching should come into play. Even gender sensitivity should be considered in schools.

Being different at times becomes a hindrance in school. One’s physical appearance, name, background or whatsoever can turn one into a laughing stock in the classroom. Were you one of those students who made fun of someone else’s funny name or even his dark skin? I was one of those, sadly. Little than we know, we may have made their time in school miserable.

This is where the teacher comes in. He should be able to redirect such circumstances into positive experiences. Seems hard to tell but very possible. He can emphasize that being different is something to be happy about. Being different makes you unique and that reason alone is something one should celebrate. As early as possible, teachers should be able to positively reinforce the uniqueness in a student, may it be his dark skin, religion, ethnicity, gender or anything that makes him stand out from others.

Another important point in this module is the collaboration between teachers and learners. It should be a two way relationship to work out. Teaching is not one side, nor is learning.

Lastly, socio-emotional learning is something that I personally would want every little child to learn, not just from school but in the real world.

Having a strong foundation of skills, attitude and behavior will make one prepared for the battle ahead. Teachers should make sure every child has this weapon in his arsenal to thrive in the competitive world.

 

 

Teacher’s Expertise ; Technology’s role in school

Teachers should be on top of their game while teaching. Having the expertise in whatever field they are teaching is important to deliver learning that is of quality and is worth remembering. With that said, I have had teachers who were really awesome but I have had some who were quite lacking that savvy if I may say.

In high school, I had a very good English teacher who served as an inspiration for me to improve on my English speaking skills. She had a flawless mastery of every subject matter and of English in general. You would feel that confidence in them and such confidence is empowering.

Sadly, there is a mismatch in terms of subject taught and teacher happening in the Philippines. I presented an example in my previous journal entry. It is something that should be addressed if quality education is sought after.

The education system in the Philippines is in the midst of an upgrade with the introduction of the K12 system. The first few years would definitely be testing and shaky. Nonetheless, teachers should be bound to teach the subjects that they are expert in.

Technology is an important aspect in teaching nowadays. Technology’s integration in teaching has made lessons for kids and even adults more interesting and participative. At this age, you would see kids adept in using iPads. They are even more knowledgeable in the use of gadgets than some adults. Such awareness of technology at an early age should be taken account in how education should be delivered to kids at this time and age.

An article by Ashley Wainwright in SecurEdge Network cites the importance of technology in schools. Here are those 10 reasons:
1) If used correctly, will help prepare students for their future careers, which will inevitably include the use of wireless technology.
2) Integrating technology into the classroom is definitely a great way to reach diversity in learning styles.
3) It gives students the chance to interact with their classmates more by encouraging collaboration.
4) Technology helps the teachers prepare students for the real world environment.
5) Integrating technology in education everyday helps students stay engaged. Today’s students love technology so they are sure to be interested in learning if they can use the tools they love.
6) With technology, the classroom is a happier place. Students are excited about being able to use technology and therefore are more apt to learn.
7) When mobile technology is readily available in the classroom, students are able to access the most up-to-date information quicker and easier than ever before.
8) The traditional passive learning mold is broken. With technology in the classroom the teacher becomes the encourager, adviser, and coach.
9) Students become more responsible. Technology helps students take more control over their own learning. They learn how to make their own decisions and actually think for themselves.
10) Student can have access to digital textbooks that are constantly updated and often more vivid, helpful, creative, and a lot cheaper than those old heavy books.

Despite all those mentioned advantages, the framework which is TPACK should be at the forefront of education using technology. The interplay of content, pedagogy and technology must be reinforced.

Source: http://www.securedgenetworks.com/blog/10-reasons-today-s-students-need-technology-in-the-classroom

On becoming a professional

Growing up, I’ve always thought of becoming someone professional. I have had the notion of a professional as one who is doing an excellent job and at the same time earning a good salary. What I would equate with being professional are white collar jobs.  It turns out it’s not that way.

Every profession deserves respect. Each one of us is unique and at the end of the day, one has to do it. Call it destiny!

Teaching is a profession that never fades. It may not be always at the limelight but undoubtedly, it will always be there doing its thing.

To me, teacher professionalism is being able to carry out teaching in the highest possible standard while effectively and efficiently facilitating knowledge and skills to students. One should carry an image that is respectable and trustworthy.

The current status of teaching as a profession in the Philippines should be looked into both in macroscopic and microscopic views. I personally think that in terms of teaching as a profession, these concerns should be addressed:
1. Quality of teachers – The Licensure Exam for Teachers should be kept rigid. In the Philippines, they would often identify the Bar Exams and Accountancy exams as the hardest. Apart from passing the LET, teachers should continue enhancing themselves by continuous learning. Experience doesn’t necessarily make one an expert. Taking specialized programs to become proficient in a certain field is necessary to become the best teacher that you can be. Teachers should start earning their Masters Degrees. I bet that if you are an expert, then you can demand a higher salary (for private institutions, sadly you can’t contest your salary in government-run schools unless you talk about years of experience). There was one instance in my high school years when one of the Mathematics teacher was asked to teach English to a class. I don’t belittle his English command but the students themselves know that things are not in order. I couldn’t but feel bad for the students and even the teacher. To me that was unprofessional. The school should not let that happen in any way. I was studying then at a Science High School. That puts the teacher’s credibility hanging and the school’s image questionable. I bet that teacher was just asked to be a substitute but he could have declined it. Looking back and considering that it happened to that kind of school, what else could be happening in other public or national high schools.
2. Salary – The government and private schools should give a competitive pay to teachers. Considering the status in the Philippines, I think it will take some time but let’s keep our hopes high. It’s a simple thought that if teachers are paid well then they would be able to perform better. I think that concept applies to all professions. Teachers who are not compensated well and are even asked to work for extra hours turn out to be worn out and dissatisfied. Policies should be enacted to ensure the welfare of teachers. Teachers must be on their toes not to allow the management to exhaust them.

We are not who we are today without our teachers. Give credit where credit is due and yes, our teachers must be credited for our successes. The teaching profession has long existed and has stayed true to being a noble profession. While other countries don’t put teaching on a high social status, we Filipinos should continue valuing our teachers as what Chinese do (as per the material in the module).

We consider our teachers as our second parents and that stays in the Philippines.

Have a good one!

Reflection on Reflective Teaching Practice

This module on reflective teaching practice is spot on to start this course.

It was a rough start for me getting through the materials but I’m here sharing what I have picked up.

Reflection leads to clarity in teaching. One’s recognition that he needs to reflect on his teaching starts the process. At the end, what is sought after is the purposeful development in both the teacher and his students. To reflect doesn’t mean there is something wrong. I believe when you reflect, you start to check on how you are as a teacher, how you delivered the lesson and so on. From there, you make the necessary adjustments to better deliver.

Meanwhile, critical reflection fosters a learning environment that promotes understanding, compassion and fairness between the teacher and students. This would allow each person to be valued and understood despite the differences among the participants. A critically reflective teacher would instill critical thinking into his students, too.

As teachers, we should accept that there are things beyond our control. We should accept our limitations but we must maximize our strengths. We must take into consideration what is best for our students without compromising our own good. We must continuously reflect on improving our craft so we could better educate our students.

Practicing reflective teaching is a win-win situation for the teacher and the students. It is a win for teachers because reflection allows us to assess, evaluate and do the necessary fixes in our practice. Reflective teaching is dynamic. Thus, students are creatively taught based on their needs and the situation that they are in.

Like any other process, reflective teaching process is continuous. It shouldn’t stop at a certain point because the world (and everything in it) is continuously changing.

At the beginning…

As a novice student in this kind of system, I find online learning as a challenging one but I’m here to prove that I can adapt to it and embrace it. Enrolling at the UPOU is a refreshing scene in my professional career. Learning is something that excites me; that’s why I’m here.

The results of the tests I took are interesting, even making me smirk. I definitely have my strengths but some weaknesses need to be worked on ASAP. The Study Skills Inventory test result shows that I am poor in concentration and even poorer in time management. Alas! The Time Management Skills Test agrees.

As a learner, I can bank on my strengths to get through the modules of this course. I know that I am goal driven and that is something good to start with. Time management has always been my waterloo. Having said that, I need to make myself aware that everything here has its deadline. Even if I have a full time work, I definitely need to focus on the important things and give due time in accomplishing requirements at hand for this course.

I will simply do my best and that is my pledge.

Have a good one!

 

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