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Why did you become a teacher?
My official status in Xavier University is a Formator and I purposely became a teacher due to the formation activities I handled when I was still working with the Social Involvement Office of Xavier University. We were facilitating educational sessions, issue discussions, trainings, information education campaigns, structured learning experiences and processing sessions to select groups of students outside the classroom until we have worked out the integration of these activities into the curriculum through the National Service Training Program. Teaching and facilitating community service became full time inside the classroom and in the communities. This is what we have always dreamed of curriculum integration of formation.
You’re the NSTP Director, a barefoot runner, a peace advocate, and a mother of two. What inspires and drives you to be all these?
At Xavier University we were exposed and trained to be persons for others, to go to the frontiers and move out of our comfort zones. I want to set a good example to others especially to my children. They may not follow the path I trod but I am hoping that they will always look back at it when they build their own roads and be guided by the marks of values and principles I leave behind in every the step I take. I also want to spread positive energies through the work, sport and advocacies I am engaged in. It keeps me within the stress level that a self can take. This is my way of living well, laughing often and loving much.
We heard you’re also heavily involved in community service in your personal capacity. Can you tell us about your advocacies?
At present I am into Gender and Development because of my involvement with PILIPINA, a national women’s movement; Human Rights because of my involvement with Amnesty International, Philippines; Peace in Mindanao and Responsible Citizenship because of NSTP. I am influenced mostly by the formation I went through in Xavier University and by my closest friends. In Xavier University we were taught to be critical minded, to have preferential option for the poor and the oppressed. These organizations have exposed me to various trainings and activities to be more vigilant, to know and understand the issues and to be fully committed to social transformation.
How is technology helping you in your work as a teacher and in your advocacies?
Technology has made communication with my students more fun and less stressful. Announcements, messages, reminders and emergencies can reach them easily. It is also one of the mediums wherein I can be one with them, where we can level off with our expectations and not be left out with the terms that only them can understand. I can also reach as many people as possible even those outside my circle with my advocacies through technology.
What’s the biggest misconception about the teaching profession?
That knowledge, skills and information should all be provided by the teachers in the classroom. Over the years I have learned that experiences about social realities substantiate the theories, and lessons discussed in the classroom. They learned a lot from the communities they have served. I have also learned a lot more from my students. And When I savor my moments with them, digest their sharing and process their experiences teamwork, conflict resolution, communication, time management, values and attitudes unfold. I learned to deal with them individually without any bias or judgment which I believe is the most important lesson I can impart to them.
What has been your proudest moment so far as a teacher?
When a student has internalized the learning s/he gained from my class and become a social development worker or when s/he goes into volunteer work.
What’s the best thing a student can ever say to his or her teacher?
I believe that education begins at home so I am truly touched when a student says:” Like a mother, you accept us as if we are from yours”
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