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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What Teaching in the Mountains taught me

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 Posted by vernon go , , , , ,


A couple of Saturdays ago, me together with other friends went to the Mountain Barangay of Napo Elementary School here in Cebu, Philippines. Despite being situated in a mountain, it is still part of Cebu City-a reality in which most of the volunteers were caught off guard. This was actually my second time here in Napo --the first time was during a learning visit via the Young Minds Academy Season 3.

We went there to be ‘Tutors‘ to 6th Grade elementary school students teaching Math, Science and English. As I reminisce my school life, the only subject I liked was English, Science was somewhat of a love-hate relationship while Math was something I did not like at all (And add to that, I have a degree in Engineering?). But Ironically during an IQ Assessment, I happen to have average inclination towards Science, High in Math while low in English in which to this day I still think it’s weird.


Anyway going back, this was all a very daunting task for us since most if not all volunteers were utilizing the legendary “Stock-Knowledge and Experience” we had with the selected subjects; well except for some of us who had post-paid internet and access to google thru either their tablet, smartphone or iPad. HOW AMAZING IT IS that Technology saved our butts from embarrassment --Kudos to all teachers who painstakingly prepare their lessons plan day-in and day-out with limited technology-aid.

This was not necessarily my 1st time in doing a tutoring or teaching activity but still I felt nervous, not because I was afraid but I fear that I may not be able to enrich the mind of my assigned tutee. The tutorial’s goal was to help Napo Elementary School pupils excel in their studies. Volunteers would visit the mountain barangay for 3 consecutive Saturdays to tutor students.

Everyone was enjoying the pupil’s stories, Getting to know yous and enjoying our learning sessions and also some inescapable mistakes and blunders on our parts.

the friendly neighborhood volunteers
The time came to depart, and the pupils and volunteers said their goodbyes, their enthusiasm did not fade at all even with the goodbyes “GOOD BYE MGA ATE, KUYA.”  As we headed back to the City center, in our assigned vehicle going down the mountain, we were discussing the fun we had with the kids and how pleased we were with ourselves. But the topic also went into our mistakes, room for improvements as well as the serious discussion of the educational situation, technology's role in education (Tablets, Smartphones, e-readers,..etc..) and the needs of the school that we helped.

All I can say is Bawat Pilipino ay ang solusyon! Let us not forget, we are our government  and we have to work together for the common good through being each other’s partner in nation building!

And of course, I must think of some way to make technology available in these resource-deprived school--what do you think?

[Photo Credit to: Selah Marie Labay and Ivern Bernales]
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