Hello to the readers of my sporadic blog. I have a lot of news to share. Well mainly many thoughts on my only news: the start of my high school teaching career.
I began my teaching career at the Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao two weeks ago. Previously I had formally taught zero classes and received no training in how to be a secondary or primary educator.
My first week of school consisted of:
- Going to a faculty
- Finding out my teaching schedule and classes (6th, 7th, 9th,10th and 11th)
- Losing my appetite, stressing out and feeling anxious about how unprepared I am to teach
- Asking God to take me home 🙂
- Enjoying the company of the students
- Sweating profusely
- Getting rained on
- Sweating more
- Basically being soaked either from sweat or from rain.
I still feel rattled from my first week of teaching. I am only teaching Thursday and Friday but still getting a nice 10 hrs a week in. I felt very unprepared, out of my element, worried my students wouldn’t learn anything, trying to learn the school system in the Philippines, trying to learn how to teach in English or Bisaya, learning how to do science labs in a zero resource classroom and adapting foreign subject books to relevancy in my student’s lives and future.
I just finished my second week and am getting ready to go back on Wednesday, meanwhile while working the rest of the week applying for grants and aiding the InPeace Davao office. I find I am having moments, like last night when I wondered if this is what my teachers were thinking/worried about when I was in high school? Did they stay up at night worried I wasn’t going to learn anything.
I gave my 6th graders a straightforward quiz on Friday, made even easier by a review we had on Thursday..which I know about 70% cheated on or failed outright…how do I proceed from here? I have decided to give them a talk about how imperialists and corporations will be happy they have decided not to study at all and skip class, that education one of the best ways to upgrade their struggle for self determination. Is it too much of a reality check? Perhaps.
I find myself constantly thinking to what depth do I go for subject matter, especially for 6th and 7th my general science classes. For my 9th grade Chemistry, my 10th grade Physics and my 11th grade Earth science,
I wrack my brain and scour the internet looking for experiments & labs we can do in a zero resource classroom.
I feel like I won’t ever get used to being called “Sir.” I bivouac on the campus for 2 nights, in my hammock and mosquito net. God knows I prefer sleeping outside because in the dorms it is so HOT! No fans, breeze or A/C. Dawn finds me waking up early to scrawl out thoughts and trying not to stress out too much about teaching, whilst still feeling responsible for giving them the best education I can while doing the best I can.
I admit…I wish I wasn’t teaching, I still don’ feel cut out for it. However, God equips all of us. I undeniably care about these students and the struggle of their people…so I am going to stick it out a week at a time, frantically planning lessons, splitting my time between working behind the scenes in Davao and being hands on in Maco, caring about the present and futures of my students and feeling blessed to have an opportunity to learn and teach these children of God.