Written by: Lara F. Razo, Grade 10 Rizal “What do you want to be in the future?” “Successful.” A typical answer to a typical question. They have both been heard and said so many times, yet they never seem [...]
Grades 9 and 10 students attended the career orientation conducted by Ms. Joyce Cudale, Marketing Directress and Ms. Geneveve Ledesma, Administrative Assistant of Southville Foreign University on September 29, 2011, 11:00 A.M. to 12 N.N. at the TPS Multi-Purpose Building. [...]
Researches reveal that parent involvement in schools leads to higher grades and test scores and better attendance and homework completion among students. In addition, these students also are likely to graduate and pursue higher education because their parents have taken an interest in their education and have served as good role models.
Realizing the importance of having a strong home – school partnership, the Parent Teacher‟s Council was organized in November 2010. Grade level officers were formed and the presidents of each level, together with the officers of the Faculty Club convened for the election of the General PTC. The officers are as follows:
President: Mr. Alex Carlos – from Grade 9
Vice President: Mr. Eva Amparado – Grade 7
Secretary: Mrs. Vangie Punzalan – Grade 6
Asst. Secretary: Mrs. Monique Sevilla – Faculty Club
Treasurer: Mr. Manny Saguid – Grade 4
Business Manager: Mr. Benjie Rubio – Grade 3
Mr. Mike Ortega – Grade 5
Board Members: Mrs. Ella Novero – Grade 2
Mrs. Catherine Gonzales – Grade 1
Mrs. Yolly Margarico – Grade 10
Mr. Nel Mallari – Grade 8
Induction of the officers took place on December 22, during the 3rd Pasko sa TPS celebration. There were series of monthly meetings and special meetings. The constitution and bylaws of the organization was drafted. In one of the special meetings, an escalation matrix was made. The purpose of the said matrix was to provide a clear guideline to follow in cases of inquiry on school matters.
A good working relation with the faculty is necessary in order for the PTC to fulfill its mandate. In order to strengthen this working relation, the PTC organized a Teachers‟ Day with parents. The primary purpose then was just to break the ice and get to know each other but there were more gains. It was a start of more fellowships to come. There were games, raffle, give away items, laughs, fun, food and more food.
Following are some of the projects/activities undertaken by the council: Christmas caroling with the aim of spreading the spirit to our kabayans here in Dubai; organized with the TPS Choir, inter level parents‟ game in volleyball, basketball and chess during the Foundation Anniversary of the school, Hand in Hand – a mechanism for determining the most appropriate project that will benefit the entire TPS community, lecture on basic entrepreneurship, video demonstration on livelihood programs (embotido making), lecture on goal setting for graduating students by Mr. Rico Cardonega and donation of cooking utensils and appliances for the Technology and Livelihood Laboratory.
The PTC also supported the Bayanihan 2011 which was held in TPS as well as the Walk for the Bones at JBR. There were also several grade level meetings organized which were successful in strengthening home – school partnership.
The Family Day Out sponsored and organized by the different levels served as the seed for a more fruitful relationship between the home and the school. They were attended by the grade level teachers and families and provided color to the history of the PTC.
Teachers who are gifted with talents in singing are rare. Very few indeed are so abundantly blessed with both a high intellect and a singing voice. Usually a person may have one and not the other. But at TPS such rare teachers can be found, in a group which has become the pride of the school, TPS KUMPAS-HIMIG Chorale.
The TPS Chorale is composed of teachers and staff who share a common interest and passion in singing and who are willing to give their time and energy to it. It was formed in 2008 in the same year when TPS was established. Originally composed of 12 members, most of whom have come and gone, it remains strong as a singing group. Since the time it was formed, it has been very active, performing in various events, especially those that promote solidarity among Filipinos. At present, 14 members comprise the TPS Chorale. Altos include Ana Lopez, Marjorie Nazaret, Vilma Angeles and Violy Frias. Sopranos are Maebel Able, Dina De Torres, and Ana Martin. The Tenors are Efren Mayani, Gerry De Torres and Melvin M. Mendoza while the bases are Jonathan Esguerra, Noly Duquen, Allan Cariaga and Gerald Nipay (newest member)
Within three years, TPS Kumpas-Himig Chorale has joined two singing competitions in Dubai and has already proven its worth by bagging the Championship Award for two times straight in a row from 2008-2009 in the Christmas Carol Signing Competition. The said competition was one of the exciting events in the Bayanihan Festival which used to be an annual project of FILCOM, an umbrella that comprises all the Filipino organizations in UAE.
Last year, the group was invited to perform singing Christmas Carols to shoppers at the OASES MALL for two consecutive nights. Last November, they were invited to perform onstage at the Anniversary Celebration of Road and Transportation Authority (RTA) and received public approval and applause. The group also performed at the Coral Beach Resort in Sharjah as part of the hotel’s Christmas promotion. They sang Christmas carols for the guests composed of different races.
Just recently, Kumpas-Himig Chorale did well in their singing venture at the Wonderland park where they performed as guests in a Pre-Valentine Concert starring Derek Ramsey, Maja Salvador, Melai Honteveros and many more. They belted out Original Pilipino Songs (OPM) that entertained the Filipino audience.
Edwin F. Caliyon
Only a few men in the world have the ability to combine humor and wit, to make you laugh in a manner that infuses wisdom and humor. Such a man of essence and substance is rare and hard to find. The Philippine School-Dubai is so blessed to have one, in the person of the newly elected Faculty Club President, Mr. Edwin F. Caliyon.
He was elected president because majority of his colleagues clamored for it. Obviously, his mysterious personality exudes an aura that fellow workers see and pushes them to make him their president. As Ms. Eidha, one of the Arabic teachers said, “He is very nice. He is one of the Filipino teachers who treat non-Filipino teachers amiably.”
His qualification also includes a track record of three straight years in the post. His legacy is the establishment of a Faculty Fund, which served as a source of financial aid to teachers in times of emergency, and consequently helped promote their welfare. This fund, which was turned into Teachers’ Cooperative he initiated has grown big and is continuing to grow after he has left the school.
Flipping the coin to the other side revealed several fascinating facts about him: First, he is a deep thinker, and is very good in decision-making. He admits, “I am a deep thinker who is into thorough thinking all the time, especially when there are decisions to make. I think a lot first before saying anything and I make sure I can stand by all my words.” His innate intelligence, enhanced by his great love for the game of chess, could have been enough reason for his high level of thinking.
Many of his colleagues refer to him as “Mr. Neptune” because he never runs out of brilliant ideas which always prove to be sensible, though they may initially seem weird and out of this world.
Second, he is very “techy”. Going to the mall to check on the latest in gadgets, according to him is neither a hobby nor a therapy but a routine. “If I can afford it, I see to it that all my gadgets are updated,” he beams.
Third, He is a man of many talent and interests. He is good in drawing, painting, poem-writing, choreography and even in cooking. He has knowledge in troubleshooting a wide variety of computer problems, one which he claims to be a product of learning by experience. Aside from being a chess enthusiast, he is also a boxing aficionado and is great fan of Manny Pacquiao. He is brilliant.
As a teacher, he finds fulfillment in knowing that his students are able to reach higher grounds than he does. Sometimes, though he feels lacking in upgrading as a teacher. “It’s not like when I was still in the Philippines when I would attend seminars from time to time.” “I jump with joy when I meet my deadlines, and I admit to have what they call an artist’s temperament.”
As Faculty President, he was asked, “What do you think is the purpose of the faculty club?” He said the club is primarily the voice of the faculty. He added, “It is the link that connects the administrators and the teachers.” He has two aspirations as faculty president: one, to promote the welfare the faculty and two, to strengthen relationships among teachers and between administrators and faculty. “Having a good relationship among members and with the school heads will work for the benefit of both parties. This can be achieved by having regular bonding moments and engaging in team building activities.” He hopes to give the TPS Faculty the same legacy he has left in the previous school where he served for 17 years, the establishment of a teachers’cooperative and a faculty fund.
When asked what advise he could give to teachers who are still very young in the profession, he simply said, “Give your best.”
Mr. Richard is probably the busiest coordinator in the school. His duty involves overseeing all activities, from the simplest flag ceremony in the morning to the more elaborate programs outside the school.
As activity coordinator, he sees to it that every activity is properly planned, organized and executed. He receives communication, mostly invitations from different agencies and responds to them in consultation with the other school leaders.
Asked how he finds his job, he says, “It’s very challenging. This is a job wherein there is no room for mistakes. An error in one detail such as the date of activity, means failure of everything.You can’t simply cut the chain of reactions caused by one mistake.”
He continues, “These are some of the challenges I frequently meet: the scheduling of activities, teachers‟ and students‟ concerns and the need to coordinate with students, teachers, parents and other personnel. It is particularly difficult to schedule activities during weekends because I have to send letters, ask waivers from parents and coordinate with bus drivers for the transportation of students who are coming from the different areas in Dubai and Sharjah in a short time.
But Mr. Richard admits he is happy in his job, and is able to cope with the challenges. He is thankful that he gets the necessary support from the management and his fellow teachers.
He observes that after the details have been taken care of, everything turns out right and ends well. (We can just imagine the tension each activity gives him as the person primarily in charge, until the activity is over!)
What makes him strong enough to carry out everything? He relates, “Maybe it’s my openness to ideas.” He listens to others ” ideas and learns from their wisdom, and he is equally willing to share what he has without reservation. He adds, “I simply love my work. I give my best to it without expecting something in return.” Loving one’s work for him means spending extra time in school, foregoing meals and even delaying sleep to finish an urgent task.
Inside this tough leader is a light-hearted man, a loving husband who can accept everything and who tries to maintain a balance between work and play, between job and family. He is a sincere and genuine person. He declares, “The deposition I have been showing… is the real me. No masks. “ He is not accustomed to giving orders; he simply does what he can if it is in his hands. He adds, “I am glad that I have never been in conflict yet with anyone in the performance of my tasks.”
Asked to share his wisdom to students and fellow teachers, he says, “Be responsible and sincere in doing whatever is assigned to you. It can be a source of fulfillment and happiness.”
Melvin M. Mendoza
Mr. Melvin holds a degree in Education and has years of teaching experience. He is a leader who wants to make things easier for the group by initiating and proposing creative ways of solving problems. He is decisive and he works with remarkable calmness and efficiency that make the work seem so easy.
As head of the Arabic Department, he sees the great challenge of effecting changes in the department composed mainly of Arabic teachers. But he responds to the challenge, and is well prepared to meet them. He knows the best way – to start with the basics and proceed from there. First, he seeks to improve policies on Arabic language teaching, to bridge the gap between teachers and students and among teachers by establishing a common language – English.
Early in the school year he has prepared guidelines for teaching the language, reminders for teachers in doing their duties and tasks, and activity sheets to facilitate teaching and learning. He has also prepared appropriate methods of teaching, progress indicators and lectures on test construction.
Mr. Melvin speaks of his vision for the department: “I dream of integrating ICT with teaching language. This, I learned is innovative teaching. In this kind of teaching, there is less teacher talk and more student activity. Groupings are frequent for participative activities, and teachers are technologically equipped to facilitate the learning process. “
He proposes language proficiency training for teachers starting next year.
He is happy to note the gradual, positive changes in the department and
he hopes to achieve more with frequent contact with the teachers, frequent monitoring and technical assistance.
Ms. Ana, the hardworking coordinator of the KG Department is an effective leader who accomplishes goals by getting the participation of her members. We know, she has the record of GOOD rating of the department from KHDA last year to back up our claims.
Asked how she leads, she answers, “I really don’t lead alone; I don’t do things all by myself. As a coordinator, I consult my fellow teachers. Whatever plans I have in mind, we make it a point to sit together and talk about them, weighing the pro’s and the con’s… Everyone is free to make suggestions, and we decide on what we think is best. In case of problems and difficulties, and the decision rests on me, I make the decision and stand for it. I lead them because no one else wanted to be the head; and I find out they only need the prompting to get moving. Once they are given the definite direction, they are energized. I set the pace, and they follow.”
She added, “I believe that more heads are better than one; so I involve them. I also remember that success begins with a single step. I have to make that right step; then we all walk side by side for the KG Department to be successful.”
Speaking about the challenges in the department, she relates with the confidence of one who knows her job well, “The main challenge is our students. They are beginners, and they look to us for guidance. If we take the wrong step, they will be failures. We have to discipline them in a way that they will not get tired or bored with learning. We should impress on their young minds that education is the key to success and so they need to study. We should them how to hold a pen or they’ll grow with weak hands. We should teach them how to read or else, they will find so much difficulties when they start formal schooling.”
“Aside from these physical challenges, we also have mental challenges. Each student has a different level of learning. Some even have attitude problems. We have to open our minds and think of different techniques and approaches that will solve the difficulty of one and yet will be good for all of them…”
“Another problem is the time pressure. We have to assist our students one by one, to check the books and notebooks in all subjects, and submit the requirements in a short time. I am thankful that my group is reliable and cooperative. They are willing to sacrifice their time for sleep just to get things done. I am proud to say we have never submitted things late in spite of all the pressure.”
On being a mom, she says she is liberated and supportive to a certain limit. “I support my kids in what they want, as long as it is good for them. When I know it leads them to what is not good, I explain to them the possibilities. Most of the time they realize they should not do it at all. “
“As a teacher, I am dedicated, sort of workaholic. I can work for 24 straight hours, and can forgo sleep if there’s an urgent job to finish. In teaching, I’m a bit strict. But I have a heart for the kids. You see KG teachers need to be full of techniques. I don’t stick to one; I keep learning more. I am a disciplinarian for the purpose of holding them all but I can also be a mom for their needs.”
Want to see her lighter side? She is fond of playing puzzle games and watching movies on her laptop. She can even simply stay at home during her free time and play with the kids.
Ms. Ana shares her dream for the department. “Every year, I aim for the best in terms of student performance. I wanted the advance class to graduate as readers. This year, I aim to make good readers of all KG students. I am overjoyed at the steady growth of our yearly population, and I hope we will grow more. Finally, I dream of making the KG Department OUTSTANDING in the KHDA rating.”
Ms. Reggie, the cool head of Science Department is a confident, hardworking leader who projects cautiousness and vibrancy. Just seeing her fills one with a sense of serenity as one beholds her face and demeanor-poised, calm and relaxed in a work-place full of deadlines and pressure and challenges. And yet, she is an energetic teacher who can make urgent decisions. I had the chance of seeing her work some years ago when we were both advisers of Grade 5. In an instant, she had filled the walls with the decorating materials I didn’t know where she got, and she did everything without complaining, without pushing. On another occasion, she taught our classes an ethnic dance patiently, untiringly, cheerfully until she was satisfied with their performance. I am a witness to her resourcefulness and decisiveness.
Among the science lessons she teaches, she finds these three things most relevant, and should really be learned: the chemistry of life, biological processes, the earth and the environment. These probably tells something about her inner person – the reverence for life and its mysteries, the deep understanding of life functions, and the awareness of the environment where she lives – which she all hopes to pass on to her students.
Her present outlook in life is apparently shaped by her changing situations. She confesses, “I used to love adventure back in my college days, but now that I have become a mother, I just want to be with my family, preparing their needs and spending quiet, unhurried moments with them. Having been away from them led her to sort out her priorities, and those include her family.
In her dream destination, she reflects the fondness for inner peace as she relates, “I dream of a place of tranquility, full of blooming flowers and other beautiful sights of nature.”
She is a loving and supportive adviser to her class and she does everything within her power to promote their good. She confers with teachers about them and listens to what they may say.
Asked what advice she can give to young teachers, she replies, “Teaching needs dedication and commitment. You need to love your students and your work. This is the key to happiness and contentment.”
Marjorie F. Nazaret
Ms. Marj has been teaching for 15 years, long enough to master the basics in her profession and to gain useful insights that may be shared with others in the same field.
She proposes the use of interactive activities by the math teachers in the classroom. “This,” she explains, “…is the best way of integrating higher order thinking skills without neglecting the basic skills.” She further proposes the combination of old and tried techniques with information communication technology (ICT) for best results. She elaborates, “We can learn from the Indians, who are known for their prowess in math. Their best way of learning Math is rote learning, a method in which the answers are given and memorized for mastery first and the explanation comes later. For example, when we teach that 5 x 3 = 15, the learner may absorb and master the idea immediately and learn the why or how later. 5 x 3 = 15 remains true forever, and the easier and sooner the child learns it, the more lasting will the information be in his mind.”
She also emphasizes the student’s mastery of the rule. Every now and then, in the discussion of the problem, the teacher may pause and ask, “What is the rule? What does the rule say we should do?”
After the mastery of the rule comes the application. She encourages the use of practical, realistic, daily situations in problem solving. For example, treasure hunting is a very interesting activity that requires application of skills in plotting points on the rectangular coordinates system. For linear equations, the students may be asked to compute the distance between Deira City Center and Gift Village in Deira.
Asked about the role of the Math teacher, she explains, “The teacher plays a challenging role in making the concepts in Math clearer to the learner. He needs to be positive and student-oriented. He must be accommodating and patient enough to discern the needs of the learner, to entertain his questions, and recognize his need to learn. He needs to promote the learner’s familiarity with math by making him experience it daily, see it daily, hear it daily. In short, Math should be a common part of the learner’s daily life. And most of all, the Math teacher should be student-oriented instead of goal-oriented. He supplies the learner’s need, and he adjusts to the student instead of the student adjusting to him.
Finally, Ms. Marj passes on these words of wisdom that has become her guiding principle, and which has changed her approach to teaching in the past few years, “As a teacher, you possess tremendous power. You can make life happy or miserable, easy or difficult, exciting or dull for the child. Which do you choose?”
Annelyn M. Saguid
Legendary coach Vincent Lombardi once said that the quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor. The head of the language Department Head, Ms. Annelyn M. Saguid is one person who exudes excellence in everything that she does. She can capture her audience every time she speaks because of her spontaneity, good command of the language and wit.
As a mother, she is thoughtful, loving and supportive. She encourages scholarship and development of talents. As a teacher she tries to be both gentle and firm. A teacher for the past 27 years, she sees teaching as a great opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives and to glorify God. She is guided by the adage that teaching affects eternity positively. Her friends see her as affectionate and faithful; unchanged by time and circumstances.
As a department head, she is democratic and appreciates the uniqueness of every member. She recognizes each member’s strengths and harnesses them for the attainment of the goals of the department.
If given the chance, she would like to own a professional camera and to have a small home office complete with materials, supplies and equipment that she needs in her work. Ms. Annie enjoys listening to soft music; appreciates sunrise and sunsets; welcomes indulgence in fruits and nuts and hopia. She is also a voracious reader.
Interestingly, she would ask this question to a bird – what makes you fly so high without fear. She would like to know also how a bird finds rest.
Ten years from now, she hopes to be a happy, fulfilled mother and a loving grandmother enjoying a slow paced life.
Monique Q. Sevilla
Ms. Monique is the cheerful, confident, light-hearted head of MAKABAYAN Department. She is the picture of a woman with a zest for life, and who takes everything on her way with courage and confidence.
As a leader, she understands the challenges of a virtually big department where most of the members teach other major subjects, and are therefore not as readily available as the others. It makes supervision more difficult. She says, “In a big group like this, I do close monitoring first, then give enough liberty later. I am also a teacher, just like them. The head is not necessarily the best, but the position should be accorded with the appropriate amount of respect”
Talking about her strengths, she declares, “I am a confident writer and speaker, and am unafraid to learn new things. I easily adapt to new situations, and can mingle with different groups of people.” Yet, for all these strengths, she can be patient and tolerant. She is a loyal friend, and has the understanding heart that perceives a friend‟s deepest needs.
Asked about the things she values most in life, she relates, “Being a single parent and an OFW, I would like to prepare my children well for the future.” She added, “I believe that there is a plan for each one and God is the author of that plan. I am a hopeful but realistic person. Given my situation, the things that I desire most are secondary only to what my children need. I value good health, and family support makes me strong.”
Talking about the things she likes, she confesses, “I am fond of romantic films with happy endings (See the child in her?) and of CSI. I am also a “sleeper,” she says. That probably explains why she can be very strong and confident in performing her tasks as a teacher and as a leader – she finds the balance between work and play; she works hard, and plays hard. True enough, I can see that she learns quickly, be it the latest dance steps, or the newest song to hit the charts.
“I have wild fantasies, such as: learning how to dance the rumba, appearing in my own pictorial, being a writer and teacher till I grow old, and traveling to the different parts of the world.”
What about her plans for the future? Ten years from now, she pictures herself to be still in teaching, but only as a hobby and no longer a job. She hopes to be free from some of the big financial responsibility that she has now, and dreams of traveling as a tourist with a partner.