Now that I know the real meaning of education and what philosophy of education is, I have a deeper perspective on the role that I am supposed to play in this whole framework of education. I may be but a speck in this enormous system but I can make a difference (no matter how small).
Currently, I am already teaching theology to members of our church. I can make a difference by letting my students realize that there is a lot more to changing the world than just looking inside one’s self. The focus on many lessons in the past were self-development (even perfection to a certain degree). Now, armed with this reformed knowledge on education, it is my duty to make these younger generation realize that the world does not consist solely of one’s self.
Sensitivity should be taught when it comes to issues affecting the world – there are economic, social, political, and environmental concerns to deal with. Practicing Christians, or Muslims, even atheists, it really does not matter – everyone is needed to collaborate and help in alleviating the world of such issues.
My plan of action?
To finish my studies, absorb what is essential, teach others about what I’ve learned, and become the catalyst of change which the world badly needs.
My Plan of Action from Tonight Henceforth (March 23, 2016):
There is no question as to how important preparation and self-learning are for every teacher. One of my greatest weaknesses has been to rely completely on the pre-planned, pre-conceptualized lessons provided by our Church Educational System.
As an instructor, lesson planning took just a few hours before my actual class. This made me realize that I was missing out on things that could meet my students’ needs because of this particular habit. It has come to my attention – and this is now my goal for my classes henceforth – that daily lesson planning is much more effective than bulk reading and outlining.
Through daily study and effective lesson planning, I believe I would be able to hold classes in a more orderly fashion. Giving reading blocks, reports and assignments also improved our discussions since the students knew what they were going to learn and how each lesson fit to the course syllabus.
It will also be my duty to sequence my lessons so that I will gain confidence as a teacher. While the manuals are already sequenced, not having a personalized plan for each lesson, as I realized, is bound for complete failure for both the educator and the learners. Detailed planning will also demonstrate on how much I have taken time and offered efforts in making lessons.
There were moments in the past when I believed I was teaching in the moment and that I thought I was effective. I have never been more wrong. It worked for me from time to time but there were moments of dead air, lack of confidence, even negligence on the part of my students to study their lessons. There was a whole plethora of issues that needed to be addressed so I knew that I had to revitalize the classes once more.
As expected, planning and looking forward to lessons made the classes more interactive. The students were also compelled because the teacher’s manual had to go away and they started seeing their educator going about the classroom. More exciting visuals were also brought to class and participation was also highly encouraged.
To all-nighters, I bid farewell!
Learning about reconstructionism opened my eyes to a different dimension of teaching. While I was mainly an idealist, I felt that I also had to become aware of issues that plague people locally and globally. In the Philippines, alone, the plight of women is an issue that needs to be seriously given some attention. The nation is still chiefly a patriarchal one so marginalizations can be seen from different sectors. There are battered, raped and murdered, defenseless women throughout the country.
The social issues do not end with the problems on abuse. There is also the need to address global concerns; ethnic differences (I can’t even count the number of ethnic tribes using my fingers and toes); gender discrimination (my Gender and Society project was an interview with a gay parlorista who said that he was hurt verbally and physically, many times in the past, because of his gender orientation);
My classroom, alone, is a diverse one. There are students who come from the impoverished areas of the city and there are those who are well-off. There are sneers, at times, coming from the well-to-do and middle class groups when an opinion is shared by someone from the slums. Of course, this particular student is not as good in speaking English (which is our medium of instruction) and was not as eloquent and confident as most members of the class are.
These may seem simple concerns at first but, as a teacher, ones that need to be addressed – and soon.
Teaching how to teach in a culturally and socially diverse setup has become a tad easier for me (just a tad, as there are more improvements to be applied).
It has come to my realization that I can be an instrument of change and that teaching religion does not end at lecturing about values. In fact, the core of my teaching job should be focused on values formation and application more than any other thing in this world.