(this was the essay I submitted to the Ateneo Graduate School last year as a requirement for admission. After hurdling the exam, I made it, though, on probation. Right now, I’m on leave from the university)
When I joined the public school in 2010, I gave myself two years to familiarize myself with the system. I have almost nine years experience teaching in the private school, and a brief stint with the Koreans, young and old. I suffered from “culture shock” like other teachers who came from private school. But then from my first year with public school, I have come to terms with the system. As part of the system, I have to take the part of the facilitator, not the center of the instruction. Seeing these impressionable, eager faces of my pupils whenever they discover or learn something from our activities, I resolve to enter graduate school this year.
Why Graduate school? Through a Masteral program, I aim to make myself a better teacher, armed with new insights and strategies to make learning more interesting and fun for my pupils. And with the specialization in Basic Education Teaching program, I plan to explore the issues on the educational system, and the new K To 12 Basic Education Curriculum to be implemented beginning school year 2012-2013. I was drawn to the Basic Education Teaching program because it is only offered in Ateneo. It would be interesting if I take a different specialization from my fellow teachers who are taking Masteral program in Educational Management.
I was like any other young girls who pretended as teachers in their play with their playmates as students. Becoming a teacher has been my dream, and fulfilling my mother’s dream of being one is another. I also was inspired by my former teachers in elementary, secondary and tertiary schools. My undergraduate course prepares students to be college teachers but I prefer to work with smaller children. Being a product of public school system, I am grateful for molding me into an educator myself. It is deemed proper to “give back” by teaching in the elementary school.
I am always in awe of the sad state of our country’s educational system. At the outset, it seems perfect. But reality checks come enrollment time, where as many as 50 pupils occupy a room meant for 35 pupils; and in the duration of the school year where parents (there are almost half of them) wouldn’t bother attending meetings/distribution of report cards as they are busy working outside their homes; erratic attendance of pupils due to numerous reasons – no “baon” as their parents wouldn’t allow them to attend school if they don’t have any; health reasons (parent or pupil); and a lot more. The issues may be daunting, but I’m still hopeful.
I believe that understanding the system and devising strategies and methods for more meaningful and productive learning are essential for my academic and professional growth. And since teachers are no stranger to challenges, I believe that the Ateneo Graduate School can open a lot of opportunities for me to seek ways to make me more empowered. What it can offer me is a perspective that is “grounded on sound pedagogical theories and on the Jesuit tradition of intellectual excellence and service for others”.
May 3, 2012