I remember going to my first “Homemazing Workshop“ at SM North Edsa last year. That time, I went with a friend then who urged me to buy a Good Housekeeping magazine for the two of us. That purchase was a blessing because at the end of the workshop I went home with the third prize for the raffle. Hoping my luck will improve this time, I bought another Good Housekeeping magazine so I can join again the raffle for the Homemazing workshop at Alabang Town Center (ATC).
Ms. Tisha, editor of Good Housekeeping, was still pregnant the last time I saw her (naturally she gave birth after 9 months of being pregnant) and I was amazed to see her back to her pre-pregnancy figure. In the last Homemazing workshop, I learned tips as a homemaker on how to de-clutter. This time, I attended the workshop with a different mindset:
If I am homeschooling and I want to create an environment that is efficient, organized and clutter-free for my child, which 3M products can help me do that?
Sometimes we think that finding a good school can help our children actually do better in school. If that is really the case then these schools will have zero drop-outs. However, is that really the case here in the Philippines? On a related note, I remember Dr. Queenie Lee-Chua saying that tutorial centers along Katipunan is a booming business. She even joked that in Ateneo there is a remedial class for those who are in remedial class already. Now, I don’t think that is an isolated case for Ateneo or other big schools. So why is a good school not the sole answer to our children’s problems in school?
Because school is not the be all and end all of a child’s life in school. Some will say “I can’t just drop out from work and dedicate my life to my children to homeschool. Times are different now. Both parents have to work just to survive.” or “Do you know how long is the queue for a formal assessment not to mention how expensive it is!”. Personally, this for me is the worst thing a parent can say “My child does not have a problem.” while ignoring all his struggles in school. (Why did you think we called you for a PTC??? On a side note, I wish there is a PTC also for just sharing wins. Wait, there is but not all schools might have that. )
Going back to the topic…
Early this year I attended the fist Brain Fitness Conference organized by BrainFit Philippines. Because I registered, I received an update from BrainFit that they will be launching a book entitled “Fit Brains Learn Better! A Chronicle of 12 Years of Brain Fitness Training.” Interesting sounding book isn’t it? Why? First, I it was only less than a year that I became aware of the fact that there is a certain thing such as brain fitness. Second, finding out that brain fitness has been existent for more than a decade is quite overwhelming for me. Naturally, I am interested to read more about this topic.
My child who has ADHD took a COGMAP from BrainFit this month. Due to persistent rains this past two weeks, we haven’t had a meeting to discuss the results of the COGMAP yet. I am really anticipating hearing what the results of the standardized tests are. I promised the readers that I will post an objective account of our experience of taking the COGMAP here soon so watch out for that.
For now let’s talk about the science behind brain fitness. Are you ready?
This comment was from one of the posts that disappeared thanks to uninvited friends from Turkey who hacked the Special Education Philippines website a few months ago. What I learned from those months of hiatus is that I cannot just give up… even if my knowledge of fixing a website is very limited and that I had no idea where I’m going to start. In the end, I saw it an opportunity to work on some of the things I was trying to improve about myself: asking for help and letting go.
Yet, it was just unfortunate that it took such a looooooong time to sort out through all the spam and real comments I received in my inbox. Finally, I read this comment from Ms. Rain or Shine (her real name, lol) for one of the missing posts.
From: Mrs. Rain or Shine,
One morning, I spent some time looking for a new Facebook cover for the Special Education Philippines FB Page. I found one that really caught my attention visually and emotionally. It says “In the eyes of a child, you will see… the world as it should be.” In this light, I will reflect on the message of Sir Ken Robinson in line with a class discussion I had in my Master’s class on critical and creative thinking. That is, like a child, I am taking a risk to say what is really on my mind and if I do commit any mistake I wish to realize it and hopefully, learn from it.
Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk is entitled “How School Kills Creativity“.
I have been listening to TED talks for quite some time now but this is the first time I’ve watched the TED talk of Sir Ken Robinson. Listening to his talk, made me realize three things:
Some time last year, I was invited by MYX Channel for a school forum regarding the K-Pop sensation here in the Philippines. I went to University of Sto. Tomas (UST) thinking I will only be talking to a handful of students. To my surprise, not only are there more than a handful of students but it seemed it was the university’s foundation celebration. Since MYX is one of the local channels popular to college students, just imagine how packed the theater hall was. My stand about K-Pop has not changed: We live in a world where we should reach to people globally and yet with all the influences that we encounter, not limited to K-Pop, we should remember our grassroots, that is, our own rich Filipino culture, and how we can keep our identity as Filipinos without compromising our values as a nation.
Other than K-Pop, I must admit my knowledge of Korea is not as broad as I would like it to be. I taught ESL (English as a Second Language) to Korean students and managed to recognize a few words and not to write my name or my students’ names using red ink. My sister has been bugging me to watch “My Sassy Girl” and swears that is one of the best movies ever. I have seen a couple of K-Pop music videos (I did my research before going to UST) and recently I heard Ailee sing on YouTube. And of course, who wouldn’t have heard of Gangnam Style, right?
However, is there more to Korean wave than what we see now in the pop culture?
Yesterday, while waiting for the start of the launch of “50 Years of Korean Contemporary Printmaking” at MetMuseum Manila, I decided to pass the time by catching up with some personal reading. The book I was reading was a gift from a friend of mine, J.p. who I haven’t seen for awhile until “Be the Big Boss Summit“. I decided to leave the book in my bag which proved to be a good thing because reading this book made me remember one of the reasons why I started the website, Special Education Philippines. You see when I was very young, I love stories especially fairy tales. I had a fairy tale collection with original art painting. I even collected the different fairy tale pocketbooks from a milk powder promo back when I was already in High School. Until now, my house is filled with books and stories from around the globe.
I think telling stories is one of the best ways to connect to our students. In school, I listened more when teachers gave personal anecdotes or shared true-to-life stories of inspiring people. Until now, when I post stories in Special Education Philippines website and its other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, they all have that same vibe of storytelling.
Just imagine my interest when I learned that Mique International Conference and Event Planners’s (MICEP) holds storytelling workshop for teachers. I first heard of MICEP’s educational seminars from T. Regina Lu. This August 2013, Ms. Sheila Wee will be back in the Philippines to give a storytelling workshop for teachers. However, this time it is specifically for teachers of children with special needs.
In line with Special Education Philippines website goal to promote better education for children with special needs here in the Philippines, two tickets for this SPED seminar will be raffled to SPED teachers. To join the contest, just follow the simple steps below
Partners from School Talk shared generously five tickets to be given away to readers of Special Education Philippines. I decided to hold the contest for teachers and students. Why promote an entrepreneurial seminar in an educational blog? For me the reason is plain and simple, that is, to encourage more Filipino graduates to be entrepreneurial. You see I have long standing belief that education is not confined in the four corners of the classroom. However, years and years we find graduates whose skills do not match the competencies needed to perform the job. There are also graduates who are working in the job different from their course. Worse, there are graduates who cannot get a job. So if they have the aptitude and the skill to graduate a four and sometimes even five-year courses, why is it difficult for them to pave their way to success. Just not like not everyone is born a leader, maybe, not everyone is cut-out for corporate work. And if they cannot work as employee, what can they do? Maybe, just maybe, they can “Be the Big Boss”.
This is one of the entries I received for the “Be the Big Boss Summit” and I hope there will be more entries to come. Read the rest of this page »
Read the rest of this page »
In one of my Master’s classes at UP Diliman where we tackle strategies for teaching creativity and critical thinking, our teacher, Professor Yna Clavio made us read and reflect on a student’s speech. The speech was created by Erica Goldson in 2010 who graduated as valedictorian in her batch.
Here I stand
Above is the video of her graduation speech. She did apologize for the tremble in her voice which she explained was due to nervousness. If you listened and saw her speech, it may prompt you to watch it again or read the transcript of her speech but before doing so I hope you can give some time to read what a former colleague of mine wrote about her sentiments as a SPED teacher overseas.
After reading Mr. Barry K. Beyer’s article on “Teaching Thinking Skills – Defining the Problem”, I would like to write this reflection paper based on the definition of reflection obtained from the Intime website – “Reflection is a mental process which, applied to the act of learning, challenges students to use critical thinking to examine presented information, question its validity, and draw conclusions based on the resulting ideas. This ongoing process allows the students to narrow possible solutions and eventually form a conclusion. The result of this struggle is achieving a better understanding of the concept. Without reflection, learning ends “well short of the re-organization of thinking that ‘deep’ learning requires”. Effective learning situations require time for thinking. Students also reflect on themselves as learners when they evaluate the thinking processes they used to determine which strategies worked best. They can then apply that information about how they learn as they approach learning in the future. ”
Whenever I have an opportunity to grasp new learning, I am most likely to consider three things: 1) what I already know 2) what I don’t know and lastly 3) what I don’t know that I don’t know. For Mr. Beyer’s article, I can say that article falls mostly in category 2 and sometimes 3. Speaking from that sense, It is what makes the article refreshing to me. Also, the article made me think of how I think and how I perceive teaching thinking skills. To make my description clearer, let me give specific examples of points I reflected on: