The term Brigada Eskwela may mean different things to different people. For some, it may be a modern act of volunteerism. For others, it may just be a required activity to attend to. Others may also connect this to the spirit of bayanihan; or for others, they may just take it as a regular cleaning activity in school. But for a first time/soon-to-be-super-excited public school teacher like me, Brigada Eskwela is more than just all of these things combined. It was more of a big step into investing in my placement school, my second home for the next two years.
Just like my co-Fellows, there were some things that I was looking forward to about this experience. Some of which include getting to know the school, the administrators, the staff and their system better and being able to introduce ourselves and share our ideas to them, meeting some parents and future students, and of course, cleaning and preparing our classrooms for the coming school year. Being able to accomplish all of these was a great experience for me and my co-Fellows who will be teaching in Sto. Cristo Elementary School. More than being accepted in their school, we were welcomed as new members of their big, energetic, jolly family.
Sharing our first Brigada Eskwela experience with our family and friends makes this moment even more special and heartwarming. Seeing them work hard for our future classrooms makes me more inspired to teach better in the coming school year. Their concern for us did not only make my tasks easier, but it also served as a tool for students and their parents to realize how support, sharing and working together for a goal can greatly affect things positively. Truly, Brigada Eskwela brings out the spirit of teamwork and shared governance within its participants and schools. I hope that the desire to be better that we felt through this activity will be sustained throughout the school year and years ahead.
Mary Kristian Joyce Rivera, also known as Kris, graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Child Development, with a major in Special Education from Miriam College in 2013. She enjoys spending time with children and listening to music. Her greatest ambition is to build her own school. This June, she will be joining four of her co-Fellows as the newest teachers of Sto. Cristo Elementary School.