I did it. I made it through the first month. I have already learned so much about the public school system in the Philippines and have so many stories to share. Where do I begin?
We are piloting a new Grade 3 curriculum for the K-12 program. There are so many challenges that surround this, I am trying to keep focus of what is important as more gets added to our plate. One would think that I could make one lesson plan since I only teach English, but the achievement gaps are tremendous. One section can handle the curriculum that we are implementing, while the rest of the sections are anywhere from Non-Readers to Grade 1 reading level. Knowing that I have to start where they are at, I am starting back at the beginning. This poses another challenge, the age range is for Grade 3 here is age 8-13, and they are going through different developmental changes, so many hours are spent making lessons that appeal to all.
At the start of school, they were climbing the walls, running up and down the halls, sliding across the floor, hitting each other, making each other cry…and I thought okay let’s get classroom management under control. It has taken the whole first month to do this. I have 45 students in my advisory class, but about 225 total that I teach English to. I’m working on inspiring them, creating possibilities, motivating them. I know it takes time to create change so at least I can start with making the classroom a welcoming environment and a place to learn. One thing at a time.
I have started with a tree to share academic achievement, then I implemented a behavior tracker, and thinking of ways to make my teaching materials like a game. Check it out!
Leslie Ferrer Espinosa, 32, graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatrical Arts and Technology. She is one of four Fellows assigned to Apolonio Samson Elementary School.