Teacher’s Day Special: Teachers on Trails

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Grade Four pupils at Museo Sugbu during Lakbay-aral

Scuba divers would say that it’s a different down there. Skydivers would say that it’s a different world up there. But teachers would say that it’s a different world at the teacher’s table. Everything else changes. From the way you talk, move, and look around, it’s as if you are meticulously scrutinized from head to foot like a specimen. Your senses become extremely sensitive – to the whispers of a classmate, crumple of a paper, and the tiniest sound that the world can produce.

Not everyone can relate to this, but surely, every teacher does. And from everything that the academe and learners (and parents) demand from them, it is but proper to have a break from time to time. A break from all the documents, noise, complaints, and worksheets to check – to travel. Why not? The Philippines offers a wide array of places to choose from. Not only that it gives teachers a different environment to enjoy and reflect on, it also allows them to unwind and learn at the same time.

Here are some teachers who braved to travel on weekends and holidays and was able to maximized their learning experiences in the noble profession that they have chosen.

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Teacher Debby hovering over Loboc River

Debbyshire Oplado

Preschool School Teacher

Cliché as it may sounds; I still believe that experience is the best teacher. I have been to different cities and provinces in the Philippines since 2014 and it’s more than the adrenaline I get from every adventure. As a teacher, I am able to understand more our uniquely diverse culture and society. With this, my travel experiences doesn’t only limit to my personal gain but also to my students who looks forward to hearing my travel getaways. In the end, teachers develop professionally not only through study but also through travel and exploration. Having been able to immerse myself with nature and the different cultures around the country allowed to me establish rapport to my students and colleagues alike.

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Teacher Laarni with her athletes

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Laarni Jane Avergonzado

Public School Teacher

Most teachers clamor about not having the time to do the things that they love, to go for an adventure and discover the world. They contain themselves inside the school premises, in their class homes or at home writing lesson plans, preparing visual materials and some others, referring to reference books or online the things they will teach to their students. But that is so not me all the time. Of course, I also do those stuffs but not all the time. The mole on my sole just won’t let me sit in one area and wait for my magic carpet to bring me to places. Being a Guidance counselor, ICT coordinator, School paper adviser, Coach, Subject teacher to four sections, and some other ancillary assignments, my life as a teacher is as challenging as what I expected it to be. I am stressed and burned out doing the aforementioned things one after the other. So, I travel. I explore places I’ve never been to and see for myself the beauty of these places outside my computer monitor or beyond how the books described them. By visiting places, I must say, I have become a better person, better teacher. I am more motivated to do my job, share first hand and reliable experiences and facts I have learnt from my travel, attest how beautifully nature has carved the caves of Puerto Princesa Palawan, how gentle and law-abiding the locals in Dumaguete City are, that I am always home in Bohol, and that I am one with nature in the majestic island of Siquijor. Even the inviting mountains of my dear Cebu, the white sandy beaches of Bantayan Island, Sumilon, Argao, and Zaragosa Island of Badian. By visiting places, I am also able to open my pupils’ eyes and see the importance of respect and appreciation of one’s culture. Travelling is even more meaningful, and I must say that, I have become a better teacher and worthy of the visit, when I go to a certain place with my pupils as their coach. It feels like I deserve it and that I am more than benefited because I teach them what to do and together we learn there in the real world, outside the classroom. For me traveling is more than just taking pictures of the sake of social media; rather, it is making sense of the experience and relating to the pupils how wonderful God’s masterpieces are.

 

Clemy Fernandes (via MCVF)

Deira Private School Teacher

Coming to the Middle East from London was a culture shock; however, the skills I acquired from traveling honed and motivated me to help and understand more the nature of every learner through play.

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Teacher Christine at Bas Daku, Moalboal

Christine Marie Alferez

Private School Teacher

Travelling allows me to meet new people and help me hone my communication skills. I have realized that politeness and courtesy will take us to places (figuratively) and that things can work in our favor because of these values. Because of my short but meaningful experience of travelling, I have come to conclusion that if I can be polite and courteous to strangers I meet when I travel, then I can do so when interacting with my students and coworkers. In that manner, I have imparted to them the small but significant lessons I have learned in travelling.

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Teacher Agnes at Burnham Park

Agnes Alicante

National High School Teacher

Traveling ignites the adventurer in me. Through this, I can motivate students to strive more and dream bigger like going far and reaching their goal – like traveling around the country and the world.

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Teacher Carla with pre-school pupils

Carla Villanueva

Saint Benedict Pre-school Teacher

Travelling allowed me to share first-hand experiences to my pupils; thus, making every teaching-learning activity memorable.

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Teacher Krisyl conquering the third highest peak of the Philippines

Krisyl Jurcales

MMIS Grade School Teacher

Conquering what used to be the country’s second highest peak while wearing more than five layers of shirt and hoodie (including some of my companion’s sweatshirt) and seeing the wonderful sea of clouds (playground of Gods) is probably one of the most amazing thing that I have experienced yet. This travel experience made me realize that no matter how tired, cross, broken, and hurt we may become, reaching the summit (or ultimate goal) would  guarantee a sudden easy of hurt and cure to all worries. Nature will always and forever be my stress reliever and thanks to the universe for this gift. I would always love to breathe the air of new places especially with Mother Nature. This can truly be of help to my vocation as I share meaningful stories of adventure, struggles, and faith to my pupils. Moreover, I can also promote local tourism and appreciation of culture with my activities.

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Teacher Bernadeth twinning at Petronas Tower

Bernadeth Fernandez

Malaysia-based Teacher

Been to different places around the country and some countries abroad, but nothing can beat the Philippines! Immersing myself to diverse culture (local and international) allowed me to become more flexible and adept to my teaching career.

 

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Teacher Kristine making her way at Palawan

Kristine Ross Galgo

STC Science Teacher

Travelling allowed me to explore the wonders of nature and relate it to my Science class. With everything experienced first-hand, I am able to give detailed-descriptions on the ecosystem and biodiversity.

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Dive with Teacher Hope
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and marvel the beauty of Tinisik-uwang Falls
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before striking that deadly pose at Mt. Mago

Hope Carabaña

International School Teacher

Travel helped me to be more patient in dealing with different kinds of people, from all ages. The skills I’ve learned from stand-up paddleboarding, mountaineering, backpacking, and diving has truly developed my ability in dealing with the little ones (Years 3 to 6).

 

Indeed, teachers are the best! Not only that they plant the seedling of tomorrow, they have also fully-immersed themselves to the wonders of nature so to guide the seedling and nurture it to become the tree that it ought to be. Indeed, the world may just see them as teachers, but to the students, they will always be heroes. Literally and figuratively. HAPPY TEACHERS’ DAY!

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