By Teacher Bliss Polinar
I thought I had known what and how it would take to be the best teacher my students will ever have, not until I underwent TESOL Training at Pacesetters Institute.
I have been teaching for almost 13 years now as Secondary English Teacher at the Department of Education, Division of Compostela Valley, Manat National High School. In addition, I have been serving as coach/ trainer to my students in honing their skills particularly in Campus Journalism for 10 years now and have been bringing pride to our school as award winning Coach and School Paper Adviser both in the Regional and the National levels. And I have been advocating the school’s vision, mission and goals to increase learners’ outcomes. All these efforts hailed me as Outstanding Teacher in our school.
Yet, suddenly, I woke up one day realising that what I have been doing for 13 years does not make me happy anymore. It seems that I only keep on repeating the things that I do each school year. I want challenging jobs; I want to see the other parts of the world; and I want to learn more. Thus, I decided to find what my heart desires abroad.
I decided to undergo training in TESOL because it is an edge in finding teaching jobs abroad. I was confident that I could be the best teacher my students will ever have, but I was wrong.
Ma’am Jan, our TESOL trainer at Pacesetters Institute, made me realize that I need to unlearn in order to learn more valuable things in teaching. What I thought were right and enough was actually wrong. How I learned the techniques and methodologies in class enlightened my mind on how to truly deal and teach my students who are non-speakers of the English Language. Students who have different learning styles and multiple intelligences.
I told myself, had I taken TESOL before taking my Masteral in Language Teaching, I could have been truly the best teacher my students could ever have. In my TESOL training at Pacesetters Institute, it was clearly taught and modelled to us by Ma’am Jan how to teach learners specifically the four macro skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Previously, these were not given enough attention in my classes because I was juggling many tasks in school plus the demand of tedious reports.
My training prepared me for a wonderful and fulfilling experience we had during practicum at Sekolah Indonesia Davao. It's the real world of teaching learners from other culture. Such was a memorable experience.
Above all, there are two significant learnings I will forever cherish in my heart in this TESOL training at Pacesetters Institute. First, the wonderful rapport we built with my fellow trainees. The laughter we shared made us closer and caused us to love each other more. Here at Pacesetters Institute, it only takes three weeks to build a family and that is through TESOL especially with my Batch 14. Ma’am Jan said that every batch she holds is special, but what is more special in Batch 14 is the Laughter and Learning we share from each other.
To my fellow teachers, wherever you may go around the world, always remember these words: TAP THE SHOULDER OF THE PERSON of your students and say: WHAT I KNOW, YOU must KNOW; WHAT I FEEL, YOU must FEEL, WHAT I DO, YOU must DO. WORDS ARE POWERFUL, and BE THE BEST TEACHER YOUR STUDENTS WILL EVER HAVE.
Second significant learning I got is how Ma’am Jan draws us near to God. She made us realize that everything is possible in God, and whatever we desire good in our hearts, God will grant it. She also said Practice only in doing good in contrast to the saying “Practice makes perfect”. The 7 Laws of Teacher by Dr. Howard Hendricks that she shared to us made us feel that she really cares for us. It also struck me when she said “People won’t care how much we know until they know that we care”. Indeed, Ma’am Jan walks her talk.
By God’s grace, I will be working in Indonesia come July 2016. I am excited, but I also feel quite apprehensive because it’s my first time to travel abroad and learn other culture. Praise God for my exposure at Sekolah Indonesia Davao. God truly orchestrates the path we need to take in life. I know my TESOL Batch 14 Family will always be there to support me. Similarly, would not hesitate to extend my help to you my co-teachers who need my help. Like what Ma’am Jan said, “People won’t care what you know unless they know that you care”.
When we are already in different parts of the world just remember all the things Ma’am Jan had taught us and sing our theme song “Agadoo”. By then, we will be reminded that TESOL Batch 14 Family is just a click away.
Thank you to Ma’am Jan, Ma'am Lucy Dy and Pacesetters Institute. God bless us all!