A Thousand Teachers, A Thousand Methods

By: Marie Denise Cristobal

The state of education in the Philippines, as in many other countries, is not without challenges. From infrastructure to resources, there are various factors that affect how students learn.

In 2015, Pandoo Foundation started to offer training for teachers and educators, with the aim of offering more capacity building opportunities for those in the education sector. Even though the Foundation was, and still is, relatively new in the field of literacy development, we have recognized strategies and resources that are effective for us when managing kids at our drop-in community center or in our partner communities.

On October 26 and 28, 2016, we conducted teacher trainings at Umapad Elementary School and Pagsabungan Elementary School, respectively. We were welcomed by teachers who were eager for fresh insight into how they can engage and empower kids through literacy.

Geneviève Bisson facilitated both training sessions, which centered on the topic “Creating Literate Schools”. The teacher training was designed to be engaging and learner-centered, similar to how we create activities for our younger learners. The training was a mix of lecture and hands-on practice. We talked about strategies to bring literacy into classrooms, ways to motivate children to read, and literacy-based activities that can be used in different subject areas and for varied levels. The teachers were attentive listeners. They also readily volunteered to answer questions and try out the strategies and games that were presented.

At the end of the half-day training, we could tell that the teachers yearned for more. That feeling was affirmed when we received the evaluation forms that were accomplished by the participants. Some comments from the teachers were:

Please continue sharing your expertise so that others may learn what we have learned from you. – Teacher from Umapad Elementary School

Please be back for our next In-Service Training 2017, and make it [the training] whole day. – Teacher from Pagsabungan Elementary School

We are incredibly honored to have been invited to Pagsabungan Elementary School and Umapad Elementary School for their In-Service Training 2016. The teachers from the two schools are incredibly passionate about their work and we couldn’t have had better participants for the trainings. We hope that the trainings have energized them and given them strategies to make their schools a literacy-rich environment where children can develop a love for reading and a thirst for learning.

I borrowed the title of the post from a saying that aptly describes the diversity in education. It also captures why Pandoo Foundation is passionate about teacher training. While we all have our own teaching styles, we still stand to learn so much from one another. We are definitely looking forward to conducting more trainings for teachers and educators!