Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Universal Teacher: Ms Caridad R Lazo (San Vicente IS to the World Ilocos Sur)


"If angels search for a most precious thing,
        It is a teacher, the monument builder,
the mother in school and home, epitome 
       and bridge of the young and the elder." - avr 
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday [www.pbs.gov.ph]

Author, former Grade III pupil of Auntie Caring, at San Vicente 
(IS) parish church, with Ms Cecille R Rotor, 2012

Three generations, this great teacher taught:
    in her own, mine and the present time;
and teaching still the lesson of life,
    in her golden sunset, across the clime. 

Under thatched roof and battered wall, 
    from the ash of war a Phoenix rose,
she said, "Peace with hope conquers all,"
    and we tread on the right path she chose.

That was long time ago in fresh memory,
    from blackboard to traversing cyberspace,
and looking back the sage in her beams
    to say "Just look back awhile in a race."

Wisdom truly is to hold on tradition 
    as the world goes round - to anchor change
to hold on to life's meaning than adrift,
    floating with neither a goal nor range. 
  
Philosophy to hold on to search for why,
    knowledge to skill transformed, what to how;
the course of events’ periodicity, history,
    that made great men, values then and now.

Strange these are to the mind and heart
    of the young that we were then, and today,
the crucible of teaching that makes heroes
    though unknown, rings triumphant someday.

What among lessons is truest yet sublime?
    we look back who molded us a living clay;
herself the tutor and model, ‘til all of us
    cured and hardened to the hour and day.    
   
If angels search for a most precious thing,
    It is a teacher, the monument builder,
the mother in school and home, epitome
    and bridge of the young and the elder. ~  


What makes a universal teacher?

Years passed since Maestra Caring was my teacher in Grade 3 at the San Vicente Central Elementary School. Sixty years to be exact, and I too, became a teacher.  I learned what qualities a teacher must have in order to be effective, and recognized as outstanding.  I based my findings on those of a joint research project of CHED and the National Council of Educational Innovators (NCEI), with the support of non-governmental organizations and various colleges and universities. The first aspect I came across are the four areas of expertise as an outstanding teacher. 

1. Subject matter expertise, which means that the teacher has a mastery of content-specific knowledge and the organization of this knowledge for effective instruction.

2. Classroom management expertise, that is, the teacher maintains a high level of on-task students’ classroom behavior, which prevents or eliminates learning disruptions, while it creates an environment conducive to learning.

3. Instructional expertise, which means that the teacher has both implicit and explicit knowledge on various teaching strategies and methods to attain pre-defined instructional objectives.

4. Diagnostic expertise, which refers to the ability of the teacher to know both the class and individual needs and goals, abilities, achievement levels, motives, personality attributes, and emotions, which influence instruction and learning.

Maestra Caring demonstrated all these areas of expertise on a high plane few teachers can equal. She was able to elevate her expertise by advocating on certain educational philosophies which she knew well how to balance each one as the situation and need would arise.

The first is eclectic educational philosophy, which means that the teacher does not subscribe to just one philosophy; she shifts her roles from being a facilitator of learning to a transmitter and interpreter of knowledge. While at times she may be a perennialist – one who is an authority in the classroom, transmitting and interpreting knowledge.

As a realist she focuses on the here and now, stressing knowledge as how it is applied or observed. For example the laws of nature are better understood through observation and research, more so with an outdoor setting.

As an idealist she views education as a means of developing students’ intellectual abilities. Influenced by the Greek philosophers Socrates and Plato.  She stresses the importance of logic and philosophy.

Holistic Mentor-Learner Interaction

The key to effectiveness in teaching is a holistic approach whereby there is a mutual and orderly interaction in the teaching-learning process, with the teacher placing a high premium on the development of thinking and understanding. Educators attribute teaching expertise to the teachers’ affectionate interactions with the learners, and to their efforts towards developing learners’ responsibility for learning. There are of course many other factors that influence effectiveness in teaching because of the wide diversity in culture, affected by certain economic, ecological and political conditions.

Today’s criteria of an outstanding teacher may be on the extent of educational preparation, preferably one with a masteral or doctoral degree holder, the use of modern teaching and management tools, and the prestige of the institution she represents.  Not in Maestra Caring’s time. WWII had just ended. The Phoenix had just risen from the ashes of war, so to speak.  Things were simple if not bare.  This was the greatest test of a teacher.  

Looking back through the years, I realized that the attributes of a teacher – true and devoted to her vocation – lie on just simple things.

· Logical and creative thinking, the left and right brain in perfect balance and tandem.
· Demonstration as model personal virtues and character that nurture favorable teacher-student relationship;
· Drawing inspiration from within and outside the school, from members of her family and community.
· Positive and cheerful disposition in pursuit of goodness and service as a guardian guided by the wisdom and humility of the Good Shepherd. 

Because of Maestra Caring, I strived to be a teacher too, so with many other disciples, and followed her footsteps all the way.~
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NOTE: The characteristics of an effective teacher are described in a book written by Dr. Flordeliza Clemente-Reyes, Unveiling Teaching Expertise – A Showcase of 69 Outstanding Teachers in the Philippines, 1999.The book summarizes the results of a nationwide research initiated and funded by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the National Council of Educational Innovators (NCEI), with the support of non-governmental organizations and various colleges and universities. The author is one of the outstanding teachers in this survey from 28 private and 12 state universities distributed in 12 regions of the country.
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National Teachers’ Month and World Teachers’ Day: 05 September to 05 October of Every Year as “National Teachers’ Month” signed on August 24, 2015 by President Benigno S. Aquino III and to the designation of the World Teachers’ Day every 5th of October by the United Nations Evaluation and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),

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