It is funny (and kind of sad) to think back to late March of 2020. We were making plans to lockdown CSC for a couple of weeks, maybe even a month, to keep out this new virus called COVID-19. At Cebu Children of Hope School (CCHS) we were just starting our 4th quarter so a couple of the teachers volunteered to be locked in for those few weeks to help the kids continue with their school year at the shelter. Just a small detour, right?
We are now coming up to our 300th day in lockdown. I guess it is lasting a little longer than I first expected.
This past Monday we started our 3rd quarter at CCHS. All the teachers (pictured below) have been living and working at the shelter for several months, enabling us to have as normal of a school year as we can. I continue to be thankful for all the CCHS teachers as they put the needs of the CSC kids first.
Years from now when our kids will think back to this time, they will not talk of fear or anxiety but of all the people who moved into the shelter, of having school in their living room, and of God's goodness through keeping them safe.
Thank you for your prayers and support of CSC during this challenging time! Enjoy these pictures from our first day of 3rd quarter!
Exploration, curiosity, and fun are three words I try to bring together as often as I can in my classroom. This past science unit on life cycles easily brought all three elements together. At the beginning of this unit I converted an old box into a place where we could observe the changing stages of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.
The students and I enjoyed searching around the shelter for our caterpillars. The house dads knew good places to look and the students had fun trying to be the first one to spot them. During the unit we learned about what things a caterpillar needs in order to survive so we continually looked around the shelter for these necessities. Since my class meets inside the Duterte home due to the lockdown, the other kids in the home as well as the adults enjoyed watching the changes with us. During dinner most nights usually a few kids or an adult would ask me if there were any changes to the caterpillars yet.
It took longer than the students wanted but eventually we started to see some activity inside the chrysalis. It was an exciting day when the butterflies started to break out of their cocoons. All the aunties, houseparents, and even toddlers came to see the amazing event! There are so many things we can learn about God through science and nature. My students and I saw firsthand how intentionally and beautifully God made creation!
I need to brag about our kids.
Imagine having to stay around your house for more than 200 days, never being able to see anybody else, never being able to leave your yard. That's what our kids have had to do. Since March CSC has been in lockdown. This is the best way we can keep our kids safe as COVID ebbs and flows around the Philippines and the world. Through these challenging times our kids have remained positive and focused on their tasks. They have been good about taking up extra chores and tasks, especially the older teens helping with the toddlers and doing some cooking.
We continue to have our normal school days, just at the Shelter instead of the school. We have converted living rooms, gazebos (pictured above), and dining rooms into classrooms. None of this is ideal but the teachers and students have done a great job of making the best of it. I am so proud of them!
Enjoy some pictures of our kids, doing their best to progress in their academics during lockdown!
Learning math can be fun! My 2nd graders get excited every time we start a new unit. Why? It is because, aside from the interactive story at the beginning (which they love), there is also an interactive game for them to play.
Here are some of their reactions as I handed them the game mats:
Student 1: Yey game nasad! (yeah, we'll play math games again!)
Student 2: I like subtraction and addition! (giggling)
Student 3: Teacher, how to play this game Two-Digit Treasure?
During the game they had a lot of fun subtracting and adding two-digit numbers. Who knew math could be this fun! They were actively engaged in the game and used their own methods for answering the problems. Some of them used mental math while others found the answer by writing the problem down. The classroom was full of excitement!
One of the foundational beliefs in education is that students learn best when they are actively involved in the learning process. It gives them the opportunity to explore and learn. When you combine exploration with fun, learning happens quickly without the student even noticing.
At CCHS we are able to use some of the best math curriculum around because of generous supporters like you! Thank you for giving our kids the chance to learn, have fun, and grow!
In Civics class we have been talking about appreciating the different beautiful sceneries in the Philippines and being proud of them. Now my 2nd grade class is focusing on us, humans, as being the "Guardians of the Environment". Here are some of their ideas why humans are called the guardians of the environment.
Student 1: It's because we are capable of taking good care of them.
Student 2: Example teacher - the plants. They can't water themselves when God won't send rain. They'll suffer.
Student 3: And also the other animals. They'll suffer, too, if we will not take care of our environment. They need us to watch over them.
As the discussion went on I noticed that one of the students stayed quiet. He didn't raise his hands to share so I caught his attention and asked him to share his thoughts with us. He didn't answer right away but I knew he had something to share. Here's what he said:
Student 4: Since plants and animals will suffer if we don't take care of them, won't we suffer even more? We need to take care of the environment because God put us in charge of His beautiful creation.
The rest of the students agreed with what he said. I was speechless for a few seconds, asking myself how this very young learner thought as an adult. The lesson ended well and, as an application, we made a plan for how we could take better care of our school and the shelter.