Teaching is not simply a Job, but a Calling
As a teacher, my role goes beyond imparting knowledge to my students. I have the privilege and responsibility to be an instrument of shaping their character, instilling good values, and helping them grow into well-rounded individuals. And one of the most important values I strive to teach them is the love of God.
As a Christian teacher, my calling is to reflect God's love in everything I do, including how I interact with my students. I make sure that every student feels seen, heard, and valued. I take the time to get to know them, their interests, and their struggles. I listen to their stories tries to create a safe and inclusive classroom environment where everyone feels welcome.
I strive to demonstrate compassion, kindness, and forgiveness. I realize my students struggle in dealing with daily challenges as they interact with one another, but I feel that by showing them grace and forgiveness, I can teach them how to extend these traits to others. One of the ways that I express God's love to my students is by including prayer in our daily routine. Before each session, we take a moment to pray together, asking for God's direction and blessing on our day.
Another way that I strive to represent God's love is by using the Bible to teach my students values such as honesty, integrity, and humility. I believe that the lessons of the Bible have timeless wisdom that may help lead us in our daily lives, and I aim to assist my students in recognizing the relevance of these teachings in their own lives.
Overall, I believe teaching is a calling not just a career path. As a Christian teacher, I am honored to share God's love with my learners and help them grow into God's purpose and design. I am thankful to be a part of this teaching ministry. I pray that God will continue to guide me and all the teachers who have chosen the adventure of teaching children.
Sports Fest 2023
Sports Fest is a popular event in every school in the Philippines. Teachers in every institution set a time for planning and preparing for this event. Most schools are excited to find new talents or ways to enhance students' skills in sports.
As a Physical Education teacher at Cebu Children of Hope School, it is fulfilling to see the students' excitement and joyful expression as they participate in each game. Through this activity, it is also fun to see their reaction when they win or lose the game. It is a great opportunity for the teammates and coaches to cheer and encourage the players.
During the competition, there are always mixed feelings. It brings out the best in every team member and sometimes teaches each participant a lesson to learn when the game does not go according to the team's plan.
Here are glimpses of students' experiences during CCHS Sports Fest:
"What I like about Sports Fest are the games like the tug-of-war where you can see the teamwork and support of my team through helping and cheering each other, hula-hoop, jump rope, high jump, and egg toss." – Maribel
"I like playing many games, our team chants, and the refreshment prepared for us by the teachers. I am grateful for the fine weather and the awards that we received at Sports Fest. We were the overall champion and I ranked third in the Running Long Jump III event." – Ryan
"I like to see the faces of the people in the Sports Fest when they are happy. Aside from that, I like the dancing part because every one of us is confident to dance. Seeing us dancing confidently makes me happy." – Jay-em
"I like the tug-of-war because I can see the strength and the joy of my best friends. I am so proud that we are the overall champion of this year's Sports Fest." – Raphael
"I like to watch how my co-players execute teamwork in their respective teams. I am so proud that I ranked 2nd place in the Limbo III event. – Jerame
Sports Fest contributes a big part in their life being a student. When they participate in this event; they will learn lessons that might never happen in the four walls of the classroom.
Space and Time to Grow
We are all aware that most living things on our planet need food, water, light, the right temperature, and air to survive. Moreover, they require extensive time and ample space to develop entirely.
One of my former students once passionately shared his dream of becoming a farmer during our morning meeting routine. He even emphasized that he wanted to own the land he would farm. Whenever asked what he wanted to become in the future, he consistently responded: that he wanted to own land he could farm. I was glad to learn that, despite his age, he is highly confident of the dream he wants to achieve in the future and shared with the class the reasons why. It was heart-warming to hear from a student who once struggled to control his emotions in class before, now has made a positive transition with the help of the significant people in his life.
Their home economics and livelihood education class covered gardening during the last quarter of the academic year 2021-2022. As the teacher planned the activity with the students, they expressed considerable interest and showed their eagerness to participate. After weeks of in-depth discussion on the fundamentals of gardening and identifying the necessary tools, it was time to put the lessons learned into practice. The class decided to grow eggplants and agreed that if it produced some fruits several months later, we would have to find a recipe that needed eggplant as its main ingredient.
After ten days of care for each of their pot, the seeds began to sprout. It was a success!
What stood out to me the most as we talked about the lessons they had learned from the gardening activity was that one shared a realization that learning can be enjoyably done both inside and outside the four walls of the classroom.
After six months, my students excitedly shared that the plants were already bearing fruits. They said they had taken good care of their plants during the summer.
For this school year 2022-2023, two of my former students are still my current students, and the other has moved to high school. That means he was already in a different class. Nonetheless, we invited him to participate in the agreed cooking activity, and he gladly accepted.
So, on September 28, 2022, after obtaining permission to hold the activity at the shelter, we decided to cook "Crispy Eggplant Fries" and "Eggplant Burger Steak."
One of the activity's best moments was observing how they accomplished the task, how well they worked together, and how committed they were to their education. I could tell they were delighted to have the eggplants cooked and tasted. The class loved it and expressed interest in giving the recipe to their house parents and designated cook so they could prepare it at home and serve it to the other children. This is an incredibly significant experience for them as kids, and it's great to know that they learn the concept of planting so they may grow their food in the future, whether it's for their consumption or business purposes.
As living things, plants require ample space and time to grow, in addition to sunlight, the right temperature, moisture, air, and nutrients. The same is true with our kids, who face challenges and overwhelming emotions. They deserve not only our love, support, and guidance but also ample time and space for themselves to maximize their full potential and develop the abilities that God has given them.
Seeing the Benefits of Inclusive Education
"When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." – Mark 10:14
Every child is special in the eyes of God. It is amazing to think that God spends so much time making each of us so unique. It's been a month since classes have started. The children were ecstatic to be returning to school. One great thing about CCHS is the ability to adapt to the new normal in teaching the kids. Another great thing about CCHS is that it practices inclusive education, where students with special needs are in the same classroom as mainstream students and they all receive equal learning opportunities.
Two students in partciular have greatly benefited from this inclusive education. This school year, they have joined the other four grade-two learners. We decided to move them up and join an appropriate group based on their age and a group that could greatly help them in achieving their goals and unlocking their God-given potential. Their first day in August 2022 was full of enthusiasm upon coming to school. They were delighted to see the school and were fascinated with the facilities since it was their first time to be back at school after two years of schooling at the shelter (CSC) due to the pandemic.
These two precious kids have shown their talents and skills in different areas. Student A loves to do math activities. He does well in answering some math problems, like joining two groups and counting them all independently. At times, he answers math problems with the help of his classmates and by using some math tools like counters, cubes, and number paths. On the other hand, student B loves to read books. He is able to read decodable books independently and loves to sing upbeat songs.
It is wonderful to see that despite their challenges, they were able to cope up gradually with the assistance of their concerned classmates. At times, it's a big challenge for them to stay focused on their tasks, but I am thankful to God for making those supportive shadow angels (their peers) as an instrument for their success. Their willingness to reach out to their classmates' needs is absolutely amazing. Their success is also possible because of your undying support for our school. Thank you so much for your contributions to this ministry.
New School Year, New Normal
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (English Standard Version)
Praise the Lord for the first week of school. It is an exciting week for the CCHS family. Teachers and students were waiting for this day to come. We believe God ordained this day to mark a fresh beginning. Here we are opening our new school year while transitioning to our new normal. Upon entering the school we have to wear our face masks, step on our new foot bath, have our temperatures taken then sanitize our hands. Students enter and exit their classroom following the arrows.
We have a new clinic at CCHS! Over the summer we set up our clinic. We are thankful for the efforts done by the team who made this clinic possible. From facilities who built this room initially during lockdown for quarantined employees to our medical staff and the office staff that helped us placed medical equipment and supplies. As mandated by the Department of Education, students, teaching and other personnel are strictly prohibited from eating together while facing one another. Eating shall be done in a manner where all individuals face in one direction and do not talk while their masks are off. CCHS made changes on the setting up the snack room this school year to follow that instruction.
Here are some of the students' comments on being back at CCHS:
Maribel – CCHS is great! I like to borrow books in the library, eat with my classmates in the snack room, and to be with my teachers.
Mias – I am happy to be back at CCHS. I want to learn new things from all the subjects. I like to be with my teacher in the classroom because our classroom is Awesome!
Ryan – I am happy to learn new things and meet teacher Merce. I am excited to be in the library too.
John Mark – I am happy to be at CCHS. I enjoy learning new things. I am excited to be with teacher Alfie, play during Physical Education and play musical instrument.
Ford – I am happy at CCHS because I can write my name, draw a horse, answer in our workbook, eat snack, and drink water. Our classroom has toys and tools and I like it.
As a school, we are looking forward to meaningful and fruitful days ahead. We would like to encourage you to journey with us for school year 2022-2023.