Staff Reflections

The Classroom Routine

Apr. 24, 2022By: Alfie Abella (Teacher)

Teaching younger children is a great challenge. I need more patience in dealing with different behavior and preferences of my students. By God's grace, I am happy facing it every day. One of the things that I really treasure this year is having a classroom routine.


It has become my secret recipe in maintaining a friendly and a fruitful day in class. When I adapted Responsive classroom it allows me to create a more functional routine and it gives me confidence in managing my class effectively. It also provides students more opportunities to choose to be a responsible learner. I learn to consider students' expectations not just giving my expectations to them.


To make classroom routine effective, I need to be consistent with the set expectations. There are challenging days and inspiring days too. And I thank the Lord for both. As a teacher I need to stick to my plans and know that each passing day brings new learning and each new day gives new hope and a new beginning.
"If you have a good habit, time becomes your ally. All you need is patience."
– James Clear

 

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A Change of Scenery

Prior to Covid, one of the things that children at CSC looked forward to was an appointment off campus. Older kids loved going to the dentist and getting an ice cream treat after. Younger kids were excited just riding in vehicles and seeing all the cars and motorcycles. These have not been an option since the shelter has been on lockdown. Medical consultations have been completed online, lab tests are done in the infirmary, and even eye check-ups are done at the shelter now.


There were a few exceptions, including for this five-year-old boy, who left campus recently for a hearing test. On the way, he looked through the window of the vehicle with a sparkle in his eye! It was as if everything was new to him. He pointed and described every truck and car, as well as the people and animals on the road.


This boy was so sickly prior to the pandemic, and he spent a lot of time at clinics to see a pediatrician or pulmonologist. And there he was now, just going for a routine hearing test. The CSC lockdown has somehow kept him healthy, away from all the dust that caused his frequent asthma attacks. But it has also limited his exposure to the environment outside the CSC walls. Through it all, he was one happy kid, having to spend a few hours outdoors.

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Happy New Year from CSC!

Jan. 6, 2022By: Kirby Stoll  ›  Author Bio

Happy New Year to you all! I wish you all the best in the year ahead. Let me take a minute to reflect on the year 2021 from a CSC perspective—the blessings and the struggles. In the midst of all that is going on in the world today, worry and anxiety could very well consume our thoughts, even at CSC. For all the things that might or might not happen, we rest in confidence that God has a plan for our TODAY and has good things in store for the coming year.

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2021 began with the global pandemic still in full swing and the lockdown at CSC in place for nine months. The year ended with super-typhoon Rai making landfall on the islands of the Central Visayas, Cebu at the eye of the storm, leaving a devasting path of destruction. Typhoon recovery is happening slowly just as the next coronavirus variant is beginning to have a negative impact again as well. HOPE is present, though, knowing that our CSC children and staff remained safe and provided for during the storm and afterward, and all are in good health! Our CSC Field Director, Roberto Atienza, shared this week how CSC is a beacon of light in the darkness, offering hope, clean water, a place to "hang out" and charge electronics, providing encouragement to all those who come to us.

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2021 was also a year to celebrate milestones! Birthdays of children, a couple of adoption placements to loving families, work anniversaries of faithful employees, and a new strategic initiative launched! We're excited for all that 2022 will hold and look forward with optimism and HOPE.

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In closing, let me share some verses that I hope will be received as an encouragement to us all:

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)

Grace and Peace in 2022,

Kirby

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Time with the Aunties

Nov. 19, 2021By: Meravic Nalang  ›  Author Bio

The counseling department has been proactive in equipping the child care workers, helping them to be emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healthy, so they can provide the best care for our children. During this pandemic, the importance of mental health, has always been emphasized. Thus, activities among locked-in childcare workers, whom we simply called aunties, were done. Sessions of aunties and kids together were also held so that workers will gain a better understanding of the child they cared for.

This activity strengthens the relationship of the residents and workers through mindfulness games. Residents are encouraged to talk about their feelings to their aunties in their daily routines and the workers to understand the children's expression, character, behavior, recognize what children can do, be better listeners and have a better approach in dealing with each child.

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Residents are given time to bond with their choice of aunties and have time to know each other. Counseling is also extending time to workers for their spiritual nurturing through sharing and prayer, understanding their work, and how they face day to day challenges especially while away from their families.

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In morning devotions before breakfast and Sunday night after dinner; encouraging them to share their thoughts and ideas of being grateful to God. An illustration was shown about a glass of water. Each one was asked to express what they are thankful or grateful for then the glass will be poured of a little water until everyone has shared and the glass was filled with water. It is just like a thank you tank, once filled it can supply the community or people who needs it. God loves to send down blessings if we are also grateful and thankful to Him. We also express it through songs and Bible verses.

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Writing Reveals What is Alive in Us

Sep. 10, 2021By: Kirby Stoll  ›  Author Bio

"Writing is a process in which we discover what lives in us. The writing itself reveals to us what is alive in us. The deepest satisfaction of writing is precisely that it opens up new spaces within us of which we were not aware before we started to write. To write is to embark on a journey whose final destination we do not know. Thus, writing requires a real act of trust. We have to say to ourselves: "I do not yet know what I carry in my heart, but I trust that it will emerge as I write." Writing is like giving away the few loaves and fishes one has, trusting that they will multiply in the giving. Once we dare to "give away" on paper the few thoughts that come to us, we start discovering how much is hidden underneath these thoughts and gradually come in touch with our own riches."

"Oh that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll..."
JOB 19:23 (NIV)

https://henrinouwen.org/meditation/writing-reveals-what-is-alive-in-us/

I don't write for the CSC blog all that often, but I thought it was interesting that the above devotion came to my email inbox just a little over a week ago. It makes me think that what I write down is a deeper expression of not only what is in my mind, but what is in my heart. I'm grateful for those who choose to read our updates and trust that you will find a nugget somewhere in all this to apply to your own lives.

Another school year has begun at CSC at our Cebu Children of Hope School. I received some pictures over the last couple of weeks that seem like priceless classics to commemorate the beginning of our school year. Much like last year, our school is adapting to new spaces where our kids learn in order to keep them safe and sheltered from the effects of the pandemic. Our actual school building is still being used as a quarantine facility for teachers and other employees who are rotating in an out of the shelter.

Hopes and Dreams

 

 

 

 

 

 

["My Hopes and Dreams": Don't you just want to know what he's writing for his hopes and dreams?]

What do you want for the new school year

 

 

 

 

 

 

[If you are able, Zoom in on the computer screen. Can't you just imagine what these kids are saying they're looking forward to at the beginning of the school year?]

Jesus' words from Matthew chapter 7 are at the heart of why we do what we do. Jesus says, "'Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.'" We believe that God has far greater gifts to give to us and our CSC kids, and we will do our best to continue to give all that we have for their care, including their education.

The pandemic continues to rage on in Cebu with daily cases at all-time highs, even compared to last year. We had hoped to pull back on our restrictions, but that won't be able to occur until more of our employees have been vaccinated. The vaccines are coming to Cebu, but they are slow in coming with only a few doses available to our employees each week. Please continue to pray with us for good health and safety.

Grace and Peace,

Kirby Stoll

P.S. It is my honor to be able to write periodically for our CSC blog. It is my hope that these words and the words from all those who share from time to time will draw you in to the amazing work we get to do at CSC and that your relationship with the Lord will be strengthened. Learn more about CSC at https://cebushelter.org.

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