by Hazel Pajotagana and Zherluck Shaen Rodriguez
One thing I learned being an English teacher is the fact that teaching is a two-way process. In the surface, teaching implies students learning from the teacher. However, experience dictates that even I, the teacher, can also learn from the students. Yes, teachers learn to.
For me, what I learned is this: when it comes to children, it is not about the location, it is more about the conviction of the teacher to get the message come across.
Why, you say? Well…
Education problems are almost as prevalent as health problems. Yes, you heard it right. Let me ask you, do you know any people, or children, who are having difficulty reading? Or writing? I bet most of you, dear readers, would answer yes. I can’t blame you for such observation. That is the reality, unfortunately.
Now, this same thing is what we have observed in Tarlac. With that, we made an effort the somehow deliver change. This started by us calling the mothers and asking them if they would agree to have their children taught by us. They gladly agreed, thankfully. Three days after the conception of the idea, we had our first class.
The first challenge was the finding of place for the lesson to take place. With 36 children who showed up (4 to 14 years old), there is no single place where we can all fit perfected. By the way, these 36 children were divided into three, 11 students in basic Math Class, 25 students for Reading Class and 1 for Algebra Class.
Since we all can not fit in one classroom, The Reading Class was held outside.
The demand for education was clearly high that they wanted to do it every day, but as the team is understaffed and with many other operations to consider, we can only do it every Saturday.
What really strikes me as overwhelming is the fact that despite the situation, the children seem to love the idea of learning. They seem to not be that bothered by the idea of learning outside the classroom. What they desired for was learning, and some interaction with us. It was as if they value more the knowledge that we can impart to them. The motivation this brought to us is too intense for us that I cannot even begin to describe it. One thing I can say is that it is too surreal.
This level of enthusiasm from the children is what drives us, members of HiGi, to really make time for these children daily. Though classes are only being held every Saturday, we openly welcome questions and interactions with the children on a daily basis. Seeing them smiling as they approach us, calling us Sir and Madame, is enough to make us willingly welcome them with the same level of enthusiasm. As we continuously grow HiGi, we have found a way to also grow our impact to the community by giving out a little time to the children every day. These classes may not be enough to compete against regular classes held by real teachers, but we know that these children do not discriminate any form of learning. That alone is already enough for HiGi to keep doing what it’s doing.