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Saturday, July 31, 2004

Good morning, class!

First a disclaimer. My students have discovered my blog and they might think that what I write is gospel truth and use it for some reason or another against their teachers. So, to set the record straight, it is NOT. As a matter of fact, I write and open it to feedback to get another view in the hope that somebody would tell me if I am wrong and reenforce my thinking if it is right. Not that I will accept anything thrown my way, though. Just so I can think about it some more and decide whether my original stance is right or definitely off tangent. So there. I hope that clarifies everything. On to blogging.

Classroom management is one particular aspect of teaching a teacher must face. I never dreamt of becoming a teacher. I had to learn this the hard way. In my twenty years as an art teacher, I've experienced teaching from Grade one to fourth year high school. We were still an integrated school and since there were only four art teachers then, my assingments shifted from one level to another. Its different now. We now have a different Principals for the HS and in the GS. While a teacher can be transferred from the HS to GS or vice-versa, it is not common anymore.

Students in each grade level have their own particular characteristics and I had to learn how to deal with them by reading (not everything is helpful, though) and most of all, from experience. Not having educational units in college, I had to learn the hard way. I've learned that one deals with the students of different levels differently. I've employed lots of tricks in order to keep the class in tow. I've used magic with numbers, psychologized them, even used, to a minor extent, intimidation.

For me, the hardest would be teaching the lower level, say from Grade one to grade 4. They're just too active and wouldn't seem to listen or understand what you're saying. I remember one time when I was sending them off to their classroom from mine, there was a drizzle and knowing they had to pass by the covered walk which was slippery when wet (I couldn't take them to their classroom as my next class was on its way) I made sure they wouldn't run. "Class, the covered walk is a little slippery so I don't want to see anybody running, is that clear?" As in a chorus, they shouted, "YES, SIIIIIR!" Contented that they understood, I said, "Okay, you may go." And off they went. Literally, that is. Each one running as fast as he could trying to outrun his classmate. I tried to overtake them but with my built? No way was I getting even close to the one ahead of the pack. From that time on, I told my boss, "Please, don't ever give me the younger levels anymore." Well, in fairness, they're cute and very honest. But it's just not for me.

Anyway, I digressed. I was talking about classroom management. The key is to get the students to work and keep them busy all the time. Of course, with a class size of 39 individuals, there will always be different types of students you have to contend with. Never mind the intelligent ones. They don't need a teacher. Give them a good stimulus and they will respond accordingly. Allow me to talk about the ones that will cause problems. The ones you don't want to get, most specially, are the lazy. These are the people who just won't respond to any degree of motivation you can employ. You could tremble in desperation or hatred and still this kind of student won't badge. If s/he does, it would only be to humor you, and turn in a hapharzardly work.

There's the smart alecky type who springs to his/her feet to embarrass you everytime you commit a mistake, and believe me, you will commit a mistake. Another would be the comic type which comes in two kinds - the irritating and the loveable. I can't explain it but there are certain individuals whom the class find very funny but no matter what you do, you couldn't get the humor. Nakakainis! On the other hand, the loveable type is someone whose antics you just can't resist smiling at. The class begins to suspect s/he is your favorite. Of course not but you what can you do?

The talkative is another pet-peeve of mine. How can one learn, or, in my case, do the project if one talks incessantly with the seatmate. Moreso, when one talks, it will involve more students because they'll need, no make a demand for a listener and would oftentimes require feedback.

If there's anything I learned, it would be that a teacher will never get his way by snapping in class. While it may work the first few times, it will not after the fourth. The students begin to see the pattern and they learn to accept your ramblings in one ear and let it pass to the other. They become numb and begin to loathe you and talk behind your back. (which is not good, as a matter foct, very bad, students)

Ah, teaching. I've been feeding my family from the labors of this trade. Still, I'm a happy man.



Blogger ajay said...

Hi Rolly. Am surfing and stumbled upon your page. Thanks for letting me know how the Grade One teacher of my kid would feel. Yes, they can be so hyper. Am a blogging newbie so would u care visit my blog too? Its scorpioneyes.blogspot.com. If u link me up,would appreciate it too..but only if u feel like it. Keep on blogging..good day

10:10 AM  
Blogger iskolar111 said...

Where will I be in life without my teachers? Name three noble professions and I'll tell you teaching is one of them. When I visit the Phil. someday, hopefully some of my formers teachers are still living so that I can tell them "thank you very much".

10:33 AM  
Blogger Yaps "The Yaps" Estagle said...

hi sir...

tama nga kayo... naging teacher nga namin kayo noong grade 4 kami... sa may loob ng gym 1. Ngayon yung classroom natin doon naging bihisan na lang... Anyways, baka maingay nga talaga doon since closed room yun at may concrete wall, concrete floor, at concrete ceiling (aka. ilalim ng bleachers). Kids do have an active tendency. They are very physical. Ang mahirap lang nga (with no offence) wala kayong physical "equipments" to handle a class aside from shouting at us. Nung high school naman kami, ang makikita mo naman ay ang katamaran ng iba... Sobrang inactive, either tulog na or nakikipag daldalan sa katabi kaysa gumawa ng project. I agreed on the way you disciplined "them": nasa likod na lang... If you didn't do that, napasama ata ako... Malas lang nga kami ngayon wala ka na sa art (no offence to *******). Badtrip lang nga na last period kami sa friday. Atat lahat na umuwi na, pati ang teacher. Ang compromise namin, ginagawang homework ang gagawin sa school at i-check na lang sa next week, giving out advice on development and improvement. Will take time to get used to...

Kudos to making a disclaimer on the blog... Hope that when teachers are reading student's blogs and see very offending comments about some, sana they remember that mahirap rin maging estudyante. Giving his "innovation", students are able to lash out their feelings. Believe me, once pumasok ulit sila sa school, wala na ang galit. Beneficial for everybody.

Bottomline: there must be separation between the school and the blog.

Wouldn't that be nice for everbody? :-)

10:46 AM  
Blogger BatJay said...

ayos ang blog na ito tito rolly. as always, very interesting and educational. delivered like a great teacher that you are.

like i've always said - i have much respect for teachers because i've had a great life as a student and my teachers in elementary and high school were great.

but there were some teachers that were really bad. they did not know how to teach or were lazy and just went through the motions. as students, this is where we were vicious. we'd pester and annoy them, threw things at them and do all those stupid things till they gave up and quit.

you are a great teacher and i'm sure you know by now that all it takes is to get their respect and they will do the impossible just to please you.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Dr. Emer said...

Yes, the key to holding the students' attention is to come up with something new all the time. You've been a student once, so you'd know what makes a lecture boring or what makes it so exciting. You got to involve them and fire them up.

I've also been on both sides of the fence. As a high school student, I thought and I was given the impression I was poor in Math. Coming to UP, I discovered Math was not that bad at all. As a matter of fact, it's one very exciting subject --- no vagueness --- but pure quest for certainty. I know now that my difficulties with Math stemmed not from Math itself or from me, but from the way my teachers taught it. In college, I started getting good grades in Math and I owe that to my teachers in UP. Also, even after Medicine, I have gone to love Math so much that I even go out of my way to buy books about it.

Don't get tired teaching, Tito Rolly. Not because it is your source of income, but because you are one of the last remaining hopes of this country. The minds you mold today might spell the big difference in our future tomorrow.

Mabuhay ka, Tito Rolly! :)

11:55 AM  
Blogger Sassy Lawyer said...

Dear Tito Rolly,

That you strive to see the difference between individuals is commendable enough. Many teachers do not bother. They have this attitude that what works for one has to work for all. Which is not exactly inspiring nor motivating.

The second thing I notice about many grade school teachers is that they regard children as second class citizens. Like they are dumber and entitled to less just because they happen to be younger and smaller.

I don't know if you've read Roald Dahl's "Matilda". Part of it is a very good satire on different kinds of teachers. Funny they way it was presented. But true. There is this principal, Ms. Trunchbull, who says she was always right because she was big and the kids, small. "In this school, I am god."

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from techguy

Siguro ...I will not be here today commenting on your blog if I have not pick up those lifesaver wisdom from my elementary and high school teachers. I was lead to many unfound doors by these so called government paid mentors (public school teachers) and I will never forget that...

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from techguy

Parang kanta Rolly...kung natapos ko ang aking pag-aral...sa panaginip lang ako may nagagawa…parang kanta...famous line ng barkada kong honor noong elementary but he did not make it to university...illegal vendor pa rin siya sa divisoria up to now...siguro he took the road less traveled...or he made the wrong turn somewhere...hindi ko maintindihan ...we have the same teachers in elementary and high school...

1:10 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Hello Ajay,

Welcome to my blog. I, too, am a newbie in blogging. You should be amazed at how these lower year level teachers can do. From teaching them the abc's to almost wiping their ass. Amazing.

HAve visited your blogs and linked with both. I, too, am fond of poetry. Thanks for your comments.

iskolar, the appropriate question should be, "where will we be. Yes, do that when you meet with your teachers. It will boost their ego a lot. Many teachers believe the profession is a thankless job. Not entirely true. How I wish I could meet my teachers again.

3:08 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Yaps,so you remember that room, eh. Although it sounded bad, it was one room I really liked. What with two giant air-conditioning units that made me freeze to death, and it being away from all the other rooms.

Since you are still a student, allow me to check you. You don't say "equipments". It's always equipment. hehehe. Yes, I never use microphones like the new teachers do. I think I have a fairly loud voice.

In fairness, too, your new art teacher is good.

Lastly, on your comments about blogs, it will be a good idea not to attack someone personally. Sure, you can vent your anger through your blog but be careful. The medium is open to all. They might chance upon your blog and really take offense. Just like students, teachers have different orientations and persuasions. You don't want to be on the wrong side. And believe me, all these things you are learning today will help you tomorrow. You may not realize the connection now, but you will later. yes. even the art subject.

3:15 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Batjay and Doc Emer, thanks for the vote of confidence. No, I'm not the ideal teacher yet. I'm still trying to learn new tricks. You guys should've seen me during the time I was starting my career as a teacher. I don't think I made any impression at all with my students.

3:18 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Sassy, the concept of "teacher knows best" or "star on stage" is obsolete. At least in my school. We are finding innovative ideas now that would cater more to students learning by themselves. We use the students' prior knowledge of something and work from there. Teachers are now viewed more as facilitators of learning rather than the sole source of information. but yes, there may stil be teachers who still think the way you portrayed. I hope not in my school anymore. Not with all those seminars and graduate studies we've been having.

Ah Matilda, no I have not read the book but I saw a film of the same title. Is that an adaptation?

3:24 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

ah techguy. Welcome. Good for you to have found so many doors of opportunity. Not many are blessed. About your illegal vendor friend, that's a fact of life. We will never know what happened to him. You wouldn't believe what I went through in high school seeing me today. I can give you details via email if you want but I'm sure not divulging anything just yet. May mga estudyante na akong naka-discover nitong blog ko e. hehehe Thanks for coming and please come back again.

3:27 PM  
Blogger bayibhyap said...

A good teacher has his bag of tricks and would be resourceful enough to use each trick with a little difference each time to suit the occasion. It looks like you have a big bag!

The disclaimer is good. I was wondering when you would come up with something like this, especially when some of your students started participating in giving their comments. Soon some of your colleagues will be participating as well.

5:20 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bayi, how i wish i had a very big bag but a teacher's bag of tricks will never be big enough. One cannot use the same tricks all the time. They become passe so easily.

I had to put the disclaimer. I don't know how but our students learned about my blog. Not that I didn't want them to but now I have to take care with my entries.

5:28 PM  
Blogger SunKing said...

While the Grade School students come off as cute, I don't think the High School students' antics would come off as such. You know, you've got students who are sleeping and those who will wait until the last minute before they start their projects. Pero si Sir Rolly maloko rin yan sa class, mahilig siyang humirit, I remember there was a classmate of mine who was slumped on his desk and sir told the class "Huag kayong maingay, baka magising si [name]!"

10:20 PM  
Blogger bayibhyap said...


The disclaimer... I see the possibility of students and possibly even colleagues posing hypothetical questions that may prove to be tricky in school. Do you see this?

10:54 PM  
Blogger TECHGUY (hinde guapo pero medyo bastos) said...

Alam mo...Rolly walang dapat sisihin dito kundi si Atty C (Sassy) walang akong hilig sa blog pero this great lawyer lead me into this...hehehe...I was seaching(during my labada time and drying the clothes and in between i am surfing...mister clean ginagamit kong laundry soap...hehehe)for our high school website ng makita ko si Sassy sa one of our related high school site ...siya pala ang me raket ng site...hehehe...senior ako sa kanya ng two years in high school...tama ba yong math ko...C...hehehe...as far as my recollection is concern...baka kasuhan ako ni C...ng perjury...hehehe...anyway the rest is history….

12:21 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

SunKing, I won't deny that. That was not even the worse thing I've done to a sleepy student. There was one time I connived with the students to quietly leave the room and leave the sleeping guy behind. Imagine his surprise when he woke up and we were all looking from the outside.

Bayi, I don't discount that possibility. Let's see what happens.

1:08 AM  
Blogger ajay said...

tito rolly,
good morning. now i know why i changed my template..it is because we have the same,hahaha. my email is olivemist@yahoo.com. Unfortunately, the last message i sent you is in the office and i've disassembled my PC because we're moving locations. am now using my laptop. i did ask you that if you live in pasig and teach at de la salle zobel...malayo ata. just curious. anyway, am glad that i have a new blogging friend. thanks for checking out my posts and for linking me up.

9:57 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Hello ajay,

okay. Got it. thanks.

11:38 AM  
Blogger pepsi said...

hello sir rolly.

i have no intentions of using what you blog against teachers. not at all. i have my own site and sometimes i rant about teachers (in a negative way...but please know that it's how i feel and it's my own site anyway so please do not use the law of disrespect against me in school). i won't touch your words, sir.

(oh, your daughter kim is my classmate. she can tell you who i am.)

i have this one qualm.

how is it that when a class is too rowdy and noisy, and the teacher stops talking and says "ok, i'll give you a few minutes to talk" in a tone that is intimidating, afterwhich the class doesn't talk due to fear. then, why does the teacher ask, "o, why did you stop talking?"

so the class is naturally given two choices: 1) go on talking, and 2) put up and shut up.

the class realizes that if they go on talking, the teacher will think of the class as unruly and disrespectful, when it is actually the teacher who gives the class time to talk.

or so i think, at least. correct me if that's actually wrong.

so if the class does stop talking, the teacher goes, "o, why did you stop talking?" it's a bit ironic since i really don't know if the teacher is looking for that follow-the-leader effect or he's just intimidating the class.

please answer this one. i may sound stupid though, but i really don't know how the mind of a teacher works. thanks sir rolly. :P

4:47 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:35 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Hello Pepsi. Yes, Kim told me you are her classmate. So, you're a sophomore student. Anyway, I wouldn't say you are stupid. Young yes, but not stupid. Anyway, there are various ways teachers employ to quiet down the class. One is simply saying "keep quiet" but as we all know that doesn't seem to work very much with you guys. Another way would be to use a more psyhological approach which is called reverse psychology. Let us put it in more simple terms. If the teacher says, why don't you talk?" Believe me, she doesn't mean it. As a matter of fact, she's upset and angry. It would be a good idea to just sit and let her anger come to pass. Believe me when I say when your teacher stops teaching you because you are rowdy, you LOSE in the end because you don't get to learn.

Just as I told Yaps, yes, you could write about your anger in school but remember that the internet is open to anyone who has access. There's a good chance your teacher might stumble on your blog and it will not be a good idea to refer to them with something derogatory. While there are teachers who are liberal, there are still some who would not like it and you don't want to be on a teacher's bad side. :-) Thanks for coming back and trusting me.

5:38 PM  
Blogger joffin said...

sir rolly,

magandang araw sa yo. medyo nawala ako sa circulasyon nitong nakaraang linggo. abala sa pagja-juggle ng sidelines, hehe.

maraming salamat sa inyong lahat na blogger family ko, may doktor na, abugado, nars, engineer, mayron pang psychic/isip-bata....
kayo naman ang katuwang ko pagdating sa usapang pagtuturo. saludo ako sa yo sir dahil tunay na mahirap maging art teacher. yan ang assignment na pinangingilagan ko noong nagsasub ako. nakakaloka ang maging substitute art teacher kasi hahawakan mo ang lahat ng grade levels. ilang preps yon di ba? pero eto naman masasabi ko, ang mga art teachers naman ay well-loved ng mga estudyante kasi sa tingin ko ang art ang isang subject na hindi minememorize, hindi ka nag-aaral sa art kundi nag-aapreciate ka. saka ibang mag-isip ang mga naging art teachers ko. kaya love ko sila kahit na hate ko ang art as a subject dahil hindi ako artistic at hindi ako mahilig gumawa ng art projects.
sir, eh kung naging estudyante mo pala ako, di mo ako magiging peborit... ako ang ring leader ng kadaldalan eh.

4:34 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Joff di naman porke madaldal galit na ko. As a matter of fact, napakadaldal ko rin nung nag-aaral pa ko. Pero pag nagsasalita na teacher, tumatahimik na ko. Anyway, di rin dahil daldalero estudyante, nakakayamot na. Merong ibang kahit ano ang gawing kabalastugan, cute ang dating. I'm sure, ganun ka :-)

3:54 PM  
Blogger SunKing said...

About pepsi's comment, I think that teachers should always "say what they mean, and mean what they say" (Thanks Ms. Chit A.).

6:40 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

For the last time, Sun King and Pepsi, the beauty of language is that it can take many forms. Life would be boring if we just talk about one thing only. Even the most beautiful garden becomes ordinary if you stay there day in and day out. You would wnat to explore other places, I'm sure. So is it with language. In tagalog, we call it "parinig" which actually is testing your ability to comprehend. I don't know if you would understand this given the nature of your statements, but I'd like to give you an example. When your mother is busy doing chores in the house while you, on the other hand, is not doing anything but simply sit down and daydream. When she says: "It looks like it's going to rain hard any moment now, Pedro!" Be wary for it is not a simple statement of fact but what it really means is, "get your butt to the clothesline and gather the clothes!"

That is what's happening in Pepsi's scenario. Call it sarcastic if you will, but believe me, it only means one thing. Shut up and listen!

9:11 PM  
Blogger SunKing said...

Well, a straight-talking, no flourishes world is just an ideal, and boredom is arbitrary, one could always look for new things to see, hear, or feel.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous amihan said...

I was actually smiling while reading your blog sir. I was researching for something and I end up reading your blog. :P I can relate to you. I dont have units in education when I started teaching six years ago. My students were college students and some of them were still my friends and classmates before. Classroom management is a tricky business. I guess we learn as we go along. Experience is indeed one of the best way to learn. :P
I've also tried everything but since they were college students and just about my age that time, I guess it helps to look like you really mean business when you want to discipline some students. A good sense of humor also helps. But not too much. I agree when you said that one learns as time passes by. Wala sa bokabularyo ko ang magturo noon but after my volunteer stint sa Affirmative Action Program ng Pahinungod noong nasa kolehiyo ako, naisip kong maybe teaching is something that I would always love. I wish someday somehow I could still see some of my teachers before. I have never thanked them that much esp. yung mga naging titser ko noon sa grade school. Mga panahong wala pa akong muwang sa mundo..... :P Nakaka-miss din sila.....

12:35 AM  

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Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.

Taken by my friend Arlene Lawson in her room at Century Park Sheraton in May, 2000.
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Location: Bambang, Pasig City, Philippines

Jack of all trade, master of none. First a disclaimer. My students have discovered this blog and they might think that what I write is gospel truth. Worse is they might find an argument that they think they can use, for some reason or another, against their teachers. So, to set the record straight, it is NOT. As a matter of fact, I write and open it to feedback to get another view in the hope that somebody would tell me if I am wrong and reenforce my thinking if it is right. Not that I will accept anything thrown my way, though. Just so I can think about it some more and decide whether my original stance is right or definitely off tangent. So there. I hope that clarifies everything. Now, on to blogging.

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