Yesterday, the Philippine Art Educators Association, (PAEA), conducted a seminar/workshop for its members in my school. As the name implies, it’s an organization of Art teachers in the Philippines. I have been a member of the organization for sometime but was never that active. Anyway, yesterday’s topic was about creativity.
I was asked by my former boss, the art coordinator, to give the welcoming remarks as she couldn’t give it herself as she had to attend her graduate studies at the UP. I prepared a speech thinking that I will be talking to a big number of people. However, maybe due to the inclement weather and the fact that our school is not that accessible, only a few showed up. Well, it was very intimate with only five people from other schools participating. Together with the teachers in my school plus the officers of the organization and the speakers, there were about twenty of us inside the lobby of the school’s theatre.
As it was very intimate, I decided to forego of my prepared speech and just welcomed everybody, introduced the teachers of the school so that they would know who to approach should they need assistance and thanked the organization and the speakers for coming over. I also decided to stay the whole time to give my support to those who attended. (I planned to supervise the cleaning of my room then go home afterwards.)
I am reproducing part of the speech I prepared here for safekeeping. One never knows when it might come handy. And besides, I can use feedback to improve this one. Here goes:
Good morning to all of you, colleagues.
It is very timely that today's workshop should be conducted in this institution. We are, at this point, intensifying our integration program knowing that each of the subjects being taught in school should re-enforce one another. But before I go on to the nitty-gritty and pre-empt today’s speakers, allow me to just share a few personal observations.
Undeniably, most schools today give emphasis on Math, Science and, to some extent, English subjects. These are the subjects perceived by many as the more important disciplines taught in school and yet, studies show that these are where Filipino students are deficient in as compared with their counterparts around the world. Hence we see schools strengthening these subjects in their curriculum to uplift students' performance in these areas. In the process, the Arts may once again be relegated to the background. Sadly for us Art teachers, if this trend continues, we may be seeing the brink of a total disinterest of academicians' of the arts. This should not be so for it would mean a collapse of our cultural fiber and loss of our soul as a nation.
Realizing the importance of the Art curriculum in learning, the Philippine Art Educators Association has come up with this workshop entitled “Art integration as a creative teaching strategy.” In so doing, PAEA aims to introduce innovative and creative strategies in teaching the art subject by incorporating elements and principles of the arts to different subject areas. I believe this is the right path we should travel in for we will learn to make the discipline suit the country's needs for individuals ready to address emerging problems brought about by technology, globalization and the socio-economic and political upheavals we are facing via education. By so doing, we make the art program more relevant in nation building and place the Arts in its proper perspective... Thank you and a pleasant and creative day ahead of us.