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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Reflection # 1

Note: I enrolled in a Certificate Program for Educational Leadership and Management Course taught by Br. Jun Erguiza, President of LASSSAI, to where LASSO is a branch. One of the requirements for the class is to give reflections and this is my first reflection.


     During the first day of this month-long course, we talked about the personal objectives of each participant to know the driving force of everyone and make each one go out for four Sundays instead of just lying around, sleeping in front of the television or being engaged with one’s spouse and children, for after all, Sunday is considered by many as a day for the family.          
We talked about the origin of education as coming from the Latin word educere which basically means to draw out, in this case, potentials of the students.  This being the case, I believe that it takes the pervasive philosophy that man, even just after birth has already built-in knowledge or pre-conceived ideas in his persona as opposed to the view of having been born in a tabula rasa state as was proposed by John Locke.  This has been clear to man since the 1990’s. The question to be asked now is What are these? This reminds me of the late Dr. Emerita Quito, if memory serves me right, who posited at least two, to my recollection, that could well be part of this pre-natal experience. These being the id, the first of the three structural models of Sigmund Freud’s model of the psyche and the Christian’s belief on the concept of the original sin.
 Notwithstaning these philosophical concepts, it has been proven that a child already experiences something even while being inside the womb, thus, has started acquiring information.  We have behaviorists who suggest the mother read literature or listen to classical music as the fetus inside her womb has started developing his/her senses.  I believe that this concept has been available as early as ancient man, for to them, education is the drawing out from the individual what is already inherent in his psyche and all we have to do is nurture and sustain these at the very least.  Furthermore, as these acquired data are raw, there could have been misinformation learned called misconceptions. In such a case, it is the duty of education to correct these misconceptions and lead the person into the right path.
Then we talked about that aspect of education being subversive as opposed to just being the transmission of traditional learning. We have established that it is the duty of education to push forward and not just be a seemingly echo of the past. Ergo, education should not just be viewed as a mere source of hand-me-down information but must be a harbinger of change.  As such, it should not stick to tradition but should be a means to step out from it while acknowledging the contributions made by the past.
Thereafter, we talked about vision and how this becomes the lifeblood of the institution. The very source of all the actions, processes emanating from its administration that trickle all the way down to the rank and file. It also establishes its culture, the way people think and act as governed by the common vision - that a good manager should first know what the vision is, understand, agree and believe in it and should the manager have a contrary view, can either go out or revise the same. 
We also distinguished a business enterprise from a school and differentiated the terms profit for the former as against prophet for the latter.  Nevertheless, while it is true that the roles of a manager of a school and a business could practically be interchangeable, for after all, a school should be run like a business for its own survival, the biggest difference lies on the kind of product both produce.  While it would be easier to standardize, improve and develop the products in business, it would be very difficult for schools to do the same for it deals more with people. This aspect is even more intricate as it purports to be.  Individuals act according to their own motivations and there can be as many different motivations as many as the individuals there can be.
 Lastly, we made a distinction between a leader and a manager.  I have always believed that a manager could be someone who had been assigned by the powers that be, some sort of an entitlement who has a de facto power to supervise and take control of the organization while a leader is someone who, while  not having been endowed with power, has the actual mandate of the people for he inspires and motivates the members of the organization to do what is that which should be done. The discussions did not lead me to think otherwise. The leader can be someone who rose from the ranks, un-appointed but nevertheless have command of the people. Oftentimes we see this person as the spokesperson for the employees or in an organization that is unionized, could be the elected President of the union.  As such, there is the possibility that there can be two distinct personalities present in an organization and who can possibly come to  clash at one point or another, a scenario that would be critical for an organization’s survival.   It would be ideal to have a leader as a manager and a manager who is a leader. 
Based on the excellent exchange of ideas we had during the first day, I am excited and looking forward to attending the succeeding Sundays knowing that these would be days well-spent. 

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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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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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