July 4, 2011. I woke up so early. Prepared myself for the first day of my practice teaching (PT). I checked if I had everything to bring before I left home. Traveled for about 20 minutes and arrived at exactly 6:15 am at the school. My classmate Grace was waiting at the shed outside, she was waiting for our other classmates. I decided to stay with her. Waiting… waiting… waiting… until finally we all went inside the school at about 7:15 am. After logging our names in the logbook at the Security Guard’s house, we found ourselves walking through the grounds of Subic National High School (SNHS). SNHS will now serve as our second school, an institution where we will practice our craft – teaching.
I, together with my other eight classmates, went at the Principal’s Office for the delegation of our respective cooperating teachers (CT). Ma’am Evelyn, the Science Coordinator, told me and Edjohn to go with her, so we did. I was deployed to Ma’am Loida A. Mercado while Edjohn was deployed to Ms. Joji E. Agustin.
After the deployment, I stayed at the Stock Room where Ma’am Loida was staying. We had a brief conversation about the curriculum and the teaching procedure. She told me that she is now using the UBD in teaching Biology – understanding by design – which is an activity-based curriculum. After the orientation, Ma’am Loida and I went to our first class, the II- Anthurium. I was introduced by my CT to more or less 60 students in the class. I was nervous but as I saw the smiles on the students’ faces, my worry jumped away. The discussion started. I stayed at the back to observe. I have one week to do my observation before I engage myself to actual teaching.
Just after a few minutes, Ma’am Loida was told that there would be a briefing of the CTs and student teachers (ST) at the Principal’s office. We left the room and attended the briefing. The CTs and the principal had a strong deliberation about the deployment of STs as well as the issue on the UBD curriculum. As the CTs were deliberating, I and my other classmates also had a deliberation on the issues. I asserted that we should be teaching freshmen and sophomores and insisted that we shall teach on the morning session. SNHS has two shifts, 6:30 am to 12:00 nn for the morning session (1st and 2nd year) while 1:00 pm to 7:30 pm for the evening session (3rd year and 4th year).
After the deliberations, everything was put in order. Finally, each of us had our respective CTs. We went with our respective CTs and informed us regarding the deliberations that transpired.
Meanwhile, Ma’am Loida gave me my schedule. I was happy to know that I will be teaching Biology subject for three classes, each class is composed of 60 students. My first class is 8:10 to 9:10 in the morning for II-Anthurium to be immediately followed by II-Sunflower, from 9:10 to 10:10 am. I got a break for forty minutes then from 10:50 to 11:50, I will be doing my lesson planning and instructional material (IM) preparation. From 11:50 to 12:50, I will be attending another class, the II-Cattleya before I take my lunch at 1:00 pm. After lunch, I will engage myself in the checking of outputs then at 2:30 to 3:30, I am tasked to observe the Special Science Curriculum class in II-Mendel.
The first day of my PT was indeed great! I’m happy to meet my CT and my almost 180 students in the regular classes and 30 in my SSC observation class. Likewise, I got acquainted with the UBD elements – explore, firm up, deepen and transfer. I am optimistic that I would be able to carry out these elements when my turn in teaching arrives. As to my students, though they are not in higher sections, still I am grateful because I see in them their desire to learn. I hope I would be able to influence their lives positively as I teach in them not only the lessons on Biology but also lessons in life. I expect them to be environmentally-conscious and socially aware individuals under my tutelage. Likewise, I hope that I would be able to memorize all their names; I have until October to do that.
When I arrived home, I worked on my class record, entered the names of my students and prepared my LP notebook for next week actual teaching.
Today was just the beginning of my journey towards the real world of teaching. Little by little, my dream to become an educator is now coming into fruition.
Teaching… would always be my passion and mission alike.
Note: The author is a senior student taking up a degree in Secondary Education, majoring in Biological Science at the Ramon Magsaysay Technological University – San Marcelino Campus in Zambales.