Thursday, July 21, 2011

Twin connection, Sangtwaryo, Frustrations

I was teaching Music when I noticed that Nhedi Jade was crying. I asked why he was crying. One of the pupils told me that Nhedi was crying because someone teased him. I was not concerned since this was just one of those things that happen regularly in the classroom. But then I noticed that another pupil, Nhedi’s twin brother, Nhedi Lloyd was also a tears. They were identical twins.

 One of the pupils told me that when one of the twins cries the other cries too. I was intrigued because according to the class this always happens. Psychical connection...


The grade chairman and I chaperoned two grade six sections to a film showing at SM Taytay Theater 3. The film was supposed to be an environmental awareness film which according to the credits was funded by the World Bank.

The film was bad. Everything about the film was bad. The acting was and the story was worse than bad.

The story revolved around a family who lived in an island inhabited by fisher folks who made their living by the bounty of the sea. As the years passed and because of illegal fishing methods, fish became scarce and the living condition in the island worsened.

Then a government agency moved in to inform the people that the island would be a marine sanctuary. There were oppositions because this meant that fishing would be banned for a period of time. The government people held seminars and conferences to convince the people. Some family joined the program while some family resisted and resorted to dynamite fishing so that they could earn more.

The protagonist in the film was an idealistic fisherman. He knew the damage done by illegal fishing methods to the environment and swore not to get involved with it. Another reason was that he saw his father died from an accident while dynamite fishing.

Then the idealistic fisherman’s baby got dengue. Being poor, he has no money for hospitalization. In desperation, he borrowed money from a friend, who was dynamite fisherman. His friend convinced him of the profit he could make with dynamite fishing. Thinking it over, he was convinced and asked his friend for two packs of dynamite. Just this once he told himself.

But he was not an expert dynamite fisherman so he lost his balance and the dynamite exploded near his boat. The accident  killed his son and left him disabled. He was not able to raise the money to help his baby in the hospital. His baby died and another son was dead because of the dynamite accident. He could not take what happened so he resorted to drinking. He became a drunkard and a wife beater.His wife left him because she couldn’t take it anymore. After a non-stop sermons from his mother and realizing that there was still hope,  he changed his ways, became involved with the sanctuary project. In the end, his wife returned and things got better.

The story was not suited for elementary pupils. Its like eating a lumpiang shanghai wrapped in thick newspaper. The message of environmental awareness was poorly wrapped and presented in a badly written TV drama.

Finding Nemo would have been a much better film to watch to promote ecology.

Also the theater was filled that pupils had to sit in the aisle. 


It’s frustrating to see how pupils retain very little or none of what has been taught to them. This is frustrating and stressful for the teachers because when pupils perform badly with their assessment examinations, it is directly correlated with the teachers’ performance.

There is a direct correlation of course and it is only logical to think that the teachers may not be utilizing teaching techniques or strategies that could challenge and motivate learners. Or worse, the teacher may be accused of being incompetent.  

One thing I can tell from experience is that once a teacher enters a classroom full of fifty pupils all the educational and psychological theories fly out of the window and the teacher has to start from scratch assessing and analyzing the situation and in the end he/she would, as is most often the case, use the traditional direct method of teaching because it is still the most effective method to use  given the  challenge of balancing an overpopulated classroom with classroom management and the effective presentation of the lessons.


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