By Merlina Hernando Malipot
For the Department of Education (DepEd), providing access to quality education has always been a topmost priority – thus, the role of teachers in the delivery of education to learners across all levels is also of utmost importance.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones, in an earlier statement, said that in the remaining last years of the administration, “we will ensure that we will take care of our unnoticed teachers and learners that were left behind during the last decades.”
Briones also underscored the need to recognize those teachers who go out of their way to find new ways of teaching. “We have so many good teachers – those who innovate, those who sacrifice themselves for their students, and those who do not complaint regardless where they are assigned.” She also lauded those teachers who continue to serve their respective communities as well as those who relentlessly find ways to reach various types of learners.
New Ways to Teach
As the celebration of the National Teachers’ Month (NTM) continues, DepEd pays tribute to teachers who do not get tired of innovating and finding new ways to teach their students. “There are many ways to teach now,” said Briones – noting that even subjects such as Mathematics and Science “can be taught through dance and stories.”
Such is the case for Rowena Garcia – a Teacher III in Baguio City National High School – who is dubbed as the “singing, storytelling science teacher” by Melvin Magsanoc, a Teacher III at the Baguio City Division-Cordillera Administrative Region.
“Having her share of hardships and joys in life, she keeps this philosophy in mind makes people around her – especially her learners – love learning and live life,” Magsanoc said as a tribute to his fellow teacher.
Magsanoc noted that Garcia also believes that “love and skills work together to produce a masterpiece.”
Fondly called by her students and co-workers as “Teacher Whengkie,” Magsanoc described how Garcia “loves telling stories she created to her students, reciting poems she wrote, and singing songs she composed and for her students, these skills make her an incredible science teacher.”
Magsanoc noted how Garcia “begins her classes by singing songs to set the mood and to make her learners feel that science is a subject one should not fear” and then, “she tells stories related to the topics she discusses.”
As told to Magsanoc, Garcia used to “gather her playmates in front of a wall in their house and teach them the alphabet using charcoal” in her childhood days and “they would dance and sing” which helped her develop a set of “leadership qualities [that] positively influences people.”
Garcia graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education major in General Science from St. Louis University in 1999 and became a scholar of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). Out of six siblings in her family, she was the only one who finished a degree. “Life was hard, we were poor,” she shared. “[But] one of the happiest moments of my life was when my dream came true, to become a teacher,” she ended.
Since September 5 until its culmination on October 5, DepEd has been celebrating the NTM. With the theme, “Gurong Pilipino: Handa sa Makabagong Pagbabago,” the agency continues to stress the “crucial role, loyal service, and dedicated commitment of teachers in developing globally minded citizens, nurturing families, strengthening communities, and building the nation.”