There's Hope

There’s Hope
India Arie

I thought that I needed a lot
A little was over rated,
but a lot was a little too complicated
You see-Zero didn't satisfy me
A million didn't make me happy
That's when I learned a lesson
That it's all about your perception
Hey-are you a pauper or a superstar
So you act, so you feel, so you are
It ain't about the size of your car
It's about the size of the faith in your heart

There's hope
It doesn't cost a thing to smile
You don't have to pay to laugh
You better thank God for that

There's hope

[Verse 2:]
Off in the back country of Brazil
A met a young brother that made me feel
That I could accomplish anything.
You see just like me he wanted to sing
He had no windows and no doors
He lived a simple life and was extremely poor
On top of all of that he had no eye sight,
but that didn't keep him from seein' the light
He said, what's it like in the USA,
and all I did was complain
He said-livin' here is paradise
He taught me paradise is in your mind
You know that


Every time I turn on the T.V. (There's Hope)
Somebody's acting crazy (There's Hope)
If you let it, it will drive you crazy (There's Hope)
but I'm takin' back my power today (There's Hope)
Gas prices they just keep on rising (There's Hope)
The government they keep on lying
but we gotta keep on surviving
Keep living our truth and do the best we can do


Stand up for your rights [echo]
Keep shining your light [echo]
And show the world your smile [echo]


Week 1- Complete!

Words to describe it:
Yet I always look forward for the next day that I'll see them again.

We had been assigned in a public elementary school in Quezon City. It will be a 12-day Summer Class for all incoming grade three kids. 

First Day
Looking back when I was in grade three I was already turning 9 years old. However, these incoming kids are more or less 7 years old. With the K-12 new curriculum a lot of changes are happening. I haven’t really had the time to go through the new curriculum. I promised myself that I will do that. Soon is soon. Going back to my kids, yes, they are my kids now. First day was merely an introduction of three of us. We are working as a triad- one teacher for each subject- English, Math and Science. 

Asked what they want to be when they grow up, they have ready answers-- teacher, doctor, seaman, police, and soldier. Makes me want to think what did I say when I was their age.

We had 12 kids on our class on our first day.
We were expecting 60, coz the real deal is with 60 kids! 

Second Day
Come second day-our very first academic teaching day. 

Words to describe it: A milestone.

Best words for the day: Ang sarap mag-aral!

That was uttered by one of my kids as my Science class had ended. 

I never had any experience with teaching elementary kids. My educational background was that for Secondary Education major in Physics. My work experience was with Finance for a US company that had an offshore office here in the Philippines. Deciding to take this career path was done overnight for me. I just knew that I was making the right decision and there is no turning back. So, please remind me again if I am doing the right thing for all I know is that I love to be with kids. As for them, learning from me, is another thing I am working on. 

I guess, I had made a good start. I want to pat myself on the back. Good job, Kat. One thing I brought with me from my customer service experience--Acknowledge them right away.

Hearing one of my kids, say "Ang sarap mag-aral" was something I would always look back especially when I am at my down moments. Keeping them motivated is something I have to work on. They have very short span of time. 

Third day
It was 7:30AM.

My kids were already lined up outside the classroom. Almost all of them. They were all eager to see us three and they were all smiling. With kids, it's all about classroom management. Almost half of the class hour is consumed sa "pagsasaway" with SUPER-kulit kids. Im still learning to develop my "teacher look" just so that I wont tire myself shouting and screaming to the kids.. hahaha.. I dont scream and shout, oh well, not yet and I hope, I wont have the opportunity to do it.
We talked about the Scientific Investigation Method. It was a bit hard to let them speak their minds, the art of questioning is yet to be mastered to be leveled to their thinking-- they are a bit shy, and we noticed that they are struggling with reading and even writing. What I like about them is that their eagerness to learn. They love to sing, listen to stories and tell share what they did the other day. At 7 years old, they are behind, in terms of literacy-- reading and writing-- I was a bit disappointed at first, and then I remember the reason I was there. This had been the disease we ambitiously wanted to cure. 

I just keep reminding myself-- Dream big, start small. 

Fourth Day
One of my kids lost her money. Six pesos to be exact. For a few  seconds, I got lost and dont know what to do. My class starts after their recess, five minutes before the start, I had reminded them to keep their things and just leave their pencils on top of their desks. Asking who took the money will never work, searching their bags will take so much effort and time. I just reiterated on the value of following instructions and keeping their belongings at their own risk. 

Fifth Day
The kid who lost her money didn’t come to school today. I honestly feel bad about it. I felt that I haven’t been a good teacher. I lost her trust. She thought that my class was not a secured place anymore. If only I didt something more than reminding them to keep their personal things, maybe she would have come back. If only I did little more search, probably she would know that I care. But I do care, I just dont know how would I do and show it. 

Sixth day
The day went pretty well. I have a hoarse voice, feverish feeling. I just dont wanna get up from bed. But then I have to. It is a Saturday and my kids will be at school. Though I had anticipated a small number of them coming, I know they will still be there. Our class had a big turn out again, 11 of them. And since I am "malat" I decided to just gathered them around  for a storytelling activity. I got a big book from the library- A Thirsty Sparrow and Nang Magkakulay Ang Nayon. The best line for the day-- "Teacher, para kang yung nagkukwento sa TV!" These kids really know how to make "bola" to the teacher. Lol. That compliment really made my day. All the body pains I am experiencing that day totally went away. And makes me want to tell them another story!

The dilemma comes on how I can do this thing with a group of 60 kids! Anyway, let me handle that when that day comes, for now, heck, it's Saturday! Kuya will arrive from UAE tomorrow and I also need rest and obviously, I miss my family!

It had been a hectic week, yet, I wanna come back. The next week, will be another great challenge. Another week of collecting stories from the little kiddoes.

Para Sayo

Habang sinusulat ko ito, puno ang dibdib ko ng takot. Takot ako kasi baka hindi sapat ang kakayahan ko para matulungan kang abutin ang mga pangarap mo. Takot ako kasi baka hindi mo ako hayaang makapasok sa mundo mo. Takot ako kasi baka mali ang mga maituro ko sayo. At marami pang ibang dahilan na nagbibigay alinlangan sakin kung tama ba ang desisyon kog hangaring maging parte ng pagsisimula mong mangarap. Nag-aalinlangan ako kung may maidudulot bang mabuti ang presensya
ko sa buhay-paaralan mo. Lahat ng ito ay nagsimula sa isang hangarin. Takot man ako subalit di ako napigilan nitong humarap sayo at ilahad ang intensyon kong maging bahagi ng tagumpay mo.

Minsan din ay nagtanim ako ng galit sa mundo naging malaking tanong sakin ang bakit ako nito pinagkaitan ng ginhawa. Hindi hiniling na mamulat na salat sa mga material na bagay. At naghihikahos sa bawat araw. Subalit naisip ko, may ibang kwento ang buhay ko at ang sayo rin. At naghihintay ang mundo na makita ito. Isang kwento ng tagumpay na nais kong maging bahagi kahit sa maikling saglit lamang. Naniniwala ako na ang buhay mo ay isang pelikulang nanaisin mapanood ninuman.

Yung takot ko ay panandaliang napalitan ng galak habang binubuo ko sa isip ko kung anong kwento ng tagumpay ang mabubuo mula sa mga kasalukuyang munting pangarap mo--- magiging isa kang sikat na Engineer, Nurse, Doctor, Presidente ng bansa, mambabatas o di kaya’y isa ka ring tutulong sa
mga batang noo’y tulad mo din ay nagkaron ng poot sa mundo at marami pang iba’t-ibang bersyon ng kwento ng tagumpay na babagay para sayo. Malawak ang mundo para sa mga pangarap mo ngayon, at maraming posibilidad para makamit mo ito. Habang iniisip ko ito para sayo, ngayon pa lang, napupuno na saya ang dibdib ko, ano pa kaya kung maisakatuparan na ito.

Inuulit ko, nais kong maging bahagi ng kwento mo, di man ako mabilang sa mga pinatampok na kaganapan ay sapat nang maging bahagi ako para makamit mo ang ginhawang inaasam pagdating ng panahon.

Kung tatanungin mo ako kung anong kwento ng tagumpay ang meron para sakin, ihaharap kita sa salamin at makikita mo ang sarili mo dahil ikaw ang binubuo kong kwento ko ng tagumpay. Ang Makita kang nagsusumikap sa loob ng silid-aralan na matuto ay isa ng bahagi ng tagumpay ko bilang guro mo. Ang bawat araw na magkasama tayo sa silid-aralan at nagpapakabihasa sa mga aralin ay unti-unting
bumubuo sa isang mahaba at malubak ngunit puno ng pag-asang kwento nating dalawa.

Kabaliwan bang maiisip na nakikita ko sayo ang isang kwento ng tagumpay? Sa maniwala ka at sa hindi, ang mga taong tinitingala natin ngayon at may kanya-kanyang kwento ng pakikibaka sa buhay.
Ang bawat nilalang ay may kanya-kanya laban sa mundong ibabaw. At hindi tayo iba sa kanila. Ako, nakikipaglaban ako sa mga takot kong di ko magampanan ang tungkulin ko bilang guro mo. Ikaw, sa nakikita ko sayo, nakikipaglaban ka sa bagay na nagsasabing ang buhay mo ay hanggang dyan na lang
sa kahirapang kinalulugmukan mo. Ang pakiusap ko sayo ay magtulungan tayo’y labanan ang mga takot natin. Asahan mong hindi kita bibitawan hangga’t nakikita kong gusto mo pang matapos ang nagsisimulang kwento mo ng tagumpay. At sa bawat sandali na nararamdaman kong nais mo nang bumitaw, ipapaalala ko sayong hindi ka nag-iisa sa laban na ito. Kasama mo ako at ang mga taong naniniwala sa kakayahan mo.

-Teacher Kat