I am pleased to look back and realize that there were many affirmations of previous knowledge and perspectives in learning. By infusing the theoretical background and studies in learning, I got a deeper appreciation of my role as a teacher.
My gratitude to the many men and women who devoted research and study on learning. Now, I know the extent and depth of work that has been invested by many individuals from Pavlov to Dreikurs, from Bandura to Piaget. Until now, I am overwhelmed with the many written works and I plan to revisit them and reestablish my “schema”. I find myself rearranging my understanding of the theories and working these out in my world.
I am in the process of discovering and rediscovering what works and what does not. There are simply so many possibilities and experiments that can be done. At the end of the day, I would like to teach a student how to become a better person, prepared for the challenges in the future and grounded on values that enable him to reach out and make positive changes in the world.
Instead of just concentrating on one theory, I find myself blending the theories and balancing these out in the real world. I am now trying to weigh the effectivity of penalties and sanction versus positive reinforcement as B.F. Skinner would propose it. I also am pondering on the teacher as a real model to students. It is quite challenging as it is to be a teacher. It is a risky investment and the returns are realized only after twenty years or so. It has a lot of disadvantages especially for us in the private sector where benefits are now lagging compared to the public school teachers. However, teaching is a mission. To pass on love for learning, values and virtues, is an integral part of humanity. And so, as I think about what I am thinking, and employ my highest cognitive skills, I also find myself having the heart to care about a child who wants to learn. There are so many inquisitive minds and they need a mature mind with a heart to listen to their questions and answer them with sincerity.
I believe every individual has an innate desire to learn. I am glad that there are more schools with innovative approaches to learning. In such cases, where class size are smaller, the teacher can devote more time per student. Thus, students with learning disabilities can receive appropriate learning strategies. It is quite sad when children who do not have the means to have a decent education. We have and adopted Aeta community whose conversion from grade school to high school is very low. The children have to walk two hours every day to go to high school. Only a few of them survive. Then, they face issues in integrating with society and finding appropriate work.
But, for as long as the desire to learn is present, the future is bright. As a teacher, I can touch the future. And when I touch it, I want to do so with best hand possible, a hand that continually learns with the heart.