T.E.P. Mindoro – Magis in the Time of Power Crisis

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Adaptability amidst power insufficiency – Xavier teachers who took part in the Tuloy Eskwela Project (T.E.P.) Mindoro proved that no amount of power crisis can stop them from letting their light shine as they powered on together in facilitating a 2-day seminar-workshop in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro. The seminar workshop with the theme “Road to Learning Recovery: Seminar-Workshop on Approaches and Strategies in Building Literacy Skills” was held on April 2-3, 2023 at the Mt. Siburan Hall, Sablayan Municipal Building.

The first day of the seminar-workshop kicked off with the traditional morning rights followed by a welcome message given by Hon. Clarinda A. Lorenzo, the Committee Chairman on Education of Sablayan. Afterwhich, an inspirational message was delivered by Ms. Teresa Sales, Master Teacher I of Sablayan National High School. The program was also graced with a welcome message coming from the Municipal Vice Mayor Hon. Edwin N. Mintu. After the welcome message, the SPA students showcased a delightful cultural dance that provided everyone a glimpse of the rich Sablayan heritage. The opening program was presided by Ms. Zarry A. Garin, the Assistant Principal of Sablayan National High School.

An insightful Opening Plenary Keynote was presented by Ms. Joyce C. Imperio, the GS Filipino Department Chairperson and also the lead person of the T.E.P Mindoro, to set the mood of the crowd. In her talk, she pointed out the major gaps and lapses experienced by the Philippine Educational System. More importantly, she highlighted key points on how school stakeholders can move forward from these hiccups and consequently shift gears towards improving literacy among students.

A four-session lecture series was designed for the morning hours of the first day of the seminar-workshop. The prelection emphasized topics on approaches and strategies in building literacies which were delivered in the order of 1Sining: Tulay sa Pagbasa – presented by Mrs. Gina A. Altares and Ms. Thomgie B. Tila (GS Filipino Teachers), 2Creative Thinking Approaches to Understanding Different Perspectives and Concepts in Social Studies – presented by Ms. Adrielle Javines (GS Social Studies Teacher), 3Panitikan at Pagtatasa: Pagbuo ng mga Performance Task mula sa Mga Akda – presented by Ms. Caselyn Ponon and Ms. Kheiana Rey (GS Filipino Teachers) and 4Building Comprehension: Making Textual Connections Using the LEEP Technique – presented by Ms. Precious Grace Cruz (GS Reading Teacher).

The afternoon session was dedicated to a workshop facilitated by the same speakers during the morning session. The plenary was divided into four groups that allowed the teachers to create an output based on the information that they have learned by means of collaboration. Each group chose two representatives for the sharing of outputs and insights which was the main highlight of the session.

The first day was concluded with a brief discussion by Mr. Jim Tuscano (GS CLE Department Chairperson) synthesizing all the approaches and strategies presented and explaining how the 2-day seminar-workshop can be used to acquire CPD credit. Despite having experienced a few power interruptions, the enthusiastic energy of the first day was sustained by the energetic vibe of the host, Mr. Nico Fos (GS Social Studies Teacher)

As the sun’s warm rays hit the ground to mark a new day, the T.E.P. Mindoro Team was pleasantly welcomed with the customary Monday Flag Raising Ceremony of the Municipality of Sablayan.

After the morning rites, the second day of the seminar- workshop officially started with a recap of the first day and a groovy shake break led by Mrs. Imperio.

A two-session lecture-workshop series was set in place to maximize the last day of the event with core topics anchored on emerging tools that support literacy. Mr. Jerome Jaime, GS CLE Teacher, preceded the early morning discussion with the topic “Utilizing Google Suite for Education to Support Literacy”. The activity prepared during his talk was heavily challenged by the absence of electricity which made it difficult for some participants to navigate through the applications available for use in Google Suite. Nevertheless, Mr. Jaime came up to the challenge and was able to deliver his lecture in full grace with an added demonstration of how ChatGPT works along with its advantages and disadvantages.

The eventful first session was followed by an interactive prelection facilitated by Mr. Nico Fos. His session with the topic “Cards Against Inhumanity: How a trendy card game could change how we teach about human rights, citizenship and good governance” sparked the creative minds of the teachers who were able to experience playing the game first-hand. Their grit and excitement were all around the room. The concept of the card game provided an innovative insight to the teacher participants on how they can implement engaging activities inside the classroom while establishing a learning environment that promotes higher-order thinking skills.

The 2-day seminar workshop was wrapped up by Mr. Tuscano through his closing plenary keynote highlighting significant ways on which teachers can sustain literacy initiatives. The event formally ended with the awarding of certificates and words of gratitude by Ms. Glecilda A. Urieta, Head Teacher VI of Sablayan National Highschool.

The Tuloy Eskwela Project Mindoro was made possible through the initial initiative of Mrs. Gina A. Altares. Hand in hand with her are the support and help of Ms. Glecilda A. Urieta, Ms. Joyce Imperio, Mr. Jim Tuscano, one-man logistic team – Ms. Emily Alcantara, Xavier School San Juan volunteer teachers and community, Sablayan Local Government Unit, and the Department of Education Occidental Mindoro. The success of this undertaking definitely showed that no amount of technical difficulty can subdue a teacher fueled with dedication. Power on to the next Tuloy Eskwela Project! 

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