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RANDOM THOUGHTS | Professional development for our public school teachers

“TO MAKE sure that we leave no child (or student) behind, we must also make sure that no teacher is left behind” 

  • Kurt M. Landgraf, President and CEO of Educational Testing Service, USA).

To improve the standard of our Public Schools, we must provide our public school teachers the “help they need and want!” Per Landgraf, “teachers need and want to do their jobs well. Good training in college is important but not enough, and many teachers are long removed from a university setting. 

Teachers want the kind of professional development that will give them the knowledge and skills to help their students meet those new academic standards. They want good diagnostic information that allows them to be better at adjusting their teaching for individual students. Good professional development is an investment worth making, and one we need to make if we are to realize our goal of providing a high quality education – to all students.” Landgraf was talking here about American teachers.

Surely, the “need and want” of teachers in developing countries in this regard is far worse. Investment in professional development of our public school teachers must be given higher priority by our government than some infrastructure projects. You don’t need financial experts to fully understand this matter that matters most. Per Einstein, not to know this is insanity!

Landgraft`s final words on the subject: “Providing high quality professional development for teachers, adequately funded and well managed, is absolutely required to reach the (Equity) goals we all share.”

Admittedly, we in the Philippines need more than this to raise the quality of our public schools.

In my previous article titled “Invest More Health and Education”, I wrote: “In our Education Program, we like to see higher salaries for teachers, development training for teachers, more classrooms… The incoming administration, hopefully will adopt “Education, Education, Education” as its new mantra. After massive infrastructure development, massive Total Integral Human Development must now be the national priority.

It is about time to focus now on equity. Thus growth with equity will be appropriately referred to as “K to 12” education.  Equity should be a major development goal of all our various institutions, most especially our government. All our development projects and programs must be strictly evaluated on how these will benefit our poor people… Undoubtedly .. The Education Program will directly impact positively on the lives of our common Filipinos.

Two great challenges to our Education Program are: 1) The pandemic COVID-19 phenomenon, and 2) The Forthcoming 4th Industrial Revolution. It is humbly suggested that our Department of Education and CHED form a study group to draft a “Roadmap for future. Capacity- building for a digital world is, no doubt, imperative to effectively respond to the future demands.

My family is a family of teachers. All members of my family are teachers. I dare say that teaching is the greatest profession of all. Bear in mind that our Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest Teacher of all. All parents must be the first teachers of their children. Hence teacher education and development should be top in the list of our government services. Sad to say, it is not the case now. Paging Congress on this nagging issue. “Huwag na kayong magtulug-tulogan sa bagay na ito!”

A Teacher`s Prayer

Generous and everlasting God, You have entrusted me with this great responsibility of making not just the mind but the whole person of the young people under my care. Thank you for helping me grow and develop as an educator. This is an important mission to which you have called me. Help me to remember this when I am tired of writing my lesson plans, preparing my visual materials, thinking of my teaching strategy and following up my students behavior and performance.

Help me to be patient. Keep me always healthy and calm and may I never get annoyed with students who need special attention in class or who do not seem to be interested in my lesson. Grant me the wisdom to learn new ideas, methods and techniques to make my lessons more fruitful and meaningful. May I be a faithful and loving instrument in the building up of your kingdom on earth as I try to follow the example of your Son Jesus Christ, the greatest Teacher. Amen (Trinidad D. Molina.)

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