The most awesome thing about being a teacher: you never stop being a student. The last 48 hours have been full of learning. In two days we managed to accomplish three school visits, a visit to the US Embassy, a meet and greet with the US Ambassador to the Philippines, and food...lots and lots of food. Each experience was unique, insightful and inspiring (even the food...it's inspiring me to get up and run in the morning). By far, the school visits have been the most impactful and the schools are the place where I feel the most at home. Classroom visits, school tours and chats with students have given me pause to reflect on the clear parallels and drastic differences between school at home and school here.
Each school welcomed our team of teachers with presentations, traditional songs and dances, snacks, tours and the opportunity to visit classrooms. St. Paul College Pasig (private, all girls, Catholic school), Benigno Aquino High School (public, technical/vocational school) and Makati Science High School (public, magnet school) reflect the deep value Filipinos have for education. Students are respectful, warm, welcoming, extremely hard working and like American students, selfie loving. Teachers are funny, creative, dedicated to their craft, engaging and passionate as they are doing great work educating students with limited resources.
Education is such a key to unlocking future opportunities. It is something to be valued and to be thankful for, as there are many around the world who are less fortunate to have access to school. So wherever you are, open a book, learn a new language, ask questions, watch a documentary, go on an advnture, talk to stranger, or maybe read a teacher's blog, just don't stop learning!