It’s been a while since my last blog entry. That is because I got my attention at the moment focused on starting my teaching degree. Yep! I am going to be a teacher! And I think this would be a positive step or decision in my preparation for the diaconal ministry. Because one of the main tasks of a deacon is evangelisation–proclaiming the Good News of Jesus. What a better way to respond to the Church’s call for New Evangelisation than to actually know how to teach!
Part of the teacher training is to have an e-journal, reflecting on the many dimensions that are related to the students’; my journey to becoming a teacher. Below was the reflection I just wrote for my first journal entry.
First week of school is almost over. Coming out from my class on “Effective Teaching and Professional Practice (EDFD548),” I have come to a realisation that:
- That I am actually and officially following a “family tradition.” I said in my first entry to this e-journal that it feels like teaching is in my blood. True, I get that “feeling” whenever I conclude a gathering session of the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) and that catechumens and candidates tell me they have learned or understood something new about the Catholic faith–even just being able to clarify questions as trivial as “why do Catholics make the sign of the cross with our right hand,”–I never imagine that I will actually be choosing Teaching as a profession.
- It just dawn on me the irony in the educational system not only here in Australia but even in the Philippines or even in many parts of the world. The irony is, as I was reminded by an article I read for another class, in hiring teachers it is expected that primary and secondary teacher candidates have teaching qualifications (in the case Victoria, one needs to be registered; in the Philippines one needs to pass the teachers board exams) but no such requirement for teacher in tertiary education. Personally this is true for me. I recall when I just have to do a demonstration teaching in one of the universities in Manila to be able to teach journalism subjects/course. I was not even given any feedback! After the demonstration, I just received a call from the dean saying I got the job. On reflection, I wonder what would be the effects on students if I were not exposed to teaching practices (from my mother and other relatives) or not received training during university years (it’s a common saying among the students that my school–University of the Philippines–not only teach their students to be competent in their chosen degree but also teach them to be teachers)? I also recall a couple of teacher evaluations I filled out when I was doing my Theology degree. For lecturers that “read” their lectures, I put on the item that asks “What is the thing that you like in this course”: The Library! But I also recall those classes where I really enjoyed and participated in actively were the courses where the lecturers were able to engage the students. I guess this is why I keep hearing, not only in this particular class, that teaching is both a science and an art. And I am keen on mastering this art–I owe that much to the students I am going to teach in the future.