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LEARNING is FASCINATION, not OBLIGATION

posted Nov 21, 2017, 7:24 PM by Jose Dasig
VILMA S. FERNANDO
Master Teacher I, BNHS

                    When I was still a kid, I saw my life like bright, bursting colors of rainbow. Everything for me was an adventure to look forward to. Life was a fairytale, that when I, a damsel in distress, there would be a prince or a knight in shining armor, ready to rescue me. I used to believe in dragons, wizards and magic.

                Then, I started to go to school. I wanted to learn. Everything. I wanted to know how the universe works, how the stars came to life, and many more. Of course, I realized that none of these wizards, dragons and fairytales were true; nonetheless, my fascination grew even more. I regarded learning as having pure fun, healthy competitions and developing friendships. Schools were institutions of respect, individuality and creativity. Somehow, these influenced me to become a teacher that I am today. I always yearn that my students discover how learning can really teleport us to the wonderful world of bountiful knowledge, primed talent, and better life.

                But, after more than a decade of teaching, I feel something odd. Why is it that most students today do not enjoy going to school anymore? Why is it that they prefer to cut classes, go to computer shops and malls, or simply go home? What is the problem? Don’t they want to learn? And reality struck.

Schools kept their busy hands and feet hidden and quiet under their arm chairs, the noisy are called troublemakers, each subject is limited to an hour a day and in some instances, a complete waste of time if the teacher did not come in. Noticeably, they watch each second of the clock as it slowly moves around, pulling the time to call it a day. But then again, when they go home, they have to sit and do more work, to get good grades. We created a world where they learn letters and numbers just to receive letters and numbers at the end of each quarter. Ironic, isn’t it?

                 Eventually, learning becomes boring, lifeless, and is more of an obligation, not a fascination. Too many students are becoming disengaged, going to the motions of impressing their teachers, parents and themselves, of how learned they are, posting to fb their biggest accomplishments. They pay more attention to how many will “like” their selfies in museums, their outstanding grades in cards, medals and certificates, their “at the moment” experience. Are these learning?

                Does school have to be humdrum? Or is it still possible to redeem what it means to be in a real classroom? YES! I always believe that there is another way to do school, to make learning fun once more. A worthwhile story or an epic adventure where my students are going to be the heroes and heroines, and where I, their teacher joins in that story with them. And where my classroom is going to be the setting of that story that flourishes with their creativity, transforming each life to become bestseller.

                I believe that our education system needs work. But as teachers, we need to work more. As Socrates exemplified, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” Let us not put out the fire that we carried with us upon entering the system. Reignite the ember in our students’ hearts. Let learning be a fascination, not just an obligation.

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