Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Investiture at OMSC

I traveled back to memory lane while inside the Occidental Mindoro State College (OMSC) campus attending the Student Teachers’ Investiture and Pinning Ceremony last Friday, October 25, 2013. My eldest daughter belongs to Section A of the college’s Teacher Education Batch 2014. Dr. Arnold N. Venturina, the SCC President II together with the TED faculty are all there to grace the occasion, so supportive of their students. Getting a cue from the inspirational message rendered by Dr. Rosalinda C. Gomez, the soon-to-retire Vice President for academic affairs, I am into thinking that the symbolic event is the donning of the mantle of responsibility with a pledge coming from the student teachers to dispense their duties to the best of their abilities. Ma’am Gomez compared them to sprinters who are already on the last lap of their scholastic race.

During the invocation, I said a little prayer for the student teachers that may they truly find an ever cooperative cooperating teacher that would thoroughly orient them to the new environment, plan with them for the teaching experience, review and provide feedback, evaluate their performance, among others.

While watching the whole ceremony unfolds before my very eyes noticing how misty were the eyes of many of the parents, during the candle lighting ceremony and the reciting of the pledge of commitment and the rest of the program, I came to know that it is indeed the most significant phase of life of a college student. It represents the bridge between professional preparation and professional practice. Student teaching is a period of guided teaching when the teacher candidate takes increasing responsibility for leading the school experiences of a group of learners over a period of consecutive weeks. 

The major goal of student teaching, I just realized, is to provide an opportunity for the student teacher to make practical applications of knowledge, learning principles, and techniques of teaching. They need the opportunity to experience the pressures of full-time teaching and the corresponding rewards (or even punishment) resulting from it. And in the end, the community will judge them. 

Yes, I took the same route way back in the late 80s but I nearly failed due to my involvement in student activism coupled with gallivanting. Without the intervention of my former English mentor, Ma'am Vicky G. Madayag, my adviser in our school paper, and my former girlfriend (also nicknamed Vicky) asking my instructor in Practice Teaching or Education 10 to give me a chance and rectify my errors (?), I could not gotten my diploma and was not able to get my licensure exam!

I got the biggest surprise of the night when Dr. Venturina before his speech mentioned my name, asked me to stand up along with a couple of alumni sitting behind our children. He referred to me as a “prolific writer”. By the way, Dr. Venturina, is my junior way back in high school, circa late 70s. People around us gave us a round of applause to which I feel a certain awkwardness. But it warmed my heart, nevertheless. The good President reminded the students of his 6Rs: Read, Recite, Recall, Rewind, Re-envigorate and and Renew. For him, the sum total of all these is renewal. He said, “When we renew ourselves, God gives us authority to share.”

But all her through her college life, I have only imparted a single “R” to my daughter, Rashida Anawim, pertaining to her studies. Read. Read up on teaching. While your training may introduce you to many good things, there is always more to learn. Since your father is always away, do not rely much on me with your lessons and assignments. That’s why whenever I travel to Manila, I always buy books and other reading materials for my children.

Saint Catherine, Patron Saint of Teachers, please do not bring their cooperating teacher into temptation of just treating these future teachers as errand boys and girls.….

(Photo by: Yobhel Novio)

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