Schools Celebrate Inclusive Education

Schools Celebrate Inclusive Education

Last December 3-7, 2018, the first celebration of Inclusive Schools Week in the Philippines, spearheaded by The Teacher’s Gallery, transpired in many schools around the Philippines – from Mindanao to Luzon. Overall, there were 15 confirmed schools that participated in the event. All organized unique activities that involved the members of their school – the educators, students, and some involved the parents.

The most popular activities facilitated by the schools were a movie showing, sign language class, and freedom wall. Schools featured movies such as Wonder and Miracle in Cell No. 7 – movies that showcased the importance of the inclusion of persons with disabilities, and what obstacles they face. Basic sign language was taught so students could learn to communicate with those with hearing impairments. Freedom walls were a popular choice, where most showed their commitment to fostering inclusion in their own environments.

Other activities that the were organized during the week were an ISW activity center, social media campaigns, Christmas caroling of the deaf, school advertisement about how they practice inclusion, inclusive education seminars, shirt for a cause fundraising, storytelling about inclusion, small group learning, discussion about handling children with disabilities in inclusive classes, talent showcase, workshop on inclusive education, commitment wall hand painting, inclusive games, and inclusion-themed Christmas decoration.

Inclusive Education is not just the responsibility of teachers and school administrators; it is also the responsibility of students – with or without disability, parents, local government units, policymakers, and the whole community itself. It is a collective action to make the school accessible to all types of learners. Therefore, inclusive education is being pushed to increase the participation of learners.

This year’s celebration was culminated in Daet, Camarines Norte with the help and support of Dr. Rex Bernardo, Convenor or Philippine Network for inclusive Education and Head of Camarines Norte’s Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO). The PDAO invited Camarines Norte State College’s Department of Education to join the half day long celebration.

Dr. Bernado was able to give a short presentation about Inclusive Education. Afterwards, an open forum was conducted to welcome questions and clarify misconceptions about inclusive education as people always think that it is the sole responsibility of teachers and school administrators to implement it. “Inclusive Education is not just the responsibility of teachers and school administrators; it is also the responsibility of students – with or without disability, parents, local government units, policymakers, and the whole community itself. It is a collective action to make the school accessible to all types of learners. Therefore, inclusive education is being pushed to increase the participation of learners” explained by Alyanna Tamayo, TTG’s Communication and Advocacy Officer.

Wrapping up the Inclusive Schools Week’s Culminating Activity, Kathleen Emnas, TTG’s Project Officer, headed the participants to pledge their support through reading the Declaration of Commitment and by signing on the Inclusive Week’s Wall of Commitment. 

4th Educational Tour of Filipino Educators in California

4th Educational Tour of Filipino Educators in California

Last November 12, 2018, Filipino educators flew to California for our 4th Educational Tour (EdTour). Our EdTour is one of the focal programs where we bring Filipino educators to international classroom to benchmark their innovative practices in schools and bring back those knowledge and learnings to local classrooms here in the Philippines.

Educators were warmly welcomed by Cabrillo Middle School admin and staff in Santa Clara. The educators initially met with the teachers to talk about their inclusive practices on how to handle children with diverse learning needs. Afterwards, the educators were given a chance to observe and participate in the actual classrooms. 

Next school visit was at Bracher Elementary School and Buchser Middle School where both schools have done successful inclusion programs and have expressed their interest in visiting the Philippines Schools next year. Bracher Elementary School is a professional learning community. Through collaboration and high expectations, they provide a rigorous academic program with a focused approach – with the intent and belief that ALL students can and will succeed and as for Buchser Middle School, they support cultural literacy and academic diversity – creating diverse learning experiences that raise awareness and tolerance of others. 

After the school walkthroughs and observations, the delegates had fun visiting Google, Facebook, Intel and Stanford University. Some of them were also able to attend the anticipated mass at St. Lawrence the Martyr Catholic Church (and the priest was a Filipino!). The day ended at Marshalls where our educators were given a chance to enjoy their personal time from the educational tour.

As we are wrapping up this year’s success of 4th Educational Tour, we’re preparing a change of itinerary to freshen up our learnings and experiences in benchmarking global classrooms excellent in inclusive education. Tune in and stay updated by liking our TTG Global EdTour Facebook Page and subscribing below to our newsletter. 


See you around the globe!

Wellness Retreat Seminar-Workshop for School Heads and Principals

Wellness Retreat Seminar-Workshop for School Heads and Principals

School heads, principals, and school representatives attended the Wellness Retreat Seminar-Workshop titled “The Power of a Teacher: It can change a student’s life. It can change the world” last October 17-19, 2018 at Tagaytay Haven Hotel Ulat.

The event began with a prayer, led by Ms. Mai Roble (Executive Director of The Teacher’s Gallery), followed by the singing of the Philippine National Anthem. The first speaker, Mr. Jun Cabochan, explained “The Whys of Us.” The session was understanding educators’ individual abilities, personalities, and limits – emphasized the importance of performing self-reflection and self-awareness.

“To know what you want to do, to know what makes you up in the morning, to always keep trying, and to never get tired of doing the right thing.”

Mr. Cabochan emphasized that successful people like Kim Clark to Jose Abad Santos, from Popeye the Sailorman to Che Guevara, people motivated themselves through their personal values and belief system. To know what you want to do, to know what makes you wake up in the morning, to always keep trying and to never get tired of doing the right thing. Further, Mr. Cabochan lectured on how crucial for educators to show their students their potential until those students see it on their own – teachers, principals, and school heads should show their students that they have intrinsic worth. Mr. Cabochan ended his session by leaving the participants with a quote “He who has a ‘WHY’ to live, can live with almost any ‘HOW.'”

Dr. Adam Saenz, the Keynote Speaker, and the author of the book “The Power of a Teacher”; he is also a psychologist and theologian. Dr. Saenz shared his expertise on the matter of creating and maintaining a holistic form of wellness (physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial wellness). He began his session by discussing the “SELF” as the core of the workshop. Further, he shared his story about being a troubled child – in which he reiterated that teachers or principals’ role in their students’ lives is a very important one. Dr. Saenz told them that the turning point of his life was when one of his high-school teachers complimented him and pushed him to do something with his life. He said that that incident was the first time that anybody believed that he can do something great; Dr. Saenz’s session revolved in giving emphasis on the teacher’s belief on their students and themselves.

The morning stress busters was led by Ms. Malou Aristorenas and two other fitness instructors, they introduced the newest exercise crave in abroad called Pound Fit. Volunteers were gathered from the audience to join the instructors and lead the plenary for the exercise.

The breakout sessions were done simultaneously at different stations with the participants staying at their designated rooms, and the speakers rotating. The breakout rooms were divided into 4 categories: Emotional Wellness, Spiritual Wellness, Physical Wellness, and Financial Wellness.

Emotional Wellness: Journey from Bitter to Better. The session was given by Ms. Kat Aristorenas, she lectured by making use of an acronym – JOURNEY. J for Just love yourself – focusing on the importance of accepting one’s imperfections; our imperfections make us human and what makes us unique. O for Own your emotions – one must be true to oneself, emotions in nature are neutral, but the way we handle our emotions decide if the outcome will be good or bad.  U for Uncover your strengths – we must identify our own strengths and weaknesses. R for Reach out to the right people. N for Nurture the relationships with those people. E for Embrace your beliefs; spirituality and meditation certainly help in handling hard situations. Y for Yes to a purpose; one must have a purpose or at least one must identify a purpose for oneself.

Spiritual Wellness: Give Me Another Chance. The session, given by Ms. Mildred Garrido-Esguerra, highlighted on forgiveness, understanding, and ultimately being at peace with all the aspects of life. Ms. Mildred broke the session down to 4 aspects: first is forgiveness, it centered around the quote “Heroic forgiveness is hard, but it’s worth it.” Second is the Power of Words, she emphasized that the mouth speaks what the heart wants. Third, it focused on Faith and Hope – it is about the importance of having a shoulder to lean on and having God or a belief system to run to in times of difficulty. Lastly, the importance of Love in general. It tackles how important it is for students to feel loved by their teachers, because not all students receive the kind of love they want from their parents or families, and friends.

Physical Wellness. The session was facilitated by Ms. Malou Airstorenas. The session was about the importance of not just being physically well, but also mentally. Ms. Malou shared personal stories about her struggles and how she managed to move on and become a better person. People think of belief as something being applied mentally, but Ms. Malou told them that belief can actually affect them physically also. She gave proof of this by leading the participants in a small activity, where the participants are asked to stretch their arms toward the back and know the limit of the stretch. Afterward, she asked them to close their eyes and asked them to repeat the stretch, but only this time, they must imagine the action, not actually perform it – she then asked them to open their eyes and perform the action again and see how they were able to stretch their arms a little bit further than the first time, and that was the power of belief.

“The Ideal way of managing your hard-earned money is by saving first and spending later, rather than the other way around.”

Financial Wellness. The Teacher’s Gallery invited Sun Life Financial Philippines to provide Financial Literacy Talks during the breakout sessions. The session consists of sharing of Philippine data setting and how the majority of Filipinos do not have long-term plans in financial stability. Sun Life Financial gave a lecture on the differences between insurances and investments; how important it is to start early, and why people should think very wisely for their expenses; the ideal way of managing your hard-earned money is by saving first and spending later, rather than the other way around. Moreover, they provided knowledge on the differences of rates between banks, bonds, and the stock market. Finishing their talk, they emphasized that participants have the power and the responsibility to manage their finances, but financial advisors like them are available if needed.

During the last day of the workshop, Dr. Saenz focused on defining stress, and how to apply the lessons that the participants learned throughout the 3-day workshop. Dr. Adam started off by defining stress, and burnout. He identified three dimensions of burnout, which are: Exhaustion/Disengaging (versus energy), Cynicism (versus involvement), and Ineffectiveness (versus efficacy). Dr. Adam explained that one of the best ways to manage your stress is to identify if you are either being “Helpful” or “Hurtful”, he explained this by using a diagram Dr. Adam Saenz concluded his lecture on stress management by emphasizing to the plenary that Stress Management is a process.

For the last session, Dr. Saenz emphasized on why it is important to sustain wellness in all the dimensions in the Wellness Wheel and gave recommendations to follow in trying to achieve personal wellbeing in each of the dimension. He concluded the sessions by thanking them for participating in the 3-day workshop, and reminding them to tell themselves the phrase “I will” and follow that “I will” with an achievable, realistic action.

As a Culminating Activity, led by Ms. Malou and Ms. Kat, a piece of paper was distributed to each participant where they were asked to write down a promise or a contribution that they aim to achieve, then write down their action plan on achieving the promise or contribution. After, participants were then asked to stick their papers inside the big heart on stage while songs from The Greatest Showman played in the background.

Hundreds of Educators participates in the Wellness Wheel Exhibit

Hundreds of Educators participates in the Wellness Wheel Exhibit

The Teacher’s Gallery (TTG) was one of the major sponsors of the Association of DepEd Directors (ADD)’s event named “Hold IT In Trust: LEADING in the Time of Industry 4.0” last September 25-27, 2018 at Manila Mariott Hotel Grand Ballroom, Pasay City. The assembly provided education leader-participants the opportunity to strengthen their capabilities in achieving the goals of the K-12 Basic Education Curriculum Program.

The team invited Dr. Adam Saenz as one of the Keynote Speaker in the event and he received a warm welcome from the participants after his keynote presentation. The team held a book signing and picture-taking with Dr. Adam Saenz especially to those who bought his book titled as “The Power of a Teacher.”

The event was attended by thousands of leaders in education and hundreds of them participated in the Wellness Wheel where participants answered a total of fifty (50) questions and the results of their answers were plotted on the wheel to see the shape of their five (5) key aspects of being: occupational, emotional, spiritual, financial, and physical being.

The exhibit is to solely promote TTG’s upcoming Wellness Workshop titled as “The Power of a Teacher: It Can Change a Student’s Life. It Can Change the World” which will be held on October 17-19, 2018 at the Tagaytay Haven Hotel. Interested? Read here.

Treats for Teachers

Treats for Teachers

“A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils.” – Ever Garrison

As we celebrate the National Teachers’ Month this September 2018, the National Teachers’ Month Coordinating Council posted activities for teachers as “10 Acts of Gratitude.” If you are a teacher, make sure to bookmark these exciting activities made especially for you this month!

1. Educational Tours in Museums for FREE

Have extraordinary experiences through free entrances on the following museums for the whole month of National Teachers’ Month:

2. 39th Manila International Book Fair (September 12-16, 2018)

Teachers visiting the Book Fair will be granted entrance for free at the Hall 1 in SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. The annual event is one of the country’s biggest book events and will not just include the usual genre of books but will also include book launches, signings, dialogues with our co-readers!

3. Power of A Teacher’s Heart Wellness Seminar-Workshop

Did you know that The Teacher’s Gallery is gearing up for our upcoming Wellness Seminar with the world-renowned Keynote Speaker Dr. Adam L. Saenz, who is also the author of “The Power of A Teacher’s Heart.” The workshop is a combination of mindfulness practices and a wellness guide developed by Adam Saenz, a psychologist and therapist and most importantly, an advocate for maximizing teacher impact in the classroom.

Learn more by clicking here. 

4. And other Seminar Conferences for Teachers

Teachers are invited to attend a 3-day lecture about topics on cyber-education that will be facilitated by SEAMEO INNOTECH, Smart Communications, Globe Telecom, and World Vision. There will also be 300 teachers invited to a FREE 3-day Alternative National Seminar Conference: “Educator’s Life Care Conversation, Artshop, and Playshop Conference” hosted by Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

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