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Outstanding teachers in the arts


(Last of two parts)

On Sept. 5, 10 outstanding Filipino teachers from across the country were awarded by Metrobank Foundation.

We looked at four winners last week.  Here are the rest of the best of the best.

Grade school English

Mitchel V. Rodriguez has taught for 11 years at Odiongan Central Central in Gingoog City.       To manage Grade 1 students, Rodriguez uses the token system (small rewards for good behavior or grades) to reduce student hyperactivity in class.

She also developed the program Reading and Vocabulary Enhancement, which received positive feedback from other teachers.

Rodriguez has produced books on Philippine folktales and serves as trainer and coach in journalism contests. She says the greatest achievement is not winning but the students’ heightened confidence and self-worth.

Cherry G. Vinluan has been teaching for 22 years in Guagua Elementary School in Pampanga. To enhance student engagement, Vinluan uses different strategies, including skits and games, to foster interaction, creativity and critical thinking.

With the help of the local government, civic groups and alumni, Vinluan put up an Extensive Reading Center to encourage children to read books.  Her action research focused on reading comprehension, with programs like Catch Them Early Intervention, Five Words a Day and Single Question Technique to help struggling readers.

As president of the Pampanga English Teachers Association, Vinluan trains teachers in reading and Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education and the National English Proficiency Program.

High school English

Maria Teresa M. Bautista has taught for 22 years at Bacnotan National High School in La Union.  Her Reading Buddy Program pairs poor and advanced readers and her Reading Room encourages students to read.

Her book “Read and Learn” is used in remedial classes to enhance oral reading skills. In seminars, she shares with other teachers best practices in handling students with reading problems.

Bautista has mentored champions in oratory and journalism contests.  As president of the La Union Secondary Schools English Teachers Association, she spearheaded the local English Olympics to hone student skills in spelling, quiz bee, extemporaneous speaking, oration and essay writing.  Bautista is also the news editor of Nuggets, the official publication of the Department of Education (DepEd) La Union division.

Maria Lorna L. Garnace has taught  for 21 years at Philippine Science High School-Eastern Visayas in Palo, Leyte.  She uses creative methods in instruction, from talk shows and press conferences to mock auctions and radio plays.  She collaborated with physical education and Filipino teachers in cultural presentations, such as Afro-Asian dances.

For Garnace, teaching goes beyond the four walls of a classroom.  Her research on factors affecting student English proficiency has been used by the school to understand student performance and by the DepEd to improve its programs.  She presented a paper in Hong Kong on language proficiency in relation to student performance in science and mathematics.

Music and values

Fely A. Batiloy of the Special Education-Integrated School for Exceptional Children in Iloilo City has taught music for

19 years.  Her CDs, “Lanton Sang Gugma I and II,” which include Ilonggo and Visayan kundiman and folk songs, are used in the mother tongue-based curriculum.

Batiloy also composed the song “Daku nga Dios (Great God),” with ethnic musical instruments for accompaniment.  The song has been performed in the DepEd’s sociocultural activities, town festivals and church celebrations.

Batiloy also published “Whispers of the Heart,” a compilation of more than

80 poems about love and life, some of which are children’s songs, prayer songs she uses in class, farewell songs, alma mater songs and even tongue-twisters.

Marcelo T. Otinguey of Ampusongan National High School in Bakun, Benguet, has taught values education for 17 years.  As coordinator of Values Education programs in his school and the DepEd division of Benguet, Otinguey has led various projects for the preservation of cultural and ethnic traditions, such as the Bakun Saguday Cultural Dance Troupe, a showroom for artifacts in the region and the revival of the practices of the Kankana-ey Bago tribe.

According to Otinguey, the practices of various tribes foster discipline, honesty, cooperation and unity. He is determined that these values are nurtured and instilled in his students.

With the help of local governments and private and civic groups, Otinguey has put up community libraries and learning centers.  At times, he even personally shouldered the expenses for the construction.

Believing that poverty can be overcome through self-reliance and skill acquisition, Otinguey partnered with various groups to conduct training for out-of-school youth and stay-at-home parents on computer literacy, commercial arts, cosmetology, baking and food processing, hair cutting and massage therapy, among others.

By the way, my son Scott and I will be signing our latest books (“My Take: Growing Up, Liking It So Far,” “Start the School Year Right” and “Study Smart”) at the Anvil booth at  Manila International Book Fair, SM MOA on Sept. 15, 2-3 p.m. See you there!

E-mail the author at blessbook@yahoo.com.

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Tags: column , Learning , metrobank foundation , outstanding teachers , queena n. lee-chua

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