Teacher’s Day (slash month)

Teacher’s Day in the Philippines is a big deal. Food and games is a no-brainer, as no Filipino celebration is complete without them. I got to take a whack at the Filipino version of a piñata, and there was an assembly where teachers were presented with gifts from the students (mostly comprised of origami flowers, which now are now scattered throughout my room).

It was great to have these celebrations – yes plural – but this is a great example of one of my frustrations at the school. There are endless opportunities for students to miss class, be dismissed early, or cancel school entirely. I have yet to count the days off in a month, but the fact that there were three days dedicated to teachers’ day is an indication of a greater problem. If there is a sporting competition, school is essentially canceled. Athletes go, others go watch, teacher-coaches are excused from teaching – everything is suspended for the two or three days of the event. Girl scouts are excused from class to practice for a performance, then miss two days to go to said performance. That’s another week lost. Same for boy scouts. And little nurses. And there are teacher training days. Everything is given more importance than actual teaching-learning. I think it is wonderful that the students have these extracurricular activities – but that is what they should be extracurricular. These activities should not regularly supersede class time.

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