A Legacy – ‘Magtuon Kita Og Basa’ (Let’s Learn to Read)

magkaon kita og basa1What does it take to become a good teacher? What does it take to be called heroes by our pupils? Years of experience does not guarantee it neither would wealth and riches enable the teacher to give the learners the quality of education they deserve.

When the K to 12 Basic Education Program was launched, a lot of preparation was made by the Department of Education to make everyone ready for the biggest change in the curriculum. Grade 1 teachers and school heads were trained for a week and were given guides on how to go about with the classroom learning activities. During the seminar, questions and doubts on how effective the program is were answered. Teacher’s Guides were given yet the teachers found it insufficient to guide the children in learning to reading. Hence, it became very difficult for some of pupils to learn to read despite the use of the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education.

As a multigrade teacher of Grade 1 and 2 with 61 pupils in my class, I have to do extra effort with the help of technology to make these little children identify the sounds of letters which is a prerequisite in reading, It was so frustrating to hear some of my pupils say “/m/-/m/ talong” when in fact they were already taught several letters during the first two months in school. It frustrated me so much that I even asked myself, “Am I really that poor in teaching?” I prayed hard for guidance and strength, took hints from my friends and colleagues and did a lot of research. Until one morning, I came to realize that perhaps it is because they do not have anything to read at home to support what they have learned in the classroom. I challenged myself and wrote my own reading material.

The passion of writing this imaginary material grew bigger until it became reality. I reproduced one for each of my pupils and these were all for free. I called for a Homeroom PTA meeting and asked the parents to cover these books with cellophane which were provided to them. Everybody was excited, not only the pupils but their parents as well who were trained on how each letter sounds; forming syllables and reading CVC patterned words and finally how are they going to teach their children to read.

The purpose of making my little angels read did not just serve its purpose, indeed it even got the interest of other teachers who asked for some copies to be used in their own classroom. My book, “Magtuon Kita ogBasa”, is already used by all of the Grade 1 teachers in the Malaybalay City West District and some of the teachers in other districts in the Malaybalay City Division, a windfall to the vision of just making my own children read.

Now I would have something to look back when I grow old, I will be leaving my own mark to the teaching profession. I will be giving hope to others that awards and positions are not prerequisites for one to be able to support the endeavor of the Department of Education and to share something to our children and the children of the next generation.

By RulynZaballero-Crusio