Thursday, March 15, 2007

FUNSHINE


We are not made rich by what is in our pockets,
But by what is in our hearts.

-Anonymous-


Well, I believe I am an exemplary teacher.
If they would only see what school I founded and how I helped special children in the Philippines, I’m sure they would not think twice of getting me for this Summer Institute even though I am new in the system.

I call myself an accidental Special Educator, because it wasn’t my plan to be in this field. I finished BS Family Life and Child Development in the Philippine’s most prestigious University. My childhood dream was to become a doctor. And I was in medicine proper, in full scholarship, when I realized I was called for another profession.

I may have failed everybody but I did not fail myself, I am now in a better position. I am a proud Special Education Teacher. I don’t look after people’s physical health but their children’s mental health. I don’t dissect people’s brain but their minds. I don’t open people’s hearts but I am able to touch their hearts. I may be able to save their lives in a different way, and still I make a difference in their lives too.

Everything that my teachers told me in Elementary and High School was imbedded in my memory – the virtues, knowledge, values and principles. I owe everything that I am now to all the people who were around me, pushing me up. I am grateful to them most especially to the two most important people in my life – my parents and my teachers. Yesterday, they taught me how to aim for success. Now, as a teacher, is my time to shape tomorrow’s generation.
Indeed, God works in mysterious ways.

My exposure to Special Education at the Center for Developmental Intervention Foundation at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center has left me deeply encouraged to be with special children who are in need of time and affection.

I left a legacy in the Philippines – Funshine Preschool in Lagro QC and Funshine Special Ed Center in Fairview QC.

Funshine - “being bright while having fun”. That was our motto, which suggested a developmental philosophy of teaching students. The logo was a smiling bright sun, with eight rays. Why the sun? Why the sol? It came from my name, Marisol.

I miss how the parents and my students called me Teacher Sol.

I started the schools with just 4 tutorial students. The students grew to more than 50, with 8 employed teachers before I left the Philippines.

Since its inception summer of 1998, my schools has managed exceptional children who needed academic follow-up and advanced lessons from pre-school to high school, refreshment and review sessions for the next school year, as well as tutorial and therapy sessions for children who are exhibiting infantile autism, ADHD, language disorder, and learning disability.
A lot of entrepreneurs became instant millionaires because of this business of putting up a private school. There was the business but I was not earning from it. Why? I charged a very minimal tuition fee. Because the parents of my students would not be able to afford if I asked from them the prevailing rates for such services we offered.

I am not an entrepreneur. I am a teacher.

I founded this school when I was 23 years old, I had accomplished a lot for this Center until I left for the US at 29. Am I not an exemplary teacher?


I was still staring on the application form on the reception table.
What the heck! There was no harm in trying.
I took the announcement and the application form.
Immediately, when I got home, I filled it out and answered the two questions asked in the form. I sealed it with a kiss.

The next day, I mailed the application to the DC Area Writing Project Summer Institute hoping…just hoping…that they would notice my eagerness to join (I made it obvious in that form).

There was another announcement about the Festival of Writing, which I also mailed with the $5 registration fee. I am always interested in attending seminar-workshops like this even when I was still in the Philippines. Though some were really dragging, most of them quenched my thirst for knowledge about new strategies and techniques to better my teaching.

And I love the feeling of being around the experts in the field. Their mere presence is already motivating, their true experiences are as encouraging, they exude such positive aura, and they make me feel like an expert too.

I prayed.
I got accepted.

1 comment:

Rezalyn said...

Hey! your story is very inspiring! I would also want to pursue a clinical/educational career here in the philippines.. Im a fresh bs Psychology grad and it is so hard to find experiences regarding the field.. that im kinda forced to go into human resource or as we all know the industrial setting.. But reading your story makes me feel that I can manage to go to what I really want in my life.. maybe not now.. but surely soon..

Promethean Planet

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