Wednesday, March 14, 2007


The road to success is rough; you have to pave it yourself.

- Arnold Glasow -

My first year of teaching has been a difficult initiation for me, most especially because I am teaching Junior High school Special Ed students here in Washington DC.

Back home, in a third world country, I often dreamed of using a better technology to aide me in teaching my special ed students. I was excited when I got here and saw 2 working computers in my classroom, which is already good for me, but not good enough if I am going to use them as an accessibility facility for my students.

Everyday, I was in constant search for ways on how to establish rapport with my challenging students, to get them to cooperate with me, and to engage them in the use of technology to maximize their potentials.

One day, while I was sitting at my computer desk after class; one of my students gave me her worksheet. She stood there reading aloud my friend’s email to me.
She couldn’t understand Tagalog.

I translated it for her.

She asked me if she could open her email from my computer.
I let her.
I asked her for her email address.
I wrote her a hello message that night.

The next morning she opened her email from my desk. She announced to the class,
“Hey! Miss Angala wrote me an email!”

That was the first time she got a personal message from a teacher.
From then on, I get emails from my students, from hello’s, to get well soon’s, to a weekend story, to goodbye’s. Some of them wrote me goodbye poems days before the end of the school year. One of their parents wrote me a thank you letter through email.

Even my husband who reads my email inbox from time to time was surprised.
He said, “I thought your students were mean to you?”
I said, “They were, but not anymore”.

As a new DCPS teacher, I attended monthly New Teacher’s Training program at Logan Training Center. While looking through the flyers on the reception table, I came across an announcement: “LOOKING FOR TEACHERS TO BECOME TEACHER LEADERS”.
They were not referring to me. I am a novice here.
I went on reading the announcement…“SUMMER INSTITUTE AT HOWARD UNIVERSITY FOR EXEMPLARY TEACHERS”. I would definitely grab this opportunity for a $3500 scholarship grant at Howard University Graduate School.

But there it goes again… “FOR EXEMPLARY TEACHERS”.

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