I wrote this letter about a year ago...
When I first got to sit down with Arcie, Marc and Russel to discuss developing learning modules for the Silid Aralan children I recall telling them that more than coming up with learning packages for the learners, they should focus on the training of their facilitators. I must have said a lot more about making sure that their facilitators were well-trained and how to go about it such that I found myself agreeing to be their “multiple intelligence consultant”, but eventually becoming their learning consultant was more like it and that is where I find myself now.
I am a teacher at heart. To bring out the best in my students has always been at the core of my teaching...it never occurred to me to write down what I have learned over the years. But everything happens in its perfect time. It is time....
Presently I am “giving birth” to the manuals (or modules, if you please) which will serve as a guide to Silid Aralan facilitators. The Silid Aralan Learning Technology or SALT© that we (I cannot claim sole conception of this for many minds have come together to make this a possibility.) have conceptualized will bring about skills that will help our learners throughout their lives. More than the academic learning, it’s the emotional learning that we will put most of our efforts in. For I have personally come to the understanding that when an atmosphere of trust is established in the learning environment of children, they are motivated to excel in the different aspects of their lives. Knowing that they matter and are greatly loved fuels them.
A few years back I was a grade 2 religion teacher. I recall a colleague of mine telling me that, “Teaching religion is more difficult than teaching math, science, and other subjects.” My face may have registered wonder with the words that he just spoke, so he explained, “Math and science are subjects that you can teach in the classroom, and then leave the concepts there, as well. With religion, you can’t only teach it, you have to live it.” I dare say the same thing now to you, our dear Silid Aralan facilitators, as we embark on inspiring our children to be life-long learners who will give back to their community, “Live what you teach. Never cease to love learning. Live your life to its fullest potential. Seek to strengthen your purpose for living.” These are what we hope for our learners, thus, these are what they should learn from us as we stand before them.
Mga kuya at ate, as you go about your days as a Silid Aralan facilitator, know that you have been chosen for your capacity to love. Therefore, love deeply and fully, for your love will truly change tomorrow.