Teaching young children is a task that requires patience, understanding, creativity, and most of all, an ability to be childlike. This is the lesson which Principal Faith emphasized when she conducted a workshop on teaching reading in Filipino to primary school teachers from Bagong Tanyag Elementary School, Taguig, Metro Manila from May 28–29. The activities throughout the day encouraged participants to clap, sing, and dance while learning, seemingly transforming a class of teachers into eager, young children. But in between the activities, Principal Faith also shared a number of personal stories about her experiences as a teacher.
One of those stories was a grandmother who challenged Principal Faith to teach her grandchild how to read. Through this anecdote, Principal Faith showed the class how she was able to teach the child through letter and sound recognition. She started by writing the vowels in small letters and encouraged the boy to make the sounds of the letters by following their shapes with his mouth. The sound of the small letter “a”, for example, was made by widening the mouth as if shouting “aaahh”. This exercise made the class laugh as Principal Faith reenacted what the boy did. At the same time though, it showed how reading is taught through a step-by-step process.
At the end of the workshop, the teachers said that they felt more confident about teaching reading. Principal Faith said that while advancements in teaching were constantly being made, it was important to build a foundation on the basics: Tools and materials can help teachers teach, but even without those, learning could be easy and enjoyable if teachers made their lessons fun.