My first term for the Professional Teaching Certification Programme (PTC) of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) was a blast. I previously used this blog to process what I’m learning in EDS 113: Principles and Methods of Assessments. I can’t say this blog reached a significant audience; when I look at the analytics, I am happy to announce my site to reach a whopping reader rating of 1-10. Yup, literally 1-10 people read my posts last time. Haha. No worries though. I can’t say the posts were life changing enough to go to the ends of the earth. Hoping to do better in the future.
I am on now on my second term and enrolled in EDS 111: Principles of Learning and EDS 103: Theories of Learning. How awesome are my subjects this term? 대박! As much as I loved last term, I’m giddy about this one. 사랑헤요!!
Here goes my first entry!
As I have said previously, I am now on my second term as a distance learner at the University of the Philippines Open University. I’m enrolled in the Professional Teaching Certification Program, an 18-unit, non-degree certification course for (aspiring) educators (such as myself). It’s an interesting experience being enrolled in this program. I have met (if you can qualify brief conversations on the internet as meeting) many people of different ages, places, and backgrounds. A quick survey of my “classmates” has allowed me to take a peek into a world different from my own yet at the same time make me realize the enriching dialogues (even if brief) I can enjoy with people I would probably never get the chance to meet if not for this course. I encounter people who have perspectives same as mine and it encourages me to meet someone who share the same view. It tells meh at least I am not alone. There are those who have perspectives opposite as mine, and they challenge me to revisit what I’m holding onto. After all, as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. And there are perspectives which are completely alien to me, those I would probably never get to concoct on my own and beyond my thinking. They make me want to explore and keep an open mind. They tell me I don’t know everything and that the more I learn, the more I learn that I don’t know much. I probably won’t be a “noisy” participant in the discussions and fora. Even in physical classrooms, I rarely speak. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I am not an active learner. Maybe I’m like this because I learn mostly from observation and from “listening” to others (in this case, reading their posts and comments). Although I know, of course, that I cannot use that as an excuse for not participating. I am trying. I really am. 😃
Learning from a lot of people definitely is fun but it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. It’s more a like a prince going through jungles, thorns, and dragons to claim the heart of a princess —it’s not easy. It’s a challenge and an adventure but a beautiful one at that. As much as university studies required me to develop independent learning skills such as resourcefulness, study habits, and self (time) management, distance learning, in my opinion, brings that challenge to the next level. Why? Because my teacher and classmates don’t see me. 😃
One of the greatest (and life altering) realization I have from this experience so far is this: You only get as much as you’re willing to invest. While this is still true with other learning set ups, distance learning tests integrity more than others. I can choose to wing it and get a passing grade (or maybe even a high grade) but not really learn much. Honestly, there are times I’m tempted to do that but I realized it’s ironic if I did.
You only get as much as you’re willing to invest.
Firstly, the reason I’m enrolled in this course not because I have to. But because I wanted to. I wanted to learn as much as I can to be the best educator I can be. If I simply winged it, I just wasted time and effort, and am only fooling myself. Secondly, I’m studying about studying so to exert less effort than I can and should is quite embarrassing to admit. Enough said. Therefore, for this term, I pledge to give it my best: To give it my best to comprehend and analyze every lesson, to allow it to shape and grow my perspective and practice as an educator, and to contribute as much as I can towards building a meaningful learning environment. I pledge to undertake this course with full integrity, knowing full well that I am investing not only in myself but in the lives of the learners I will be teaching one day.
I can’t say I’m where I’m supposed to be in terms of learning skills and mindsets but I hope to get better at them one step at a time. My EDS 111 professor had us take three tests to gauge some skills crucial to succeed studying, and I’m sharing the results with you here. Here are the tests I took:
- Study Skills Inventory which is designed to measure study skills, such as printed text reading, note taking, memory, test preparation, concentration, and time management. Here were my results
Bragging aside, you can say that my results were pretty good. I can honestly say I do study well. There are some skills my parents and teachers have instilled in me while I was growing up and though I used to dread study time and all that, I am thankful now that I’m reaping the fruits of their constant reminder (not nagging) and dedication. However, that doesn’t mean to say I’ve got it altogether. Studying is one thing, applying what I learn in practice is another.
- Self Regulation Questionnaire which is a self-assessment on one’s ability to direct and regulate one’s behavior.
- Time Management Skills Test which is a self-assessment on one’s time management ability.
I found that my results for the latter two exams ranged from moderate to excellent, i.e. High/intact to intermediate/moderate self-regulation and excellent to good time manager. While answering, I realized that my answers depended highly on how clear my goal is and how motivated I am to achieve the goal. When I have no clear goal, I can put off studying and be a poor time manager. What I lack is consistency. To be consistent, I need to be reminded of my goals on a constant basis. It’s like keeping the vision fresh every time. I’m reminded of a phrase, “Vision leaks.” As vision is the fuel to my motivation, I need to make sure I recharge regularly. Also, I need to keep track of my progress, celebrate milestones, and re-assess my plans. These are things I’m aware of but not necessarily practicing. I think it was helpful that I took this time to reflect. They say, knowing is half the battle. The other half is doing something about it.