“The World is a book and those who do not travel read only a page”—St. Augustine.
Educational Tour is part of the students’ journey towards learning. Learning is not only limited inside the four (4) walls of the classroom, because we learn best when we are exposed to new experiences and things around us. I, for one, I’m looking at tours optimistically, that with the help of bringing the students’ outside, they tend to discover new things that they’re actually involved.
During our educational tour dated September 11-13, we’ve gone to Cebu City, the Queen City of the South. I, together with my co-students who are second year, third year and fourth year witnessed how it was really great to be exposed in some schools around Cebu. We are there not only to merely have fun; rather we are there to learn lots of things that are in line with our chosen field or specializations. We’ve gone to different schools namely CNU (Cebu Normal University), Cebu Braille Center, SWU (Southwestern University). USJR (University of San Jose Recoletos), Saint Ezekiel Moreno Learning Center, Lapu-Lapu City Elementary School and Mandaue Sped Center. All of these schools provided all the needs that every student/pupil is to acquire as it is concern in educational system.
During our visit, I was amazed on the facilities and services they provided to their students, in CNU (Cebu Normal University), they first introduced the history of where, how, and when did Cenu Normal University has started, its founder, its origin and how it evolves to become one of the best school around Cebu, they brought us to Cebu Braille Center and explained to us that they were not owning this center, but because they wanted to help those special children, they let this center be in their community and later then they would want to find ways and means to adopt this center as to be included in the Cebu Normal University Program. As I visit the center, I was very happy to saw how the students and pupils were trying their best to learn despite of their conditions, I was also touched by those teachers who render services to teach the students, and was greatly dumbfounded when I discovered that those visually impaired graduates of their very own center, were there to teach those students like them also.
There were different facilities that could be found also, this facilities or resources were highly needed by the visually impaired learners, these were some of the resources found: a) perkins brailler, which is actually some sort of type writer for the visually impaired, b) perkins printer, c) vector voice gadget, that records the things that they should study, d) talking calculator, e) cane, f) Braille letters/cards. I observed that their materials involve sounds or voice as well as to touch. And I am still amazed how they can still manage to live life while smiling and I tend to cry knowing how brave and strong they were. The next school we visited was the Southwestern University wherein I’ve discovered a teacher teaching kindergarten and was able to realize that in order to catch the attention of your learner, you should make use of a teaching strategy, and the teaching strategy she actually used was playing guitar that introduces her lesson which was all about vowel letters.
I was really enjoyed looking at the teacher and the learners learning together. That was a kind of fulfilling moment on the part of the teacher. She was not only a teacher that time; she also became a singer and a guitarist. How wonderful to looked at the learners’ faces enjoying the lesson. Another school we visited was the University of San Jose University Recoletos and Saint Ezekiel Moreno Learning Center and they welcomed us warmly, there I’ve known Ma’am Joynalyn Ceballos who speaks about the courses offered in the school, the programs they have and the policies they practice to produce a good student. We also visited there library, and upon entering our jaw dropped for a while because of their library that was absolutely stunning. Their library was built properly, its structure that almost stops everyone who entered. They have their books on their second floor which looks like a compilation of books slightly closed to the roof.
They also have their Laptop area, a kind of table that able you to charge your laptop when the need arises. They have also a book check and a machine that tends to give an alarm when the books you’ve borrowed were not checked properly by the book check machine. So, there’s no reason to lose their books there. And Mrs. Ma. Socorro L. Padilla, their Librarian explained this all. We also visited their Data Distribution center where all the internet connections are controlled, and I saw a huge kind of cabinet made of steel and iron and have talked to Sir Rodelo Acasio, their programmer and controller. I also interviewed Mrs. Concepcion Delos Reyes, the secretary of the College of Education, and she told me that they have 20 faculties in the school both part time and full time. And in St. Ezekiel, we observed the Special Children having their program. I felt terribly moved by what I saw, because I can’t even imagine myself be in their position, I felt very happy and somewhat like sad.
Happy because they were given opportunity to be involved in that kind of event and also sad, knowing how hard it was to be in their situation. The next school we visited was Lapu-Lapu City Elementary School and observed a Special Education class as well as the different grade year levels, and I was able to witnessed how the gifted or the fast learner students could actually sang a full song with a fast beat even if they were still in grade 1. I therefore realized that the learners in grade1 have special gifts that actually beyond any normal children does have. Lastly, was the Mandue Sped Center, and Maria Delia Minoza the principal had a lecture or talked about Special Education, their special needs, the different kinds of special children, their capabilities and the services as a Sped Teacher should have in teaching different kinds of special children. She also added that SPED TEACHERS are just like Gaisano Mall, 1 store but has it all. Same as when you are a Sped Teacher, 1 classroom, but has all the intelligences of the special children that you should control.
I was able to saw the bakery of the center, headed by Ma’am Carolina F. Ambray. She told me that the bakery was there to help the special children to knew how to bake, and she also added that the bakery was itself controlled by those children with Autism and disability. They were the one who bake, make some cookies, cakes and breads. They also have waving machine, a machine that creates or produces cloth such as shawl or bags made by abacca. And with all these, I was being surprised because just like us who do not have disability, special children were productive also in their own little way. All that I’ve discovered were never been this amazing. I was very surprised, amazed, grateful and with mixed emotions.
Even from the very first moment to visit Cebu, I realized how important a teachers’ role is, how important the facilities takes part in the day to day life experiences of the learners, how the teaching strategies, teachings could actually build a better student and because of what I have seen with this educational tour, I realized how is it very hard to have a disability and impairment, that regards of your loss or limitation. There are still chances to become productive, we should never criticize and instead we should reinforce, motivate and show to the special children that they really do belong just like us.
Cebu Normal University
Cebu Braille Center
Lapu-Lapu City Central Elementary School
University of San Jose Recoletos
Mandaue Sped Center
These were the facilities found in the center; the center was teaching the students how to bake so that they would know to manipulate these objects. Because these objects were given by Japan group intended only for those learners with autism and any disabilities. Also, we have the waving machine; a machine used to create blankets, bags and shawl. In Mandau Sped Center, they were not only teaching the students to learn academics, rather they were there to support the skills and abilities of the students. Enriching the capabilities of each of them and tries to showcase all the needed learning that every Sped students should and must acquire.
Of the 4 days tour, which part of the tour is educational or memorable to you?
Of the 4 days tour, the part of the tour that I can say educational and memorable to me was when I able to visit the different universities/school around Cebu. I learned a lot, I discovered a lot and I realized a lot. I learned that educational tour was there not only for the benefit of having fun but, it is there to let you experienced a one of a kind journey that you could never experience when you were only inside the 4 walls of the classroom. I discovered that schools in Cebu City namely; Cebu Normal University, Southwestern University, University of San Jose Recoletos, Lapu-Lapu City Central Elementary School, Cebu Braille Center and Mandaue Sped Center were a great school that enriches the knowledge and learning both normal students and special children. The universities provided a very edge-weapon towards excellence, and the evident fact of this were the facilities, structure, programs that the school were offering to produce a globally-competitive individual.
From Cebu Normal University, which you could found the Cebu Braille Center, they caters different types of Special children whether visually impaired, hearing impaired and a lot more. They provided materials for these individuals to learn more, and that would help them be convenient enough in studying. In Southwestern University, where the teacher I have observed make used of the different techniques and strategies to make the kindergarten would really have fun in learning. In University of San Jose Recoletos wherein the facilities needed for the betterment of the learning were found, specifically the high-tech library that I could say that was absolutely conducive for learning, their Audio-visual room that looks like a theater, and the controlling unit of the internet connections made me feels terribly amazed.
In Lapu-Lapu City Central Elementary School that the gifted students were found moved me because I can’t actually imagined that a grade 1 pupil could actually sang a song which was in a fast beat, and take note that they sang it from the beginning until it ends. And their I saw also the Special children who were mute and I was very happy to looked at them welcoming us. And the Madaue Sped Center that teaches not only in the academics but also enriches the capabilities of the students through sewing, baking and many more. They have a facility such as sewing machines, they have bakery exclusive only for children with autism and disability and they have also waving machine to vreate blanket, bags and shawl that were made purely in Abacca.
Schools were there to educate the students, and if a school has a good quality of service, with a lot of facilities to be used in enriching the capabilities of the students, I know for sure that they could produce a student who can compete globally and will become a catalyst of the society. I was really amazed of what I have discovered during the tour, and I realized that being a teacher was not really an easy task to take, we may encounter different attitude, behaviors and values.
And if we surpass these kinds of children successfully, I believe that we will become a teacher full of gratitude, understanding and love towards our pupil. Even Sped Teachers because as what Ma’am Ma. Delia Minoza, Sped Teachers are just like Gaisano Mall, 1 store but has it all. In relation to Sped Teacher, 1 classroom but has all the behaviors to control. The experienced I had could never ever be erased and will always be a part of the journey that I’m going to take. Education is the key.