Valuing the Center’s impact on my teaching
“These features of IMPACT influenced my perception of SEAMEO INNOTECH as a rich source of innovative solutions for the many problems in education.”
I witnessed the difference in the way lessons were taught and even how parents and the community members got involved in the learning process with how it was before the Instructional Management by Parents, Community, and Teachers (IMPACT) Program.
The IMPACT program started in Maasin Learning Center in 2006 through SEAMEO INNOTECH. I was one of the first to experience this new delivery system since I was already part of the school before it was introduced.
The first few years were challenging for me and the school. We had to juggle managing the changes in instructional delivery and making the parents and community leaders understand and accept the new system. Convincing the parents and community that the children are able to learn from fellow students, in this case through programmed teaching, was not easy. We would hold orientations for the parents and the community about IMPACT. During these meetings, we would always stress that they have a critical role in the success of their children’s learning and development.
We also had to find other ways to make them understand. We thought of assigning tasks to the parents, such as helping students with reading at school or building learning kiosks which were needed in the IMPACT system. Getting involved in these kinds of activities may have helped the parents see IMPACT in a better and deeper way. Through this understanding and willingness to accept the new learning system, parents were able to watch the transformation of their children. Students under IMPACT were speaking with confidence and parents were very happy about it.
This opportunity to deal and work with the parents and the community in a more participatory approach has actually worked to my advantage. I became more assured in communicating and handling parental or community engagement. It certainly helped me when I took the National Qualifying Examination for School Heads in 2017. Today, I am a School Head at Anuling Elementary School in Zamboanga City.
I also had to navigate through my personal feelings during my years in the IMPACT system. Children were the ones teaching instead of us. This kind of arrangement brought out negative feelings and thoughts in me. It was disconcerting that a Resource Teacher like me was doing the same work as a Grade 6 student assigned as a programmed teacher. I had to contemplate this aspect of IMPACT and understand its real purpose. Later on, I realized that the intention was to empower students in their learning and to provide them with opportunities to pursue it. I was able to overcome this personal challenge and become happy knowing that the children in Maasin Learning Center were able to teach, and teach well at that.
These features of IMPACT influenced my perception of SEAMEO INNOTECH as a rich source of innovative solutions for the many problems in education. The way I see it, SEAMEO INNOTECH is always at the forefront of acquiring new trends or updating itself with current innovations. For me, the Center never fails to share these up-to-date knowledge and techniques to schools, with the ultimate goal of developing both the teachers and learners into productive citizens.
There were many aspects in IMPACT that have now become mainstream or are being promoted and used by the Department of Education (DepEd), such as the innovations we implemented at the start. Things like cooperative learning and learner-centeredness were already being carried out decades ago in IMPACT schools. Now that such strategies are being expected by DepEd, teachers of IMPACT schools do not need much adjustments because they have been long exposed to these.
Though I have left Maasin Learning Center a year ago and have been assigned to a conventional public school, I still value and practice what I have acquired over the years in the IMPACT system. I carry these with me in my new school hoping that my IMPACT experiences will help create meaningful and fruitful work with my new teachers, learners, and families.