It Takes a Village Part 6: Welcome to my open classroom!

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“Ma’am!!! Ang saya-saya ng PE! Kailan tayo ulit maglalaro?” (Ma’am! PE is so fun! When can we play again?)

I’m a self-confessed klutz and a terribly out-of-tune singer. But guess what? Fate decided to make me a Music and PE teacher! Well, actually, it’s the K-12 setup that made me one. I’m not really complaining because quite honestly, I’m sort of enjoying this experience of trying to learn something new for my lessons.

Although I must accept reality and face the truth that my learning curve isn’t happening quite as fast as I’d like it. After giving it some thought, I decided to be more aggressive with making my classroom an “open” one.

THE OPEN CLASSROOM

After watching James Deakin’s TEDx talk, I began thinking about our experience with The Shoebox Love Project. Many people have been asking and offering their help and resources to me and my kids. Sometimes, I hesitate because I always emphasize that public schools are not really charitable institutions. I guess I want people to go beyond donating. There is another way to experience being helpful and generous.

Since majority of my students grew up (and still are) in poverty, I really cannot change much about where they come from. So here’s the deal – I can’t change their past BUT I can give them new experiences. And this is where The Open Classroom Project comes in.

If any of you are willing to volunteer an hour or so of your time, maybe you would like to join my class and share your talents. This can be in the form of teaching them something about your profession or field of interest – arts and crafts, playing sports, inventions, music, writing, and the list goes on.

One hour of your time can mean the world to them (and me!) and I assure you that they will always look back on these experiences. My former students still come to visit me and relive some of their moments in the classroom. Yes, a notebook, a box of crayons may help, but these things won’t last a school year. One happy memory is something they can always relive and come home to.

If you’re interested, leave a comment or email me at cris.tanjutco@gmail.com! 🙂 See you in our classroom!

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