Bye, Steve

Today, the world wakes up with this sad news:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, the master innovator is now gone. What made me sad about his demise is that with him comes perhaps a thousand more ideas that the world will never see anymore–evolutionary and revolutionary ideas that could bring humanity to another level of achievement.

In many ways, I admire his narcissism, his perfectionism, and his flare for creative innovation. He might be a strict, perhaps a ruthless boss, but I would have wanted him to become my boss if I were given a chance. In part, he is in me and the person who I wanted to be. He captures the impact that I also wanted to accomplish in my life time as an educator.

Nevertheless, he remains an influence. Early this school year, I and my students watched his 2005 speech at Stanford University as part of our listening activity. So it feels like, we are so connected with him because we digested his speech point by point and uncovered strategic life lessons to pursue… except perhaps for quitting school because that will be very radical. Today, I believe that he will remain in us as the three stories of his life: connect the dots, love and loss, and death. He talked about the course in this life  and the pursuit of doing what one loved most. What I am happy about is that these lessons will create more impact in my students’ life because they feel that they part of it, they are part of him, because when we were studying this we do not just study about effective public speaking or listening skills, we learned about living out the journey of our lives.

Indeed, We will stay hungry and we will stay foolish.

Why I never regret to work in Puerto Princesa City

Five years ago, I decided to settle and work in a local high school here in Puerto Princesa City. The city is located in the mid-section of the sword-shaped Palawan province and is 306 nautical miles away from Manila. The city is lush and verdant. It is most of the time quiet and peaceful.

At  my arrival in the island in 2006, I wrote:

 

 

“The then unconceivable island of Palawan to my mind suddenly appeared before my very eyes. As the ferry approached the dock after 6, the island became more visible and pleasantly appearing before the window of my soul.

I could see tiny vancas afloat the waters surrounding the port. There were also small nipa huts sporadically scattered along the shores.

The city was generally peaceful and calm, far the overt mixture of pollution in the Metro. The honking horn of the ferry I was in seemed to wake up the city, calling its people to welcome her.”

Just gone out of college, I chanced upon the place through a close friend’s invite. He and his group was putting up a summer camp and I was asked to observe, to teach the kids about government systems, and to help put up the youth organization he leads, which was then known as PowerYouth and is now known as Champion Youth Philippine. Fortunately, I ended up in a work that I came to love and later on discovered as my passion.

So anyway, to cut the long story short, I am now teaching in this city in a school named LifeCollege. I’m going to tell more about the school some other time, but for now I’d like to share that the city where I am in right now aptly fits my wiring—suburban, I get a doze of fresh air when I needed, while I am still in touch with the world.

Today, the city has become one of the favorite tourist destinations in the Philippines. It even claims to be the “Ecotourism Capital of the Philippines.” Thanks to the Puerto Princesa Underground River, which placed not only the city but the province and the country as well to the world map. Its bid to the New7Wonders of Nature  placed the city into a strategic position for tourists around the world to see. According to that website,

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 km north of the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. It features a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 km. navigable underground river…… [It] is reputed to be the world’s longest. 

Recently, the city was also declared a zero-carbon (or carbon-neutral or carbon negative) city, meaning it produces more clean air than the carbons emitted by the population and the industries combined. According to a Philippine Information Agency press release, the Puerto Princesa is the first city in the country and in Southeast Asia to be declared as carbon-neutral using the international guidelines set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Most of all, I just simply love the place because of the community I have here. It is free, authentic, and purpose-driven. The reason why I am teaching is primarily because I stayed here. If not, I could not be doing this and I would have probably not discovered that I was wired to become a teacher, a mentor, and a lifecoach all rolled into one.

Cast your votes for  PP Underground River in the New7Wonders of Nature until 11.11.11

Send PPUR to 2861

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Why Edgycator?

I cannot hold my excitement now. I feel like there is so much ideas that I could not contain any more, I needed to let go in this single post–my very first. I got inspired to finally start up a blog that focuses on education innovation by the blogs that I use to visit every time I needed fresh ideas to start a work. I particularly follow and is subscribed for some time now to EducationInnovation, EducationFutures, EducationNext and quite recently, TheInnovativeEducator. Before, I used to just read and re-post, feed on and share. I read and put the ideas into action. I was an active consumer… until, the last blog I mentioned propelled my gusto for blogging again.

I cannot forget what I read in her first ever post. The blogger mentioned about several authors and experts she came across with and consider as professional learning network. I could hear her say with conviction:

 Something I’ve learned from these experts is that if you want to be taken seriously, you have to have a digital footprint. It’s not enough to talk about the work you do, do the work you do, and spread the work you do.

And yes, the first thing I would like to achieve is to leave a digital footprint. I have to ‘debut’ into the more formal part of blogs and wiki conversations. In my four years of teaching, I am excited to share the uncommon things I am doing inside my classroom. I am excited to share ideas to make the learning environment more exciting and meaningful.

Four years of teaching? Come on! How will that suffice? This leads me to my next point: to put into context those ideas I have learned. I am creating this blog for educators and learners in less developing countries such as ours. Here, before we are able to successfully make learning possible inside the classroom we have to be able to deal with the learners’ foundation skills in literacy, language, and numeracy, their limited access to technology, and their parents’ economic and educational background. In my heart, I believe that these misses in our condition must not hinder opportunities.

Lastly, I’d like to learn, apply, and share. My job as an edgy-cator (or Edgy Educator) is to put into flesh out what I have learned from various web resources inside my classroom and share it to the world. This way, I–the edgy-educator, is first an edgy learner. I hope I could reach out to as many educators, especially to my fellow Pinoys.