How to teach a young introvert

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What should we do with the quiet kids? A conversation with Susan Cain on the future of classroom education.

Susan Cain sticks up for the introverts of the world. In the U.S., where one third to one half the population identifies as introverts, that means sticking up for a lot of people. Some of them might be data engineers overwhelmed by the noise of an open-floor-plan office. Others might be lawyers turning 30, whose friends shame them for not wanting a big birthday bash. But Cain particularly feels for one group of introverts: the quiet kids in a classroom.

Cain remembers a childhood full of moments when she was urged by teachers and peers to be more outgoing and social — when that simply wasn’t in her nature. Our most important institutions, like schools and workplaces, are designed for extroverts, says Cain in her TED Talk. [Watch: The power of…

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London Learnings

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Imagine life without Christ, I would have experienced the pleasures of life but not with an unexplainable fulfilment. Looking back, I never regret the day I decided to give my life to Jesus and follow His steps.
 
London seats in the deepest recess of my desire. I preferred Australia over it, in fact. I fancied pursuing my post graduate education studies in that country. But the more I think about my own life and the more I think about my achievement, the more God reveals Himself to me in unexpected manners. Hence, this London trip in August 2014.
 
A wonderful surprise
The revelation came in as my post-birthday surprise. Sometime in July, Ps Ancho announced in the dinner table that I am joining Joshua in the summer camp at Pag-asa in London. I flashed a smile beyond measure; my heart leapt bounds in gladness. In my head, I have thrown the dinner table before us and hugged him and Tita right there and then.
 
My heart sank even deeply. I could of imagine God’s deep well of mercy and grace. That feeling that it could have been someone else, but I was the one chosen, that resonated God’s love even more for me even more. Now is my time and I had to grab it. Leaps of faith often means “Yes, Lord!”
 
Suddenly, the Holy Spirit brought me in the span of my past nine years in the ministry. My humanity tells me that when I look at my past, I am underserving of this. But my spirit tells me of God’s love and favour for his children. I am a child of God, who am I to stay I do not deserve this when a man of God tells me to go?
 
Arrival
Viewed from above, London looks familiar. It is the mother of one of my favourite cities, Singapore. An aerial view showed such an organised place. Contrary to what I expected, here were a lot of greeneries. Viewing from my neighbour’s window, I saw an rare mix of green and urban living. It is really possible. European cities and the developed countries usually can achieve the feat. It was heaven to see this. I might not be able to see myself live here, but studying in order to WSMD is a viable option. 
 
Work
Quite expectedly, the spirit here is hungry for equipping. There were doubts about intentional discipleship at first. Doubts that comes from hesitation and failing to see one’s self doing an extra mile for others. They saw the works first, before the yield. Certainly, it is. But we kept on telling them that theirs is an excellent environment positioned for growth. They told us since ID came, many left the church. That is part of the weeding process.
 
Pag-asa camp – The young people are amazing. They were so on fire. The spirit was youthful, vibrant, and motivated. They are, in short, vigil. You see the language used pertained to discipleship. You will feel that their energy will yield positive results. They have the number to start with. The DNA is becoming more alike.
 
Joshua laid the foundation and the reasons behind ID. He spoke of confidence and boldness, out of real stories of real lives who were never churched, but when they did, they have gone as far as bringing friends and their families. The power of producing and reproducing are so real here. He spoke also on writing the devotion and strategies in forming their twelves. We used workshops and games to illustrate on the specifics. 
 
I remembered my MIP 2006 camp experience. I came to know the Lord through it. It was the most improbable thing to happen. But it did. All I needed to have was a wonderful support environment and a climate of love, acceptance, and hope. LifeChurch made that available for me. 
 
So in my message, I told them Imagine yourself after nine years or less. Imagine what God can do into your life, by virtue of the ‘law of the lid’, such that, what the leaders have achieved can be surpassed by the ones led, especially the young ones. Case in point, the British today enjoy such high intellectual and economic development because of the hard earned disciplines of the past leaders. The only setback is that, while they were formed intellectually, they were not moulded spiritually. So much so that the moral decline has led to so much individualism, or vice versa. The effect of the Britons leaving the city for the suburb was tremendous. Indians and middle easterners are spawning in the city. 
 
I used the analogy of the seed. While Joshua used Matthew 13 to illustrate the ladder of success, I saw the immense potential of the growth of the seed using John 4:34, Psalm 1, and John . As the seed dies out, there are many things to get rid of. I used Ps message on multiplying effect of a person. In Psalm 1, I shared why they cannot leave their present church. They were called, strategically, to be there. Except if they had to move to a new place.   Last would have been Ps Lut’s message on getting connected in the vine in order to bear fruits, but we lacked time already. Certainly, the series is a powerful one, showing:
  1. Plant and allow the seed to germinate
  2. Keep the seed planted by the streams of living water
  3. Connect to the vine until the fruits are produced
 
Sunday Service – It was funny, I thought I was merely to stay in LifeChurch so I went with Joshua to Pag-asa. My sister rang me and told me that I was supposed to speak in our church. Good thing, I have my devotions handy, much more the Holy spirit led me to speak of Daniel and how he was used to by God to be the deliverer of His generation. They were about to be annihilated once again, if God did not show His power through Daniel. He served 3 generations of kings: Nebuchadnezzar, Beltheshazar, and the medo-persian king. I felt the need to talk about how each of the disciples in LCL can put their talents and skills to use, especially in the context of church. It is the only way to unite the body of Christ. That is the only way to help our people.     
 
Primary huddles – Here I felt like an expert. I had to pick from the cases and situations back home. Their questions suggest that the are eager and curious about what to do first. These are basic questions that must be addressed initially, so that when they start growing their 12s, they will have avoided the pitfalls we fell when we were starting up. I shared and dealt about obedience, citing how the primaries are back at home. I shared about how each primary should learn how to submit. Their task is to become reliable men. They exist and were chosen by God because they are supposed to make the leaders work unbearable. So that the pastor may have time to listen to the Holy Spirit for messages. 
 
LifeGroup sharing – During life groups and fellowship, what I did was to make myself available in small talks. I was ready to mingle and share what I learned. I find my mentoring or coaching strength here. And I saw that what I needed to do was to listen first about their hearts, and then coach them by sharing stories from back home, ever since we transitioned to ID. I also talked one-on-one, using it as a ministry time. We talked about strategies to build the 12 and ways to write the devotions with impact. 
 
Leisure
I see England as a museum containing artefacts, relicts, and stories of the past—how God’s people struggled, survived, thrived and forgot. It is close to seeing it as a relic of grandeur and history. Its remnants show of how man’s ingenuity could take him. Each place, each building, each street traces points in human history and development. The grandest being are points when God is still in the centre of its culture. Today, it is a museum because children of the past almost totally abandoned the ways of their ancestors. 
 
London’s cities and burrows are highly organised. It is every cities’ dream of becoming—reliable transportation system by trains and buses, well planned commercial, industrial, and housing zones, and stable economy and industries. But such lofty dreams come at a price and is not achieved overnight. It is also every students’ dream learning space.  
 
Imagine the Edinburgh castle, the Holyrood palace, and the Edinburgh Old Town. These are grand historic places tracing the story of medieval England. Stand in the middle of the old town was like going through a time warp. I could imagine vividly how the royal family and dynasties struggled to stay in power. At the same time, they could have not abandoned their faith in God. 
 
Glasgow’s summer is cold, the whole UK in fact. Here is a world where the past and present mix without apology. Even, London and Edinburgh, actually. The city was like a C-shaped thing, you can do a complete roundabout and find yourself back in the same spot. It is also a university city, there is the Glasgow university, Glasgow Caledonian University, and another one. Every step I took, I could but just imagine how my former professor in International Relations share about his Glasgow experience. I had that pinch of envy. 
 
The natural history museum shows God’s hand in the course of life development here on earth. When he said, “Let there be” it never stopped. From the moment he created until now, the creation story still happens. This is part of the infinity in God. He assigned that authority to his prized creation—man. The museum traces earth’s and life on earth’s history from millions of years ago until today. The exhibit ranges from dinosaur bones and reconstructions, to flora and fauna preserves, and the earth’s core and structure. It is a haven for any student.   
 
I was also able to spend time with dad and Mirelli. From Glasgow, Edinburgh, Winchester, Porthsmouth, and London, we walked, dined, and talked together. We explored the places. Though there were clashes because we were not trained to be together, we sorted things and iron things out in the end. Until the last moment in fact, we had some clashes. And I will get God’s spanking and love at the same time for it. Of course, I realise that I am not showing good examples by this, but I could short cut the process to iron things out.  
 
Family is the key
The key to church growth in the UK is family. Once a child is saved or invited and show positive changes, the family is later on brought to church. If the parents are saved first, then they bring the whole family to church. Filipino gatherings and meetings like birthday or anniversary parties are good ways to connect and build relationships. Later on, these can be tapped as people to bring to church, once the relationship got deeper. The investment may take a while. It costs one money, time, and effort. But done in the spirit of prayer, that person and family will later on become disciples. 
 
Staying planted
Wherever you are, be planted. Be in that moment. Seize that moment. Do what is more than required. Exert more effort. Do things exceedingly abundantly. But be sure submission to leadership transcends individual will or ability. The problem perhaps while you are not receiving it yet, is that we are there for the longest time, but what we are doing is not exactly what our leaders require of us. We do it our own way. We do not obey. And so, we are the primary reason why blessings may come, but sporadically and intermittently. Our disobedience and “I’ll do it my way” mentality block us from the floodgates of blessings. 
 

Landed London

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SALAMAT, Panginoon!
#UKInvasion #EuroInvasion #TheEdgycator

The promises You made; You cannot tear down, but build up according to your own design. Despite my human limitation, you kept me abreast. Your faithfulness endures me. And I cannot thank you enough but choose you and allow you to use my life.

London, once a dream, once almost in my hand but slipped away, I never thought would be possible again. Ever.

But you made it possible.

I would like to assume that it is a prize for my staying of 9 years with you. Nine imperfect years, yet your love safeguarded and cushioned me, so that I could reach this day, without having given up, without quitting, and without walkinh out on you.

But this isn’t actually a prize. This is part of Your plan for my life. When it seemed I have lost the idea, You showed me how perfect the timing is. Truly, nothing can stop an idea that is ripe for the reaping.

This is it! And all the glory belongs to you. Yes, it is not a prize; but part of my timeline that came ripe for reaping. Because you said so. And because You are sealing a new covenant with me and my life— a covenant that not many would probably understand.

All I know is that through the course of my 13 hours traverse across the airways of Asia and Europe, things I only teach theoretically inside my class, you spoke to me of three things:

1. Encourage your people in London, my brothers and sisters, to stay faithful and committed to Your Name, because the tides of time. Use the development of the seed from being torn apart, to being planted by the streams of living water, and staying connected in the Vine.

2. Search for that possibilty of lifelong learning through the PSOL classes. You showed me a Champion’s Centre Leaderhip College type. You also showed me how London is fresh for a new start. Yes the grand and classical educational institutions are here, thos which have stemmed from Christian traditions but along the way might have changed, like Harvard. This time, as a new spring of life begins, you are embedding in the wide fields of London that revolution in education, once again. A revolution that will start from Your disciples. It is not an accident why the Antioch of Asia , Singapore was able to buy one of the oldest estates, to push for a Bible college. This time, it is the Philippines turn to establish PSol as that training hub for Filipinos and other nationalities to take part in this massive spiritual movement thay is about to sweep again throughout the continent.

3. Reconnection with my dad and sister. You bring families together, no matter how far they are or how disconnected they might be. May it be by physical or emotional distance, you rebuild what is torn down. Hold it here, for I know and understand that for as long as I keep my vows with you, everything will fall into place as You have planned them. Not even the enemy can take a footstool over whay you have established in order. This trip honestly seals the next ten years of our partnership and how you have full ingrained in my mind that the plans of men are futile; Your plans will always prevail. Your plans, by the way, are greater than we can imagine. No eye has seen, no ears has heared what you are about to do, what you are about to pour out. Yes, you are pouring out your spirit upon all flesh. And as carrier of your DNa, we your disciples will be used to channel these pouring over the whole of Europe.

What an honour to be your servant; to use my life solely for your purpose. And yes, by the way, you are right: for anyone who loses his life for You will again have it back.

Thank you Jesus!

Research lives on

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Had jitters when I presented this 2-week paper about my school. Particularly, I shared the 21st century skills crossroads and their perception about their awareness of the terms and concepts related to 21st century learning themes and skills.

This is an honor and privilege, mindsharing with the principal of PSU laboratory high school before the research directors and dean of college of teacher education.

I loved it, because this is what I wanted to do in the first place. And I owe it to my God to harness this gift.

So there I shared that most of our teachers know about and are aware of the skills we are committed to train our students, as part of our school improvement journey.

Training of the teachers this summer will focus on differentiated instruction, technology integration, speaking in the content areas.

It is part of curriculum mapping we are doing this summer, with unit focus on the 5 21st century learning themes:
1. health literacy
2. civic literacy
3. financial literacy
4. global awareness
5. environmental awareness

Excited, to mindshare here what ate about to happen.

Thesis Writing

High School research papers are fun to write. We call them baby thesis. Fourth year students writing them are not bereft of any valuable find. For panelists like us, it brings moments of ‘aha’ and ‘that was good.’

This year’s products would make any teacher proud. Thanks to the teachers who brought them here to this level.

Some interesting finds this yeae:
1. LC teachers are proactive when it comes to coping with curriculum innovation
2. LC students are more keen to become entrepreneurs, NCAE revealed.
3. LC students develop problem-solving skills through the STREAMS. On top is discipline and being calm.
4. LC students say that English speaking can boost their confidence but most of the time they are afraid to commit mistake
5. Mathscore has a variety of uses but sometimes students allow others to use their account

Malaysia – Penang; Visit to Kek Lok Si Temple (1)

How to get here from KL? Are there student learning programmes or resources available? If I may just ask. I want to bring my students here.

Outlook in Life

Hi there!! Welcome back to my blog.

Today’s posting will be a place in Penang, Malaysia; Kek Lok Si Temple. I went there with my kids a few months back and now, I have finally got my share it with my readers about this place and it’s beauty.

A bit of history about this place before I continue. It  is one of the best known Buddhist temples on the Penang island (and also in South East Asia) and situated in Air Itam. Translated from Penang Hokkien, it means “Temple of Supreme Bliss” or “Temple of Sukhavati”. It was inspired by the chief monk of the Goddess of Mercy Temple at Pitt Street, Penang and construction began in 1890.

A seven storey main pagoda of the temple or the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas, was completed in 1930. This pagoda combines a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier of Thai design…

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Reflections from the Finnish Experience

I have recently watched the following videos about the best education system in the world–FINLAND. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70AlyhEGWf4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EoknAHLDBk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LJl5XaNQNk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xeU6R-iKwI

1. Personalised. As I understand it, what they are trying to create are students actually prepared for the workforce. There are no grades. There are no standardised testing. What teachers teach are Big Ideas and inquiries worth investigating that will push students to communicate, collaborate, be creative, and become inventive. They are as bold as wanting to break the subject-centered and move towards more integrated, thematic, and real-life learning. This means that there are no subject areas anymore but  learning domains with specific investigations and inquiries integrating all subjects .  With no exams being prepared and written every month, how are the students able to do well in PISA, the most challenging examinations in the world?

2. Professionals. Teaching in Finland is the most respected and valuable profession. In fact, most applicants are rejected if they cannot explain their reason for teaching. They are asked to go back again the next year. Meanwhile, all teachers must have master’s degree. All teachers undergo coaching, training, observing senior teachers, and collaborating with each others.

3. College, Career, and Citizenship-ready. The curriculum is based upon building students’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions towards work and lifelong learning. Not heavy on tests. Not heavy on standardisation. Individuality and uniqueness are both respected, and honoured.

Whether or not our country is looking at the US for model or not, still the best models are pointed towards Singapore, Shanghai, and of course, Finland. Perhaps, we could learn better from their experiences, which are less rigid but rigorous in thinking skills and investigations. Perhaps, we could follow the system better.