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Official Statement of the Faculty

Mar 28, 2009

This is the official statement of the PSHS faculty. Thanks for the link, Martin.

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Teaching Beyond Technique

We, the faculty members of the Philippine Science High School – Main Campus, express our full confidence in the competence and integrity of our fellow teachers, Ms. Dinah Lizza M. Gutierrez and Mr. Jose Manresa Enrico D. Español IV in the midst of unfounded denigrations, unfair criticisms, and unnecessary threats that are currently circulating through the Internet.

We stand as a community of responsible academicians and responsive citizens who recognize the two teachers’ capability and proficiency in the same way that we uphold the Pisay tradition of “kahusayan ng isip” and “kagalingan ng puso” which are expected to be lived out by each science scholar whose passion to effect meaningful change is continuously fuelled by taxpayers’ money despite the ongoing economic crisis.

Words are insufficient to concretize our collective sentiments emanating from a disabling form of woundedness brought about by misguided thoughts and inappropriate statements that challenge the very integrity of these two teachers. Parker J. Palmer (1998), author of the phenomenal book The Courage To Teach succinctly explains why humiliating and distrusting any teacher in whatever form is divisive, destructive, and ultimately, debilitating:

Teaching and learning are critical to our individual and collective survival and to the quality of our lives. The pace of change has us snarled in complexities, confusions and conflicts that will diminish us, or do us in, if we do not enlarge our capacity to teach and learn. At the same time, teacher-bashing has become a popular sport. Panic-stricken by the demands of our day, we need scapegoats for the problems we cannot solve and the sins we cannot bear.

Teachers make an easy target, for they are such common species and so powerless to strike back. We blame teachers for being unable to cure social ills that no one knows how to treat; we insist that they constantly adopt whatever “solution” has most recently been concocted by our national panacea machine; and in the process, we demoralize, even paralyze, the very teachers who could help us find our way.

In our rush to reform education, we have forgotten a simple truth: reform will never be achieved by renewing appropriations, restructuring schools, rewriting curricula, and revising texts if we continue to demean and dishearten the human resource called the teacher on whom so much depends. Teachers must be better compensated, freed from bureaucratic harassment, given a role in academic governance, and provided with the best possible methods and materials. But none of that will transform education if we fail to cherish – and challenge – the human heart that is the source of good teaching.

Ms. Gutierrez and Mr. Español, like any other Pisay teacher, became teachers for reasons of the heart, driven by a passion to unleash our students’ potentials through our subjects so they may better be equipped to help others in the end. Aspiring to be or to act like gods in our classrooms is alien to our repertoire of reasons why we are intent about being with our students essentially more than five days a week. We see in our students very promising scholars who deserve not to be tortured but to be nurtured, for in them, we see the fulfilment of our collective dreams geared towards social transformation anchored on a clear understanding of their self-worth. Every moment we spend planning and carrying out instruction that will help our students grow is anchored on principles of mentoring, not tormenting. We believe that by providing them meaningful challenges that are the result of our long years of professional training, we will be able to ignite in our students the power to search for the truth and to use it to lead better lives. We simply cannot afford to let them miss the chance to be comfortable with challenges – precisely because we know they are a cut above the rest.

Teaching remains to be a science but we have gone beyond techniques in teaching and have always been compassionate in the same way we believe that excellence should always bear a soul. In the end, we remain to be faithful servants of the iskolar ng bayan.

CONCERNED PSHS-MAIN CAMPUS FACULTY

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