Personal · Work

I’m tired (but fighting)

Alam mo yung tipo ng pagod na kahit gano kadaming milk tea ang laklakin ko, o kahit starbucks ang kape ko, kalahating araw lang ako nacomfort at pagod pa din ako. Yung sinasabi sa quotes na “my soul is tired” kasi hindi rin naman tulog ang kailangan ko. Pagod na ko sa trabaho. Pagod na kong palagi na lang maging troubleshooter sa mga problema ng ibang tao. Pagod na kong umastang okay lang, kahit pa di ko rin naman mapigilan ang sarili na ngumiti, tumawa, tumulong, o unahin ang iba. Pagod na kong palagi na lang akong negative thinker, pagod na kong maging pagod palagi. Nakakapagod yung feeling na gusto kong maglock ng office door para walang bata, o Parent, na maghanap o kumausap sakin, tapos magi-guilty ako kasi that’s the reason why I’m in that office in the first place.

Napanood ko sa news kanina, kulang daw ang mga Guidance Counselors kaya dumadami ang cases ng bullying at child abuse sa mga paaralan. Mas lalo akong nalungkot. As much as I wanted to pursue this career and vocation, nakakapagod kasi talaga. Ang haba pa ng lalakbayin bago ka matawag na REGISTERED Guidance Counselor. Gagastos ng limpak-limpak na salapi para sa mga qualifications na kailangan, para sa basic at “less than the faculty members” salary. Sa apat na taon ko sa academe, palagi kong naririnig yung di kami pwede ipantay sa mga teachers, kasi NON-TEACHING personnel kami, pero bakit ang demand katulad lang ng sa mga guro? At ayan na nga, samin nasisisi kapag dumadami ang mga kaso ng mga batang nagmi-misbehave.

Life isn’t always fair, and I understand that. In my line of work, I am not as appreciated as a regular teacher do, but I’ve already accepted that long way before. I’m not much into recognition (though I now appreciate a higher pay hahahahaha), but what I really need is peace of mind. I long to be respected for what I do, especially from the Parents who supposedly should model good manners and right conduct. I’m praying for the day when Guidance Counselors can also be given the rest and guidance they also rightfully deserve. I hope Guidance Counselors can also be taken care of. I hope.

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I have written this post earlier this morning on my way to work, and saved it to be published this lunch break. Just this morning, a Parent came to my office and we talked. When we finished, she told me, “Ma’am, thank you po ha. I appreciate what you do, salamat po sa concern sa anak ko.” Ni hindi ako nakasagot agad. :< Thank you Lord. In the most difficult times, He would bring someone to lift me up.

Personal · Work

Training leaders

Last Saturday, the Guidance office spearheaded a Leadership Training for our Student Council.

It was a half-day activity comprising of three parts. First talk is Executive Training Workshop facilitated by Red de Leon, a Grade 11 student leader from Claret School of QC. He discussed the roles, functions, and responsibilities of being a Student Council officer.

Next talk was Servant Leadership given by me. I taught them the 10 Principles of Servant Leadership by Robert Greenleaf (1970).

The last part of the program was the Washing of the Feet. SCB Moderator Ms. Diamond headed the activity and humbly set an example to her student leaders.

This is actually the first time for BSCS to conduct a leadership training for the students. That’s why I feel happy, despite the students’ slight apprehension towards the activities, to be able to give them the knowledge they need in order to become an effective leader. It has always been my goal and dream to empower my students so that they can be more, do more, and give more, not just to BSCS but to their own families and communities. I observed some hesitation and unpleasant reaction from them (hayy, ewan ko ba sa Gen Z), but I know that in God’s time, all my efforts will be worth it. Until then, I’ll go and set a good example myself, just like how a good leader should always be.

Work

Goals for 1819

Today is the first day of our Academic Year 2018-2019! We welcomed our dear students with a special Morning Assembly, na op kors, complete attendance ang mga nagkakagulong magulang. All went well, as there were no crying pupils and less number of irate parents. Pagod nga lang ang aming mga teachers, because apparently, all of them are loaded every Wednesdays.

As for me, tinamad ako ngayong araw. What I did was to do a backlog task, which I also didn’t finish because some alumni visited and then there were 3 new students who took the Entrance Exam. I really have high hopes for this year, not just because we have a new set of school administrators, but because I feel obligated to earn the Best Office Staff award given to me last May. Pakiramdam ko talaga di ko deserve yun eh, that’s why I have to work hard this year to convince myself that I really am the best.

And that brings me to this post. Just would like to share with you my SMART goals for S.Y. 2018-2019. Of course I am aiming for more accomplishments and more prompt response to my students’ concerns, but these are the specific things that I plan to achieve for this year.

1. 100% accomplishment of Routine Interview

I truly wish to finish interviewing all our new students, though this is a challenge because we have a lot of transferees this year. I may employ a more drastic move (setting up counseling chairs outside the classroom) to achieve, but I promise to do this even if it takes until December. (Hahah)

2. Better attendance record

This is the primary reason why I don’t accept the award. I know I did my best in giving out Guidance services to my students, but really, I am ashamed of my attendance last year. I have plenty of absences due to family and health (including Ella’s) reasons, I was on maternity leave during the start of the SY, and I wasn’t able to finish it (1 day short from the last day of class and 1 week short from Graduation) because I was also in the hospital. I was also late everyday, because the travel to and from BSCS was terrible. Walang masakyan!! Kaya this year I really hope to have 0 tardiness and less absences. And good thing because I now have earlier work schedule, thus I got to somehow avoid the rush hours.

3. Regular homeroom visit

This is a yearly goal for three years now, at awa ng Diyos di ko pa din nagagawa hahah! Ang hirap kasi i-achieve! 😯 #1 ang hirap pagtugma-tugmain ng sched, #2 bigla-biglang may paper work na kailangang gawin o isubmit, #3 di ako prepared sa activities, at #4 tamad lang talaga ako. But this year I want to be serious with my homeroom visit. I want to become closer with my students so that I can know what issues they have and interventions they need. I am hopeful because this year the Homeroom module is already done so all I have to do is to compile, print, and execute.

4. Interior design of guidance office

Another yearly goal that I TRULY find difficult to achieve, because #1 hindi naman ako interior designer, #2 may mindset ako na nasasayangan sa oras na nagddecor ako ng office, at #3 tamad kasi talaga ako 😒 But I plan to ask my brother to make me an ID plan for my office. At uunti-untiing ko talagang syang gagawin πŸ‘Š

5. Save thru employees cooperative

Surprise! Due to a number of unforeseen and UNWANTED circumstances, I was appointed Auditor/Collector of our Cooperative this year. Di ko talaga ito gusto dahil wala akong alam sa mga ganyan. Huhuh. But then, dagdag learnings din naman. And I want to be earnest with my savings goal this year. Most especially that we have a lot to catch up in our savings because of my hospitalization last April. Also, I really plan to join the school’s coop though Aljhon is against the idea. Handling the coop myself just gives me the best excuse and reason for him to allow me. Yay!

Some other mini-goals:

-Be more participative with out-of-school’s events and activities (basta swak sa sched)

-Avoid na yung chismisan sa school. AMEN!!

We have new school officials and we are very hopeful that change is coming especially in the way we handle things at work. Less paperwork and more efficiency are their promise to us, employees. But I don’t think that this is not applicable to me. Madami kayang report sa Guidance!!! But knowing that the admin will now look (really) into your work and would weigh if they put into action your recommendations, just makes it fine for me even if my work load would not be lessened. Though really, I appreciate if they’ll hire another Guidance Counselor. But then, I think that’s just for another school year.

Work

Being the school’s Best Office Employee: winning a losing battle

I have always wanted to work in a school. Perhaps because I look up to my Mom and she works in a University so I would like to do the same. But it is really a dream that I grow old looking and feeling youthful because I am serving the young people.

But this dream just happened four years after graduation. I was not so idealistic anymore, knowing the truths and realities of adulthood from the corporate world. I was even ready to settle into married life back then. But finally working with the youth opened a new chapter of my life. I started to dream again- having a Guidance Office that suits me, planning on seminars, activities, and events that benefit my students, going back to school to earn MA, and becoming a licensed Guidance Counselor. I began to see work not just as a job, but my mission. I finally understood what vocation is all about.

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Best Office Staff for S.Y. 2017-2018

Getting this award is just an icing on the cake. I would’ve wanted this not because of anything, but for the reason that I want to become the best in my service for my students. I even feel that I don’t deserve this award (I have attendance issues-hahah, I even started and ended the school year inside the hospital). I wanted the recognition to be given to my co-Non Teaching Staff, because I know deep down that the previous school year was too rough for me. I had difficulty accomplishing my backlogs when I returned from my maternity leave. I got exhausted by all the dramas in and outside the school. I always felt tired. I had already applied with another school and was ready to resign.

But God has another plan for me. Twice He has already shown me that my story with Blessed Sacrament Catholic School is not yet over. I still have a role to fulfill and a mission to finish. And though I may feel insignificant at times and that my efforts are small, or that fatigue may make me weary, I realize that I should not give up because no one else will do MY job better than me.

Work

Summer learnings (as of May 2018)

Team CGS attended the CEAP seminar for non-licensed Guidance Counselors on May 8-9, 2018 at UST. It was a fruitful 2-day learning opportunity as UST Guidance Counselors gave insightful talk about Prevention Programming, Counseling theories applicable to school setting, Suicide Prevention, and Building Resilience.

I am glad that I was finally reunited with my co-GCs after a month-long absence from work. Plus, I was able to meet the two new members of the family (Ms. Jane & Ms. CJ).

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But the highlight of this seminar is that I learned new techniques as well as concrete action plan that I am positive and excited to carry out in my own school. Naeexcite tuloy ako sa parating na school year! I am also grateful (and proud) as I see my former Guidance Counselors (Ma’am Chatt & Ma’am Leni) taught and inspired all of us, participants. And I hope that they also feel the same way when they had seen me traverse the similar path they have taken. I surely look up to them as my model GCs and inspiration, even when I was still a Psychology student. I am also thankful for GC communities like CEAP (in partnership with UST) that they provide avenues which even non-licensed GCs can really learn from. One of the things I learn from this seminar is that Guidance and Counseling is really a lot of hard work, but I, as the Guidance Counselor, have the capacity and heart to do much more.

P. S. I had also attended a seminar on Promoting Mental Health through the Development and Implementation of Responsive Guidance Program at University of the East- Caloocan last Friday with Ma’am Archie.

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Though the workshop wasn’t very engaging, I enjoyed the food (haha) and learned the basics of Mental Health Act of 2018, so the day was still productive. πŸ˜‰

Motherhood · Work

Of field and failed days

This year’s educational trip for the Preschool and Grade School departments was held last Saturday at Paradise Adventure Camp in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. The landscaping of the area is neat but very simple. What I like most about this field trip is the activities offered by the camp, which were enjoyed not just by our pupils but by the parents as well. Our students (and their parents) participated in bracelet-making, pottery & jewelry box- painting, math problems- solving, and various science experiments. They also have a mini-Lego land, mini- 3D art museum, and Ifugao museum. Though this is not the most enjoyable field trip I had attended, what we did was not bad either (plus points for the fact that the camp has energetic facilitators enough for us teachers to have a day off, hahah!).

While this day was spent well, I only had regretted leaving Ella longer than the usual. I left home at 5 in the morning, and got back by 6:30 pm. Aljhon also had his photography class in the morning, so the babe was left with the parentals. According to them, Ella was gloomy that morning. 😦 Also, I struggled with pumping milk for the little one. 😦 We aimed for 8 bottles (32 oz), but I managed to pump only 6 (24 oz- even if I pumped at 12mn, 2am, and 4am). Napasabi pa tuloy daw si hubby na tipirin ang gatas, kaya siguro tumamlay ang baby Ella namin. 😦 It just broke my heart knowing I failed in meeting the needs of my child. I know being a working Mom entails a LOT of sacrifices, but even having the justification of “no mother’s perfect” wouldn’t give me (or any mom) comfort. I failed. Period. But what’s beautiful about motherhood (and life, per se) is that we can always learn from it. One bad day would not make me a bad Mom, and failures won’t make me stop trying to be a good one.

Motherhood · Work

When you need to work but you’re now a Mom (and vice versa)

I am finally back to work today.

That means no more mornings to face these:

And I will now be able to actually enjoy a hot cup of coffee

But then, no more lazy mornings cuddling with this little one

It breaks my heart to realize that just when I’m starting to get around our daily routine in taking care of Ella, as well as be more attuned to what her cries mean, my maternity leave has now ended. The past two months has indeed taught me how difficult it is to be a homemaker. Keeping the house clean, tending to the laundry, clearing the dishes, and doing other household chores (mine do not include cooking, thank God! We eat with the parents, heheh) while attending to the needs of a very dependent newborn are all too dauntful and tiring, at times. Multi-tasking is the key in keeping the baby happy and satisfied while maintaining the tidiness in our home as well as the sanity in my head. But while all this housewife thing absolutely deserves more respect and acclamation, I still choose to get back to my work as a Guidance Counselor.

My students prepared a little surprise for meπŸ’•

Please no Mom-shaming here, but my heart just feels more at peace when I know I also bring something to our family table. I believe that in order to become the best mother for baby Ella, I must also become the best person that I can possibly be- and that means juggling all my potential to take care of Ella in my own pace and timing as well as to do things that make me grow as an individual. I love my family, I love my Ella, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them. But aside from the fact that we need our work for financial stability, I also need my work for my own growth and development.

I feel no defensiveness whatsoever in making this blog post. I also don’t need people telling me how to be a mother to my child, as I don’t promote the way that I do. Every mother is honorable and what she does is irreplaceable. Let her be the Parent that she wants and I know she is already the greatest in every possible way.