Just Wow – Day one at Leganes National High School

Our new friends Zoilo, Pamela, and Barbara picked us up at the hotel to take us to their high school.  I expected it to be lovely, but I never expected a band and all the students to be lined up along the walkway waving Philippine and American flags!

Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjRbsB6tybM&feature=share

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After our very moving reception, we went to the office to meet with members of the faculty and administration. A team of photographers for the school paper followed us everywhere we went.  The mayor and other city officials also came to meet us and the mayor invited us to second lunch just as we were having second breakfast.  One of the teacher in the program told me in Manila that rather than Teachers for Global Classrooms, TGC should stand for Teachers Getting Chubby.

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The campus is surrounded by and embraces nature.  Everything was open and green.  Of course, it is very hot and humid, and the arrangement maximizes shade and breezes.  The outdoor gym has a cover for shade, but no walls.

Leganes National High School is filled with delightful students and surrounded by nature.

Leganes National High School is filled with delightful students and surrounded by nature.

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After the tour, Krista and I gave presentation to some of the students and staff about our own schools, and some general information about education in America.  The students were fascinated that my school provides breakfast and lunch, and that some students qualify to receive meals free or at a reduced rate.  They all go home for lunch, and teachers will share their own food with students who are not able to eat at home for whatever reason. They also enjoyed hearing about Ana, a former student at our school who was from the Philippines and blind. She was one of the top athletes on our wrestling team.

Our audience at our presentation about our schools.

Our audience at our presentation about our schools.

After our presentation we enjoyed extremely delicious fish and vegetables that the school had prepared, then went to join the mayo at the Sea Island Resort to accept his gracious lunch invitation. When we arrived they were meeting with tourism department members for the whole province.  We said hello to their members, then toured the resort, which just opened this past December and is still undergoing some construction.

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Afterward we returned to the school for team building activities.  80 students gathered in the outdoor gym.  I introduced a game where students stand in circle and hold hands with two different people, neither of whom can be beside them.  Then they have to untangle the knot.  The purpose is to learn about problem solving and cooperation.  Krista did a fun activity where students stand in a circle and follow commands such as jump in, jump out, jump left, jump right.  The trick is that as the game progresses, you may say or do the opposite of the command.  It was tricky.  Finally we had all 80 of them line up from oldest to youngest without talking as a way to utilize different communication skills. As we went along we had students reflect on the activities and share what they learned.

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At the end of the school day we met with English teachers who we will be observing on Monday morning and with whom we will be co-teaching in the afternoon.  We had a little while to work on our own before going to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Saluba to enjoy a wonderful meal of fish, shrimp, adobo chicken, vegetables, fruit and rice.   Even though it was my 5th meal of the day I enjoyed every morsel!

I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to be here and work with these wonderful, kind, hospitable people who always seem to be smiling.  What a gift!  I’ve learned so much already and truly hope that my being here can in some way be a benefit to them.

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