Since the middle of November, I have been teaching at Manila Science High School (Masci, as it is known to its students.) I was asked by the Department of Education (DepEd) to share my knowledge of physics, robotics and teaching with the staff and students here. It is a wonderful opportunity for me to work with some very intelligent and motivated students, and to learn about the Filipino way of teaching and learning. As a side effect, I am also being motivated and helped to learn the Filipino language (Tagalog). Ginoong is pronounced with a almost unvoiced "G" (not the "j" sound, but a "g" that doesn't quite come out) at the start and two separate "o" sounds: gino-ong. It means "Mister". Often accompanied by "po" meaning "sir."
Yes, we are also continuing with our explorations of the Philippines on the weekends. Our most recent expedition was to Taal Lake, just south of Manila.
Here are a few pictures from around the school:
This is the entrance to the school from Taft Avenue - one of the busiest streets
through downtown Manila. The LRT elevated light train line runs above Taft Ave.,
so not only do we get the traffic noise, but the trains rush by the second floor
windows every five minutes. Quite a challenge for teachers to make themselves
Once through the gate, you would see the entrance to the main building.
When I first arrived at Masci, this painted model of the cartoon character
"Guyito" had a prominent place in the lobby (temporarily replaced
by a Christmas tree.) There is a very
sad story about the promising young artist who painted this model: he died
earlier this year of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
After punching my timesheet, I generally go upstairs and across the bridge
to the Science faculty room where I have my desk.
My classroom is one floor below: room M22. This is where I have one class per
week with each of the eight sections: Einstein, Copernicus and Roentgen on Monday
afternoon, Lawrence, Franklin and Faraday on Tuesday afternoon, Newton and Mosely
on Thursday afternoon. Each section has about 35 students. My task is to help
them in those areas where they are having difficulties, and to provide instruction
in some extra enrichment topics in Physics. The enrichment of choice seems to
be Lego Robotics.
I am also supposed to be helping to run the Lego Robotics Club, but so far, special events have been happening with such frequency that our initial meeting keeps getting postponed. A few weeks ago there was a city-wide sport event, and there have also been a couple of Physics contests for which I was a judge.
Touring around the rest of the school, I've found the library on the second floor of the main building, just beside the bridge:
There is a nice little cafeteria and snack bar on the ground floor behind the science building:
And a large quad in the middle of the school. Sorry it was mostly empty when I took this picture, but the one below shows the choir rehearsing while the art students are preparing a large mural.