Shaping Lives through Summer Service Program

“It is evident that everything we do inside the classroom affects, touches, and will remain in their lives forever,” wrote the Spazio Bernado Group about this year’s Summer Service Program (SSP). Every summer, the PNS scholars from the Philippine Normal University (PNU) helped mold the lives of children in communities through education.

The SSP is the annual activity of the PHINMA National Scholarship (PNS) wherein the PNS scholars from the Philippine Normal University taught in different communities for a month. Through this program, the scholars are able to hone their teaching skills and help communities improve in their other academic and non-academic subjects

The Life of a Teacher

The SSP became an avenue for the scholars to experience what it’s like to be teachers. “Ngayon naranasan naming kung paano ang magiging buhay ng isang guro sa hinaharap,” Dante Gorembalem, an incoming senior from the Philippine Normal University said. A regular day was somewhat a cycle of waking up, teaching, or preparing for teaching. “Gigising ka ng maaga para maghanda ng iyong kakainin at instructional materials na gagamitin, magtuturo ka at pagkauwi sa bahay ay kailangan mong muling maghanda ng kakainin at lesson plan at instructional materials,” Dante continued.

The students experience both the ups and downs of being an educator. They discovered that teaching is not just about standing in front of the classroom, but it is about shaping lives. More importantly, the SSP solidified the students’ commitment to becoming future teachers. “Nakita ko ang tunay na buhay nang isang tunay na guro. Mahirap pero masaya, palagi kang puyat pero may mga estudyante kang laging nagpapagising sayo,” Hurry Pauner wrote in his electronic portfolio.

To touch lives

The SSP was held in five different areas – Bistekville 2 in Novaliches, Gawad Kalinga – Sto. Nino, Gawad Kalinga – Zabarte both located in Quezon City, MFI-Heal in Paranaque City, and Mano Amiga Academy in Bicutan. Despite the various locations, there were similar lessons that all the students learned. They students learned time management, teamwork, and adapting their teaching styles to the needs of their students.

Members of the PHINMA National Scholarship Alumni Association (PNSAA) visited the scholars to tell their own experiences when they first started teaching. They shared tips on lesson plans, discipline, and working together as a group. Most notably, John Lester Cajes, an alumnus of the program, went to the five sites to give a talk on positive discipline.

Through SSP, students were motivated to be the teachers that they want to be. “I want to be the one who will inspire and touch the lives of many by transcending the norms and limitations that is set by society.” Al-Jireh Malazo ended in his reflection.