Raising the Bar

raise the bar

THE THOUGHT of me becoming a terror teacher never crossed my mind. In the first place, I am not good at keeping a stern image because, being the youngest in the family, I am naturally sweet, and, being raised by parents who are faithful Christians, I grew up being kind and understanding.

However, a co-teacher told me that she overheard a senior student warning the freshmen that I am not the teacher to mess with. That particular student said that I have high standards and that I am difficult to please. In other words, I am showing signs of a potential terror teacher.

Others would say that they will remember me for these lines: “Never settle for anything less than excellent,” “Mediocrity is a mortal sin,” “When are you planning to go out of your comfort zones?”

Our students here can be considered to range from average to above-average. Generally, they have better IQ’s than most students in regular high schools. Despite that, I do not want them to to stop improving. There should be no end to making ourselves better each day.

As part of our classroom activities, I assign topics to my students, which they will present to the class. Prior to their report, I asked them to submit an outline and I required them to show me their presentations so that I can give suggestions for improvement. Normally, during the presentation, I would ask comprehension check questions and emphasize important points.

The last group of reporters presented their report yesterday. After their presentation, I expressed my disappointment. Being the last group to report, they had the longest time to prepare and they had already seen how the other groups presented their reports and heard the comments I gave about their presentations, it was about time to raise the bar. Expectedly, theirs should be one of the best presentations. However, they failed.

I am not stingy with praises and appreciation but I also wouldn’t keep my mouth shut in giving criticisms, especially when it comes to student outputs. I believe, it is my duty as a teacher to keep on encouraging my students to push their limits and help them ascend to greater heights.

I would always tell them to aim high and work hard to reach their aspirations. They should never stop strengthening themselves in terms of knowledge and skills because the outside world is much fiercer and they would be eaten alive should they remain weak.

Ariel Lalisan

Ariel Lalisan

Ariel Lalisan is a physics teacher at Alabel National Science High School. He is an advocate of constructivism approach in education. He employs active learning and independent learning in his lessons, and, of course, a lot of technology integration. His goal is to produce students who can solve problems on their own using the concepts they learn in the classroom. Ariel Lalisan is a Google Certified Innovator (Google Teachers Academy Southeast Asia 2014) and a community leader at Google Educator Group Sarangani. He is a co-founder of SoCCSKSarGen and he won the Globe Media Excellence Blogger of the Year Award in 2015.

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