In Tough Times, Praise Him MORE…

Written last April 21,2011 @ Sinai Hospital 

During my 7 days stay in Sinai Hospital, I had a great encounter with God. He has given my heart a new song. Last March 20, 2011 when I lead the worship team the Lord impressed this verse in my heart (I shared with the congregation) “In ALL circumstances give thanks to the Lord for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” from  1 Thessalonians 5:18. It was easy to praise the Lord when we are in a good situation but when tough times come we sometimes forget to praise and thank Him. My husband said “Tough times call for tough prayers” and I totally agree. The Lord also taught me that “In good times, praise Him and in tough times, praise Him MORE” and He put a new song in my heart.

IN TOUGH TIMES,PRAISE HIM MORE

(April 18,2011 6:30 am-6:45 am)

When I am in good condition

I thank the Lord, I praise the Lord

For I know His love surround me.

You are my Abba Father, I praise you.

Chorus: O Lord I hungry for Your words,

I long to be in Your presence.

My heart and soul praise You alone.

In times I feel like falling,

In times I feel so weak,

When the problems are overwhelming,

You remind me to praise You more.

Chorus: O Lord I hungry for Your words,

I long to be in Your presence.

My heart and soul praise You more.

PS. My papa Pastor Henry Alim tells us: “In good times, praise Him.In bad times,do the same.”

Teaching in the Inner City Schools in the USA…A Truthful Confession from a Foreign Teacher

Yellow AngelTeaching in the Inner City Schools in the United States

A Truthful Confession from a Foreign Teacher

Teaching in the United States is no easy matter! Well, that’s an understatement to begin with. Let me start by boldly and truthfully saying that teaching in the US particularly in the inner cities takes more than guts and courage! Teaching is not a job; it is a mission! If you’re only for the money, you will not certainly last! Allow me to equate it with cooking. In any vibrant and a tasteful cuisine, you need some major ingredients to bring out the flavor that you wanted. In teaching, you need love and passion in order to strive in the teaching world itself, coupled with commitment and dedication to cater with the challenges and the wide-variety of issues students face on a daily basis. I along with the other teachers who have poured their hearts out into this profession survive the challenges of teaching in the inner city schools with love for the kids, passion with the job, dedication to learning, and commitment to make solid changes. I knew that teaching in the US, particularly in the inner cities, would be very different from what I used to have back home where students have respect and high regards to teachers; but I have always believed that if I would love what I’d do, and if I’d let my students feel the love I have for them, I would be able to pierce through the boundaries and breakthrough the barriers, ultimately making the difference— a ripple in the beginning, then transforming into giant waves. With God’s help, I have kept my mission and learn along the way. Let me share with you some of the challenges I have had, and how I have dealt with them. Others may have different experience either stronger ones or less powerful in many different ways, but they all meet at some points along the way.

Overcoming Challenges

  1. Students’ negative attitude towards school: When I plan my lessons I make it fun and interactive by incorporating technology, playing games, & using cooperative learning/group works, math stations, math projects and cross-curricular activities. I also stress out the importance of education. I encourage them to go to college and pursue their dreams and goals in life. To draw even the slightest inspiration, I even share my life story with them. As Walt Disney quoted “Dreams do come true if you have the courage to pursue them.”
  2. Lack of parental involvement: I see to it that I call parents in the first weeks of school. I introduce myself and give them good reports about their child. I constantly keep in touch with them via phone call, email or print progress report to keep them inform about their child’s class standing.
  3. Heavy workload: Aside from my full time teaching load, I also serve as a math department head and after-school activities coordinator. It is overwhelming at times but the keys to surviving are time management, organizational skills, and resourcefulness. It is also important to work smart. As the quote says “You don’t have to reinvent the wheels.” You should know where and how to find the right people and the right resources to do and complete the job.
  4. Higher school district and state expectations: Preparation and planning is the key to combat this and keep up with the overwhelming expectations. Always start with a goal in mind; it’s like going to a battle with a blueprint in mind. It is also important to make your expectations realistic and have an open communication with the administration. In that way, you can keep them in the loop of what’s going on in your classroom.

Above all it is our Lord Jesus Christ who keeps me going when I face tough times. When the work itself seems to be insurmountable, when the stress is too much to handle, I just kneel down and ask for strength and wisdom from the One who gives it all.

Recognitions

 

I am very blessed to have my life featured in “The Learning,” (directed by Ramona Diaz) a documentary film featuring four Filipino teachers from the recruitment in the Philippines to the actual teaching in Baltimore City. I received special recognitions like Most Influential Teacher in 2015 (Uniffied, Inc Filipino-American Educators), Teacher as a Hero (National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia),  Rising to the Challenge of Excellence in Education (Uniffied, Inc Fil-Am Educators), Hall of Fame and Outstanding Performance Recognition Awards (Filipino Educators in Maryland), Special Recognition as Community Service Coordinator (Engine 7 Ladder 10 Outreach in Philadelphia), Outstanding Performance Award and Special Recognition as Multicultural Committee Chairperson (Truebright Science Academy Charter School), Teacher of the Month (North Bend Elementary/Middle School), I also served as Middle School team leader, Multicultural Committee Chairperson and First in Math Coordinator (North Bend Elementary/Middle School).  I am currently  serving as a Math Department Head Chairperson and School Activities Coordinator (Truebright Science Academy Charter School).

I consider teaching my very own mission in this life, and it’s all because of God’s grace and mercy that I endure and overcome the challenges it comes with. All the glory belongs to our God Almighty!