SEA teachers learn respect across cultures

By upao - Posted on 12 September 2018


“Even though we are from different countries and we have different cultures and languages, we still have to respect each other,” said Ika Wulandari, a SEA teacher deployed in BSU in August.

Incidentally, the BSU SEA teachers deployed in Indonesia and Thailand came home saying the same about respect. Jemah Faye S. Fabila, Judylyn A. Cholinas, Graciele L. Kinahingan, Kenjo Ernesto S. Bay-an and Nicol A. Bestre mentioned that they all had to learn to accept, adapt and respect the various cultures they were exposed to during their one-month stint as exchange student teachers.

While they were warmly welcomed by their host universities, they also had challenges. Bay-an spoke of the language barriers and age-gap challenges that he encountered.

“I was able to extract numerous valuable learnings (from overcoming the challenges) that I can embed in my strategies and techniques throughout my teaching practice,” he said.

For Bestre, he learned to be flexible to changes any time such as changes in schedule, activity, work, etc. He also learned to be humble to students and to try to understand how they communicate.

Kinahingan gained valuable experience in managing a classroom for inclusive education.

“The SEA Teacher Project has given me an edge that secures my future,” she said.

For Fabila, the practicum gave her a chance to apply her BSU education. “The practicum helped me build my self-confidence and independence. It also made me appreciate the lessons I had in BSU,” she said.

Meanwhile, Cholinas took the chance to share Philippine Culture, specifically, the Cordilleran culture to her Indonesian students. Like the Indonesian SEA Teachers deployed in BSU, Cholinas became close to her students that it was hard for her to leave them.

The Pre-Service Student Teacher Exchange or SEA Project is a fulfillment of one of the seven point education agenda by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) council and that is the achievement of quality education by revitalizing teacher education. The project aims to provide opportunity for pre-service student teachers from universities in Southeast Asia to have teaching experiences or practicum in schools in other countries in Southeast Asia. //JSTabangcura