Cynthia Lim, mother of three, did not think it is necessary to attend meetings called by Malanday Elementary School (MES) in Marikina City between parents and teachers.
Lim, whose two children are in Kindergarten and Grade 4 in MES, said in Filipino, “I did not know communication between parents and school was important.”
She said, “I did not even sign my (elder) daughter’s report cards when she was in Grades 1 and 2.”
Lim did not also try very hard to communicate with her daughter who was, she said, “in a world of her own.”
So when the girl was in Grade 3 last year and fellows of Teach for the Philippines (TFP) invited her to attend seminars and workshops, Lim again initially ignored the requests.
But the fellows were persistent so Lim, probably just to get them off her case, agreed to attend a seminar.
Finding that first session dagdag-aral (educational), she said it became easier to ask her to subsequent workshops.
“I learned that discipline did not have to involve spanking,” Lim said. “I had to talk to them (children)” and find opportunities for bonding.
As a result of the workshops, her relationship with her daughter started to improve, she said. They were now talking to each other more.
The workshops for parents were part of the package Coordinates for Life (CFL), which TFP and Coca-Cola FEMSA integrated into the standard Grade 3 curriculum starting last year.
TFP is a private sector initiative that invites some of the country’s best and brightest young professionals to spend at least two years of their lives supplementing and complementing instruction in the public schools by becoming classroom teachers. It also conducts training programs for public school teachers.
Clarissa Delgado, TFP chief operating officer and cofounder, said Education Secretary Armin Luistro suggested that the volunteers be assigned to Grade 3 classes, which had significant dropout rates.