So, it’s been 15 days since I’ve written my last blog post on teaching. Many things have happened.

Breakfast: One banana, one cup of milk, one cup of oats

Weight: Still 70 kilos. Oh yeah!

After four years of working hard, I finally reach my personal goal of having a student who wins first place at a competition outside school. One of my students has just won the division championship for the Science and Technology Writing Category in this year’s Division Schools Press Conference (DSPC).

In addition, another one of my students got 4th place (i.e. a bronze medal), while another one did not make it. At least, that’s two out of three students who make it to the next round!

Now, many of you will think why is this a big deal. Let me explain: Any win is a big boost in terms of instilling confidence among the studentry. After all, students are more likely to join if they feel that they are able to do it, they will do more of it.

Also, for me, having students who can win first place in campus journalism is a proof to myself that I can actually pass my knowledge to my students and produce results with it.

In addition, I wanted to show myself that I can train students from the ground up, turning them into well-rounded persons who excel both in academics and extra-curricular activities. I wanted also to show my students that being someone who can bring the fight to the field is not impossible at all.

The school’s campus journalism program is still small, as in very limited in scope. Considering that we have only like four teachers in the English Department, it’s certainly not easy to train students in terms of campus journalism, make a school paper and do it on top of the various things that one has to do inside the school.

Some may ask, “What’s the use of training young students to be competitive at an extremely young age?” The truth is that the 9-12 year old bracket is not anymore a young age; students may somewhat be able to think for themselves to a certain extent. Also, showing them extra skills at a young age allows them to have more avenues to explore in their later lives.

Personally, I tend to be the type of person who pushes hard to get to the top, regardless of the cost. I can completely understand why a top team in esports simply throws away their second and third-place trophies into the airport trash bin – If you aimed for the championship and failed to win it…and if you consider yourself good enough to actually do it, then anything lesser is considered to be an insult.

With that being said, we had at least two good chances to take first place, if only I was a bit better equipped to deal with students back in the day (2015 and 2017, respectively). At least, I am extremely happy that we were able to do it…and I’m pretty sure that my students are happy about the results too!

Lunch: two cups of rice, one can of tuna, mango juice

I couldn’t believe it when I heard from the Division (i.e. City) Campus Journalism Supervisor that my ward has won the Science Writing category. Holy crap!

Actually, I was confident that at least one of my students will place in the top 5 or higher, despite the fact that they have been trained only for three weeks (Ideally, students should be trained year-round and teachers should get students from the lower years to serve as apprentices, but time doesn’t exactly permit that setup – make that of what you will).

So, I was completely surprised when I saw the certificate and the medal(s) that had my students’ names in it.

Dinner: chicken soup, rice, iced tea

On another note, some people would ask what could someone get if one learns campus journalism at a young age.

Here are the things that one could get, based on hands-on experience and not from the book:

1. You get to go outside and see the real world.
2. You get to know the latest developments around you.
3. If you get to the National finals, there’s a chance that you can have a good trip at a nice tourist spot.
4. You get to improve your writing.
5. You get to get your English skills to the next level.
6. You learn how to think for yourself. There’s no coach who will help you; also, the judges can give any topic that they want!

Plus a lot more!

On another note, this brings us to the importance of making students learn empathy, interpersonal skills, etc.

After all, what’s the use of winning if you don’t become a better person out of it, right?

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