Sa mga oras na ito, nakaupo na ang bagong Pangulo, Bise-Pangulo, mga Mambabatas sa Mataas at Mababang Pulungan. Nasa kapangyarihan na si Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, bilang bagong Pangulo ng Pilipinas. Mula sa araw na ito, ang Bayan ay nag- uumpisa na namang mangapa, sa bagong liderato, ang kapakanan ng ating Bansa. Mahabang panahon na ang ating hinihintay, na magkaroon ng pagbabago at umangat ang Pilipinas. Napuno na ang mga Filipino, sa mga pangako ng pagbabago, pag-angat ng ekonomiya at kabuhayan, pagkakaroon ng matatag na trabaho, edukasyon, kalusugan at agrikultura, pero parang mailap pa rin ang mga oportunidad na ito. Ang inaasam nating pagbabago, ay hindi lang naman nakalaan sa mga iniluklok natin sa posisyon, kundi sa lahat ng Filipino. " Ako ang simula ng Pagbabago", dapat yan ang kataga ng bawat Pinoy, at kasabay ng katagang yan ang pagpupursige ng bawat isa sa atin, na gawin ang nararapat para sa inaasam na pagbabago. Katulad ng tema ng pagdiriwang ng Araw ng Kalayaan na ginanap dito sa Kani Fukushi Center, dito sa preperektura ng Gifu, "Kaya kung sama-sama, magka-isa para sa sarili at para sa Bayan." Bilang migranteng Pinoy sa Japan, asawa man ng Hapon, Japanese descendants, o OFW, ay may kanya-kanya tayong gawain o adhikain, na ang layunin maliban sa makatulong tayo sa ating mga pami-pamilya, ay makagawa din tayo ng ikaka-unlad ng ating bayan. Marami tayong magagawa, kahit tayo ay nasa ibang bansa, ay pwede nating ipamalas ang pagmamahal natin sa ating Sariling Bayan. Katulad ng sinabi ni dating Presidente John F. Kennedy ng Amerika, "Huwag hingiin kung ano ang maipaglilingkod ng Bayan sa yo, kundi hingiin sa sarili kung ano ang maipaglilingkod natin sa ating bayan."
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang Pinoy sa Japan.
I have been teaching in the Philippines for 10 years before I was hired as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) here in Japan last 2005. My 15 years teaching experience (10 years in the Philippines and 5 years in Ichikai Town, Japan-2005-2010) greatly contributed to my present position as an ALT of Haga town. This town, located here in Tochigi Prefecture, has a unique and more efficient English-Teaching System. To be this town’s English Teacher or ALT requires me to be a good teamplayer because I have to work closely and teach together with the Japanese Teacher of English (JTE) and the Homeroom Teacher (HRT). It took me about a week to adjust to my new teaching environment after my 5 years teaching job as an ALT of another town. In my previous town, I prepared my teaching plans and managed the class with the assistance of the Homeroom Teacher without the JTE. Being flexible among other qualities helped me adopt to my new classroom role and teach efficiently together with other two teachers, the JTE and the HRT.
Haga town’s unique and efficient way of teaching English in Elementary Public Schools were planned and supervised by the town’s Japanese Teacher of English (JTE) Ms. Yui Takahashi. It‘s my first time to work with a JTE and I can see the positive effect of having Ms. Takahashi in the English Education of Haga town, Japan. Ms. Takahashi prepares the lesson plans and teaching materials with my assistance. She does ask for my ideas which I can also give her at any given time. A week before the lesson, Ms. Takahashi conducts a pre-class orientation (uchiawase) with the Homeroom Teachers, explaining them the content of the lesson and how to go about it. It is the Homeroom Teacher who is challenged to manage the English Class. She (JTE) makes English Teaching more effective because both the Homeroom Teacher, the JTE and myself (ALT) know the flow of the lesson. A good teamplayer is a must. My role as an ALT is the promotion of internationalization, providing the class with the native level of English.
Our English class starts with two pupils coming to our faculty room and invite us to their class using English. “Hello Teacher Joseph and Teacher Yui, we are ready. Please come to our classroom.” This greeting is usually heard from the pupils. With the ALT, JTE and HRT in the classroom, our class starts with the pupils’ greetings, warm-up song ( ALT leads the song, JTE and HRT sings with the pupils). Lucky People (HRT calls 5 pupils to go to the front and communicate with me in English). Review of the past lesson (HRT ask the pupils to recall the past lesson, ALT presents the learned words/ sentences and JTE assist the HRT and Pupils). Presentation of the new lesson (HRT presents the topic, ALT presents the target words/ sentences using native level of English accent, JTE supports the ALT in the management of the class and sometimes to the explanation of the lesson in Japanese to further pupils’ comprehension). English Game/Activity (HRT, JTE and ALT) do game demonstration and then HRT and JTE manages the game while ALT [me] joins the pupils), and the class ends with the pupils‘ writing in their evaluation sheet (they write what they’ve learned during the class).
As to this writing, it’s my third month as Haga town’s ALT and I have been an effective ALT working with JTE and HRT. I am proud to show to my Japanese colleagues the following qualities in working with them, to wit:
1. Be responsible. If you are asked to do something, do it. If you need to be somewhere for the team, whether it is a meeting or to support the team at an event, be there and be on time.
2. Listen to other team members without trying to guess what they are saying or judging them. This is called active listening. For some people, it's one of the hardest things to do.
3. Be supportive. Compliment other members of the team when they have worked hard or overcome a challenge. Sometimes a person who gives everyone support is more valuable than the most technically skilled member of the team.
4. Communicate effectively. If you have a problem, explain it, tactfully, before it becomes too big. It's okay to let people know if you feel something isn't right, just remember to be respectful of others’ feelings when you express yourself.
5. Be flexible. Even if you have always done it one way, be willing to try another way. There is more than one way to skin a cat.
6. Contribute. Be willing to take on responsibilities and share the workload. This doesn't mean you have to be a martyr, but work with your team mates to make things happen.