F.I. CONVENTION 2021: Sharing the Path of Mo. Candida in Elevating-Keeping the Standards in the New Normal

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In line with the celebration of the 150th Hijas Jubilee, the Academic Committee of the Team on Educative Action organized the F.I. CONVENTION 2021 for the faculty and staff of the Hijas de Jesus schools in the Philippines on November 19, 2021. This half-day online event was participated in by the FI sisters, administrators, faculty, and staff of all FI schools in the Philippines.

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Sr. Emelinda Falsis, F.I., Provincial Superior

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1. FI CONVEntion

 Ms. Jessa Jane Tugbo (CHJ) made the virtual gathering exciting as she smoothly facilitated the flow of the convention. A beautiful prayer led by Stella Maris Academy commenced the convention. After which, Mrs. Rosalie A. Idulsa, chair of the Academics Committee, welcomed the participants as she expounded the rationale of the event.

In her inspirational message, Sr. Emelinda C. Falsis, FI, Provincial Superior of the Hijas de Jesus – Indico-Pacific, stimulated the participants by asking, “Whose path does the school you administer and work in follow and share with others?” She emphasized that ideally, following the tradition left by St. Candida, FI schools must radiate the characteristic traits of filiation, fraternity, Christ-centeredness, a deep devotion to Mary, universalism, care for the needy, and care for our common home. She asked everyone to contemplate which of these have we truly embraced and are visibly seen in the school’s curriculum, activities, and programs.

Sr. Lynn inspired the participants to make their respective communities faithful and consistent with the ideals of Mo. Candida.  She cited that it is important to keep the standards in relevance while keeping the essentials secured. This is possible by developing cultures that may guide the schools in going forward, namely: (a) Culture of Care for our Educative Family; (b) Culture of Diversity and Inclusion; (c) Culture of Collaboration, Networking, and Synodality; and (d) Culture of Discernment in Common.

In conclusion, Sr. Lynn posed a reflection point for the participants, asking them to identify what is truly essential and indispensable in their respective school communities. She exhorted everyone to review and ponder on the practices and culture of each school, and seek ways to become more loving, discerning, collaborating, and listening to the people around them, especially the vulnerable and the voiceless.

With the theme, “Sharing the Path of Mother Candida in Elevating-Keeping the Standards in the New Normal,” the FI Schools Convention 2021 offered an opportunity for all FI schools to come together as a family of Mother Candida and reflect on the invitation to share her path in maintaining and continuous updating of our Hijas schools according to her mind and spirit. The coming together of the different schools provided an opportunity for them to share their reflections and best practices that enable their schools to be in keeping with the defining characteristics of the school that Mother Candida envisioned. Finally, with the help of several experts in the different fields of education who graced the event, the convention helped the participants in upskilling their needed competencies in response to the demands of existing school contexts and adopted the learning modality of the schools.

 After Sr. Lynn’s inspirational message, the participants were grouped according to their preferred topics. The first three concurrent sessions were intended for the teachers.  Concurrent Session 1 on Art of Questioning was facilitated by Mr. Philippe Jose S. Hernandez. He is the incumbent Supervising Teacher for English at the University of Santo Tomas, and the Acting Director of the University’s Communications Bureau.

The speaker accentuated that a question can provide information to monitor the learner's understanding and comprehension. This can be useful for both the learners and the teachers in a way that the teacher can design an effective lesson plan based on the status of the learners, while the learners will be aware of the points of the concept that they need to study further. Thus, the speaker encouraged the participants to prepare, well-constructed and purposive questions that can be used as a springboard for an effective teaching-learning process. The session’s moderator was Mr. Edsel John R. Malones (SJCHS), while the technical in-charge was Mr. Beethoven James Arong (SHS).

2 NARCY ADOR 

 Concurrent Session 2 on Creativity in Curriculum Design was facilitated by Dr. Narcy F. Ador Dionisio, the Supervisor for Curriculum and Research of the Apo Jose Catholic Educational System Foundation Inc. in Nueva Ecija, and a Board Member of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP).

The resource speaker emphasized that a well-designed curriculum plays a major role in the process of providing quality education to the clientele. He added that it is important to revisit and evaluate the curriculum from time to time to see if it is still relevant and responsive to the needs of the time. He proposed that the school must establish a professional teaching environment so that everyone is involved in the revision and improvement of the curriculum. Among the considerations that he suggested are: Academic Teams, Subject Expertise, Protected Time, Professional Development, Calendar of Curriculum Development Activities, Teaching Assignments, Strong Instructional Leadership Support, System of Curriculum mapping, and understanding of the School’s vision and mission.

Ms. Angelica Pulgan (CIC) acted as the moderator of this session while Mr. Michael Go (SHS) provided the technical support.

3 ARVIN GESLANI 

The first group for Concurrent Session 3 on Appropriate and Effective Teaching Strategies for Online and Modular Learning Modalities was facilitated by Mr. Arvin Geslani. He holds a degree in Education major in Mathematics and is completing his Master of Arts in Mathematics from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Currently, he is the Scholastic Philippines Senior PR1ME Mathematics Consultant. On the other hand, ...

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...the second group was facilitated by Mr. Emmanuelle C. Manalang, a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, minor in Business Administration, Magna cum Laude from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. He also finished his Master of Arts in Education Major in Education Administration from UP.

The two resource speakers explored the appropriate and effective teaching strategies for Online and Modular learning that may encourage greater participation and engagement from the learners. They also tackled different actions to consider in an asynchronous and synchronous session for students' engagement. The presented strategies in the session promote flexible thinking and teach students the importance of shifting approaches to different tasks.

Mr. Alejandro Bagonoc (SJS) served as moderator of Group 1, while Ms. Genelyn Ocariza and Ms. Novelyn Amancio moderated the second group. Technical Support was provided by Mr. Miguel Rodrigo Catral (SHS).

4 DESIDERIO CAMITAN

The last two concurrent sessions were intended for the staff.  Concurrent Session 4 on Empathetic Communication in the New Normal was facilitated by Dr. Desiderio Camitan IV who obtained his Master of Arts in Education major in Special Education and Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology. His work experience includes an Assistant Professor in iAcademy; Head of Student Affairs of Makati Medical Center College; Asst. Professor of Manila Tytana Colleges and currently a lecturer at the University of the Philippines.

In this session, the speaker defined empathy as the ability to emotionally understand what other people feel by imagining oneself in others’ shoes. The exposition of the topic was divided into four parts: (a) What empathy is and what it’s not; (b) The four parts of empathy; (c) Barriers of empathy; and (d) Responding to students with empathy.  In each part, the speaker gave meaningful samples and experiences that made the topic more relatable to the participants who considered the session very relevant, most especially at this time of the pandemic. 

The moderator of the session was Ms. Sheremae Alcantara (SHS) and the Technical in charge was Mr. Leonard Umpad (SHS).

5 DONDON BUENSUCESO

 

Concurrent Session 5 on Resilience in One’s Work was facilitated by Mr. Dondon B. Buensuceso. He finished his doctorate degree in Philosophy major in Educational Leadership and Management at De La Salle University (DLSU)-Manila. He earned his master’s degree in teaching Mathematics from Philippine Normal University-Manila and 18 Units in Master of Arts in Education Major in Mathematics at PNU North Luzon.

Mr. Buensuceso gave a few tips on how to strengthen one’s resilience in one's work. He cited four values that are essential in improving one’s grit: (a) courage, (b) openness, (c) flexibility, and (d) innovation. These four traits empower a person to overcome setbacks and challenges that one encounters not only in the workplace but anywhere else. The session’s moderator was Ms. Regine Sillonar (CHJ), and assisted by Mr. Vincent Lechadores (SHS).

After almost an hour and a half of productive, academic, and formative discussions in the different concurrent sessions, the participants gathered again in the plenary session where several participants shared their impressions. One of the participants, Ms. Evangeline Onglatco (CHJ) expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to learn the latest educational trends and new strategies which she can use to deliver fun and engaging lessons. Another participant, Mr. Ariel Cañete (MS) affirmed that these new ideas and skills are definitely applicable and helpful in the classroom. Likewise, Ms. Rodilla Tumanda (SMAD) articulated her gratitude to the organizers for providing an avenue to upskill the teachers and staff.

The Speakers

Moderators

The Participants

 

 

Mrs. Brenda Garces (SHS) thanked all the speakers and participants as she delivered the closing remarks. She also thanked the sponsors of the event, namely, Phoenix Publishing House, Rex Bookstore, Salesiana Publishing, and Scholastic Bookstore.

The convention ended with a grateful note through a closing prayer led by Manresa School.