Spotted in Manila, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Big changes

Since arriving in Northern Samar, our team has been consistently inspired. The students fearlessly participate in class, are gifted with incredible soul in music, and so hungry to learn in every discipline we are offering. I am particularly moved when I realize the changes that have happened in Catarman since I was last here in 2012: the streets are cleaner, buildings are more cared for, and what I'm most excited about, Catarman National High School has begun steps toward creating a government sponsored year-round arts curriculum inspired by Project Philippines' workshops. Previously, CNHS did not offer any arts classes, however we could feel the school's deep commitment to giving their students everything they could, as well as their support for Project Philippines' mission and the arts in general. These qualities made it a perfect school to partner with for our residency. I fell in love with the students and staff at CNHS so it was so inspiring to find out that their commitment to the arts is even stronger than I thought since they are now offering arts classes, what they call the "Special Program for the Arts". The classes in this program are music, dance, theater, creative writing, visual arts, and media arts, and the students each have their own focus.

So with a changing program, it seems that the mission for our work here has changed as well: to work to educate the teachers on how to teach the arts. The staff that has been selected for these positions are passionate lovers of the arts and have had some workshops on how to teach their discipline. But with a brand new curriculum and no sample lessons, they have requested our help in developing these things. It is very exciting for me to think that real change is happening and something truly sustainable is coming out of Project Philippines. It inspires me to be the very best teacher I can be while I am here. 

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