To kick off the new CCD (Continuing Catholic Development) school year, 2015- 2016, CCD organized a special workshop for its teachers last August 08, 2015, from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm in the Parish Center.

In the light of our fast-paced age of technology and digital world, which our students have lived in since birth (digital natives in fact), teachers were equipped with more updated teaching techniques, principles and tools to more relevantly and effectively transmit God’s truths to their students.

The speakers were Mary Ann Tantoco-Eala, 31 years in the academe, the Director for Academic Affairs in Assumption College San Lorenzo, Basic Education Division; her daughter , Mara Eala , also in the academe; Marie Anne Carina Villalon (Rina), 12 years in the academe, an Academic Assistant of Assumption College San Lorenzo Basic Education Division, also an English Teacher and a former team leader of the English/Literature Department; and Marie Katherine Villarruz, 15 years in the academe, a team leader of the Social Studies Department of the Basic Education Division of Assumption San Lorenzo.

The focus of the workshop was Brain-Based Learning (BBL) – Its essence is to learn in ways that are compatible with the way the humans naturally function. Thus, BBL is the purposeful Engagement, of effective Strategies, derived from Principles.

The workshop tackled seven main principles. The first principle focuses on Attention and Input Limitations with the mantra “Too Much Too Fast Won’t Last.” This challenges educators to keep things brief, and yet maintain the students’ attention by creating a connection between the lesson and the lives of the students. The second principle spoke of Rough Drafts, which suggests that our brain makes sketchy “rough drafts” until there is a better reason to hold, revise or drop the new learning. The third principle is Developmental Learning, which teaches that there are ideal types of learning for each stage of our developing brain. With teens for example, the basic recipe is lots of love, bonding and good nutrition. The fourth principle is “Emotions Rule,” which asserts that emotions organize and create our reality. It stresses that emotions release hormones, which affect our memory and preferential retention thereof. The tool “Emotional punctuation,” for example, is a tool to evoke an emotion so the brain “locks in” a memory of the event. Principle 5 is Mind and Body, which says “ body influences mind and mind influences body”. It points out that physical exercise improves classroom behavior, academic performance, social skills, motor fitness and attitude toward school. Exercise and physical activity can actually change brain structure and increase brain cells. The sixth principle is Adaptive and Flexible. The good news in this principle is the concept of Neurogenesis, where humans grow neurons or brain cells, such that enrichment programs can actually increase IQ. It maintains that our brains are not static or fixed; they are constantly changing.

This means that SMART and GOOD teaching can positively affect brains for the better. The seventh principle is “Perception, not Reality” which, explains that “brains only know what it takes in perceptually”. Also, “how you see yourself and your life” determines how you see and treat others. On “tips” on how to change students’ perceptions about themselves, they listed * Affirmations * Structured Journaling*Framing (redirecting attention and focus, which can alter states) * Stories/Biographies *Experiences debriefed * Sharing your own personal experiences.

Overall, the very engaging workshop ended by highlighting the Ideal attitude in GRATITUDE, that unlocks the “fullness of life,” and turns…
What we have into enough and more
Denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity
A meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend

Organized by the CCD Committee (Katty R.C. Qua, CCD Chairperson, with the CCD Committee Members, Lia Te & Marivic Borromeo), assisted by Nancy Gonewai and Office Assistant Leah Azarcon, under the guidance of Fr. Reu Jose C. Galoy, SSAP Parish Priest – who opened our workshop with a prayer – the Teachers’ Workshop was an enormous success. It was indeed a deep and enriching learning experience for all the teachers, an excellent opportunity to bond with co-teachers highlighted with a sumptuous lunch that recharged, inspired and delighted the entire CCD team. The Workshop facilitators were indeed engaging, dynamic and effective in transmitting this very novel, timely and necessary concept of Brain Based Learning, which elicited vibrant, lively and spirited interactions between the facilitators and the teachers.