At the signal of the bell, I entered the class on the fifth floor, calmly collected myself with a poker face, faced the entire class and decided to put my stuff on the teacher’s table.
As with our other classes, I started off by asking somebody in the class to lead the prayer. Then I told the class to take a seat and wrote my friend’s name on the wall.
ME: “Good afternoon, I’ll be your teacher for this semester. What’s this class again?”
CLASS: “English 1 sir.”
ME: “Oh okay, Basic Communication. Instead of discussing the course outline, let’s get to know each other, shall we? Who here are from outside Cebu? How about you, why did you choose to study at this school?”
PRETTY STUDENT: “Well sir, because this is the best school outside of Manila.”
ME: “Yup, I guess you’re right. How about you, what are your expectations for this class?”
FRIEND: “I expect this class to be fun and informative sir and that I will get a perfect grade.”
ME: “Confident. Let’s give this gentleman a big round of applause. Now, one by one, introduce yourself to the whole class, your hobbies and your motto in life, starting from this row.”
I really don’t know what got into our heads but I guess me and my friends were just really bored that time. I was on my third year in Engineering and it was the first day of school in June. To spice things up on our very long break waiting for our next class, one friend of mine proposed we do a harmless prank on first year students just for the fun of it.
We were actually victims of this same prank. I guess it was a welcoming tradition.
The idea was basically for me to pretend to be the teacher for a random class and just go with the flow.
Why me? Well probably because I looked the part. I was wearing glasses, a polo shirt and my overall physique was actually quite commanding.
Just when things were about to get interesting, I received a text message telling me that the real teacher was on his way to the classroom.
OH MY GOODNESS. IF I GOT CAUGHT, I’M DEAD. NOW IS THE TIME TO PANIC. HOW DO I ESCAPE THIS?
ME: “Excuse me class, I need to get something from the faculty room for a moment. Just write your attendance on this sheet of paper for today.”
Getting out, I smilingly greeted the real teacher on the stairway. Seeing the coast was clear, I ran all the way five floors down to the canteen and regrouped with my buddies. With cold sweat dripping on my face, I rejoiced at the thought that I got away scot-free. I swear, I’ve never felt more alive ever since. I guess we idiots successfully accomplished our mission.
Two years later, we were drinking the night away after class at a nearby watering hole with new acquaintances discussing about pranks we did in school. Guess what? The pretty student I called to recite that time was sharing our table. She actually thought I looked familiar and told me that there was someone who looked like me who entered their class on the first day but never came back which confused them since another teacher came in after him. I had no choice but to confess my sin, which resulted in some high-fives, new pals and awkward laughter.
I actually remembered this college prank memory upon watching this hit Indian movie about three friends who were studying engineering and their epic misadventures.
The story revolved around Rancho, a guy who questioned the way engineering was taught which he applied through this utopian school in a picturesque location wherein the students were encouraged to follow their inclinations and interests, challenging the traditional educational system.
There was also another movie revolving around Bartleby Gaines who got rejected to all the universities he was applying to which gave him an idea to make his own college and calling it South Harmon Institute of Technology (SHIT) where all the misfits got accepted. In there they made a curriculum based on what the students wanted to learn, a good mix of subjects that will truly prepare them for the real world.
Do Schools Kill Creativity?
One of the most popular ted talks ever was where Sir Ken Robinson expressed that the system is outdated churning out burned-out students like that of an assembly line in a factory. There’s no recognition of individuality and thinking out of the box anymore since everything is by the book.
Who would’ve thought a school challenging the traditional Filipino educational system was already existing here in Cebu for eight years?
Here are five things you need to know about EC2 Excellence Academy:
- Individualized Educational Program (IEP) – kids learn at their own pace without competing with each other and their subjects are custom-picked for their needs
- Small Class Size Format – the teacher-student ratio is 1:4 in Preschool and in 1:12 Elementary which assures proper attention and learning effectivity to every student.
- Experiential Methodology – the kids have Activity Fridays where they get to visit attractions in Cebu and gain real life experiences
- Li+Nu+S (Literacy+Numeracy+Science) Adaptive Curriculum – it covers DepEd’s basic education curriculum but with emphasis on Math, Science, ICT and communications literacy.
- Maria Montessori and Howard Gardner Balanced Approach – It’s an alternative to the dialectical swing from the current big classroom sizes (that deprives kids of much needed attention) and home-schooling (that deprives kids some opportunities of socialization).
If i were to teleport back in time, i’d probably ask my parents to let me study here, if only it was possible. Later!