Sunday, July 27, 2008

10th Educators Congress, Tagaytay City

By: Noreen Manzano

Good morning my fellow Carmelian Educators. Today I am tasked to give you the recapitulation of what transpired yesterday.

Of course the sun shiny day started with the Morning Prayers facilitated by the Carmelite sisters from Caburan and was then followed by a Holy Eucharistic celebration.

At 8:00 a.m., we went back to the Convention Hall and we were spiritually nourished by the Reading taken from the Letter of Fr. Francisco Palau. We were then energized by the angelic voice of Sr. Gina Pios as the other three Carmelite Sisters, in the persons of Sr. Jane, Sr. Jojie, and Sr. Rosana, led us in the actions.

Then we proceeded to the meat of the matter. Sr. Lourdes B. Dizon, as the continuation of her talk the other day, explained the Forms of Evaluation employed by Father Palau, as well as his own profile or characteristics as an educator. She elaborated these topics by giving anecdotes of her personal experiences with the people she had worked with.

She motivated us to reflect on the three questions: (1) Which of the principles of the Palautian Education have you already applied in your teaching? (2) Which of Fr. Palau’s characteristics have you gained as an educator? (3) Which of his characteristics do you still want to possess? She ended up her talk by sharing with the group her favorite Psalms.

Yesterday was indeed an inspiring day and a day full of insights, since the organizers of this activity had invited a simple but a very learned person to help us understand the true essence of leadership. He is Bro. Armin Luistro, FSC who in his talk said that leadership is what we all struggle with. It is connected with power, authority and popularity. Its dark side can be coercive, exploitative, manipulative or oppressive. It can also be categorized into two: the external and the internal.

The core of his talk focused on the six (6) stages of Personal Power and Leadership which include:
1. Powerlessness by which the leader exercises his/her leadership by domination and force which results to fear and resentment on the part of the followers.
2. Power of Association by which the leader uses seduction or he/she makes deals that results to dependency among his subordinates.
3. Power of Achievement which utilizes charisma, charm or persuasiveness which eventually leads to winning attitudes; need for symbols of success. According to him many/most of us get stuck up on this stage.
4. Power of Reflection by which the leader leads with integrity and purpose which result to trust and hope. The leader in this stage does the right thing because it is the right thing to do.
5. Power of Purpose wherein the leader leads with love and purpose by which he/she earns in return. The leader knows the real purpose of what he/she is doing.
6. Power of Wisdom which is the highest level of leadership. When this is practice, it gives the leader a sense of higher purpose or vocation. This is geared toward the big vision of God.

These different stages were made comprehensible because he asked the participation of the audience thru quick sharing. He also shared with us inspiring quotes like the ones coming from Warren Buffet which says: “Would you rather be considered the BEST in the world and know privately that you’re the worst, or would you prefer to know privately that you’re the BEST but considered the WORST.”

Furthermore, Buffet as he had quoted said that there are only three (3) keys to successful leadership and these are: (1) clarity and rationality in thinking, (2) emotional detachment at work, (3) to be guided by an internal compass (scriptures) rather than what other people think or say. The scriptures or the word of God was said to be effective, efficacious and efficient.

In conclusion, he presented to us what Janet Hagberg said and I quote: “True leadership begins with the willingness to be someone other than who the world wants you to be.”

At 12:05 p.m. the group took their sumptuous lunch.

The afternoon session started at 2:30 p.m. with an ice breaker facilitated by the animated CM sisters. After which, Sr. Corazon Lobo led the prayer and she also facilitated the first part of the afternoon’s session.

She made us reflect on these questions: (1) what makes us as “the person”, as an educator? (2) Why do you become an educator? (3)Who influences you to become an educator? (4) What identifies you as a Carmelian educator?

Sr. Corazon Lobo also presented to us the Carmelite saints who should be our role models as Carmelian educators, encouraging us to know them even more by reading about their lives.

According to her, as Carmelian educators, our first role model should be Jesus himself who exemplifies himself as a model teacher in the different stories in the Bible.

Second is St. Teresa of Jesus who taught us the virtues of detachment, humility and love (DHL) and even good relationship. Third is St. Therese of the Child Jesus who is our model of simplicity and child-like spirituality. Fourth is St. John of the Cross who taught us that love and sufferings are indispensable. Fifth is St. Edith Stein whose devotion was to search for the truth. Sixth is Blsd. Elizabeth of Trinity who taught us the indwelling of the trinity or of interiority. Last is Blessed Francisco Palau whose principles of Palautian Education, the building of a small church, communion and service had been entrusted to us.

At 4:00 p.m. the group took the health break and when we returned to the hall, Sr. Nory Ordiz discussed Evangelical Relationship. We were made to meditate on the song “The Purpose Driven Life.”

According to her, Evangelical Relationship (ER) is developed thru love, thru forgiveness, thru the acceptance of the cross, thru understanding, mercy, communication, and dialogue and thru supporting and carrying one’s another’s cross. (Gal. 2, Col. 3:12-17). This ER requires time, moments of encounter, prayer, Eucharist, discernment, and recreation and rest. Human and spiritual communion is also necessary. In ER, there is reconciliation which comes from the deep experience of being loved by somebody. To break down the walls and to open the Spirit, we are called to be reconciled with ourselves. In ER, there’s also forgiveness which asks us to accept the others because he/she is human being. Reconciliation and forgiveness is the heart of fraternity.

Finally, Sr. Nory Ordiz said that as Carmelian Educators, we are called to be reconciled with God, with ourselves, and with one another.

As a follow-up to Sr. Nory’s topic, the big group was divided according to their respective community for the Reconciliation Rite which was facilitated by their principal/directress.

We were given a leaflet entitled Reconciliation as Spirituality which was made as our spring board for the said activity. Thru this rite, we felt comfort and solace as we made amends with God, with ourselves, and with our co-collaborators.

The day never ended there. The delegates as usual gathered in the hall for a film viewing which was scheduled at 8:00 p.m. The title of the film/documentary was “The Secret” which emphasized the Law of Attraction. It taught us to focus on what we want, not on what we don’t want. It also taught us that our thoughts and our feelings are the one’s that create ourselves; that all the power is within; therefore, it is under our control. It motivated us to be POSITIVE amidst all things. It taught us to “FEEL GOOD.”

So today, let us all feel good and be positive and the rest will follow. Thank you and good morning!

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