A seminar-workshop on "Teachers as Guidance Counselors, Companions in the Journey,” took place on August 20th at the Victoria Díez Center for Culture, Formation and Development in Dapitan, Sampaloc District, Manila. This was organized by members of the Teresian Association (TA) working in public schools. The event was part of the celebrations of the feast of Blessed Victoria Díez, teacher, catechist and martyr, whose feast is celebrated on August 12.
The seminar-workshop was led by Dr. Ester Bayani, TA member, Doctor in Guidance and Counselling. On August 20th, twenty-nine teachers (27 ladies and 2 gentlemen) attended. The heavy rain the night before and flooded streets was not an obstacle for these 29 participants to arrive and participate in this seminar-workshop.
The event started with a prayer prepared by Sharon, followed by the welcome remarks from Juanita Alonsabe. Annabelle de los Reyes presented a Powerpoint presentation about Victoria Díez, whom she described as a person who didn’t only teach but gave witness to an efficient, dedicated, and honest service.
Dr. Bayani was introduced by Teresita Amasol. The speaker’s approach to the conference was participatory. The teachers were divided into small groups; they shared experiences about the concerns of their students and came up with interventions that they thought could respond and address the problem situations. Likewise, Ester provided an exercise which presented different approaches in responding to the concerns of the students. The participants discussed and identified which is the most effective and right intervention for the given circumstances.
It seems that time was short for the participants. Hence, those present expressed their anticipation of continuing the experience in subsequent sessions.
The conference ended with closing remarks by Erna Arrollado, followed by a simple yet festive lunch.
Teresita Infante, from Manila, Philippines