I TEACH PEACE CHAMPION ( DATU-AR DMALEN): Impact Inspiring Action
Considering that the school is the second home for children, the teachers play a critical role in a child’s life. People call teachers the children’s second parents because of the influence teachers have in children. It also signifies the gravity of their role in shaping how a child perceives life and approaches learning. Teach Peace Build Peace Movement recognizes the critical role of teachers in building a Culture of Peace in schools and communities. Part of the holistic approach to Peace Education is equipping teachers to be part of spreading the message of peace by becoming I TEACH PEACE Champions. In the one-year journey of the Schools and Communities of Peace Heroes Formation Program, the teachers have grown personally as well as improved their teaching strategies.
Mr. Datu-Ar Dimalen, a grade school teacher from Tatak Elementary School in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, shares about his transformation saying:
“I can say that I was a terror teacher, I was friendly outside the classroom but inside the classroom, I hear my students saying that I am a terror teacher, the classroom should always be silent.”
From that kind of attitude, after being part of Teach Peace Build Peace Movement, Datu-Ar shares that “Because of Teach Peace Build Peace Movement, I experienced change in myself when it comes to motivating children. Before I am a terror teacher, but now I am more approachable and affectionate towards my students”
Furthermore, through SCPHFP, he had a change in perception of a child’s capability, “I realized that the children should not be labeled – that we should look at the capability of each child, because we all have different capabilities, we learn in different ways. In that way the child won’t feel forced and won’t feel lazy to go to school.” In line with the changes in perspective and behavior, Datu-Ar also shares the teachers’ eagerness to integrate Peace Education in their subjects. “As much as we can we integrate peace in the subjects that we teach. Actually, in every subject, we try to integrate peace.”
One of the growth he has observed in his school worth celebrating is the growth of the population of Tatak Elementary School. Before Tatak ES only has 200 students but the enrollment increased which he think because of the involvement of the organization in their school.
The Schools and Communities of Peace Heroes Formation Program brought about different kinds of changes and learnings for the teachers, Datu-Ar’s story proves that the impact of Peace Education means affecting people for personal transformation, altering their way of teaching, and also affecting the improvement of the school as a whole. The journey does not end on impact but instead continues to inspire action, Datu-Ar shares his commitment as a peace advocate saying “Commitment in teaching peace and peace being integrated into the lesson plan is a big challenge. It is a challenge to maintain that commitment, our commitment to you as peace advocates.”
Soteya Trasadas is a graduate of International Studies Major in International Politics Minor in Peace Studies from Miriam College. She is currently a member of Teach Peace Build Peace Movement’s (TPBPM) Management Team as a Program Associate and one of the organization’s Lead Trainers. She is also a part of TPBPM’s Core Team particularly in the field of Secretariat, Communications and Assessment, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting.