Written by Lynda R. Erpelo, Teacher III, Nama Elementary School, Pozorrubio, District II, Pozorrubio, Pangasinan
HEKASI or Heograpiya, Kasaysayan at Sibika, is one of the fundamental subject areas in the elementary grades based on Dept.Ed curricula, along with English, Mathematics, Science and Filipino. But among these subject areas, to some, HEKASI, is considered a dull subject to teach. Why?
In my earlier years, I remember when HEKASI classes were a big bore. Dates, names of some heroes, or leaders, events, places; majority of them were a big nonsense. I didn’t find any significance in them, nor did I truly find the connection between past event, current events and my life as well. It wasn’t because I just disliked the subject or that I didn’t teach it. I just did not feel that “connection” to what was being talked about.
Years down the road, after having visited several museums, having listened to docents/museum guides, having seen many historic sites, and after having read quick history trivias, my interest started to soar. One reason, I could pinpoint as to why I was actually willing and eager to listen were the docents’ / museum guides’ own interest about the subject, the depth of the guides’ knowledge about the subject, and the guides’ story – telling skills.
Based on my experience, I could say that to become more effective in teaching HEKASI, the teacher should arouse the pupils’ interest in some events or a person from the distant past, and should be the most excellent storytellers. They shouldn’t just read HEKASI books to the learners, nor should the learners be called in class to read excerpts from journals just for the plain reason of passing time. HEKASI is full of action, quite intense at times, and very intriguing. Teachers should be able to translate those characteristics of HEKASI into something pupils could digest with gusto and with ease. Dates shouldn’t be memorized, instead they should be used as guides / timelines for the more important things like events and the how’s and why’s of a particular event. Why did something happen? How did it happen? What did it result to? Is this the reason why things are the way they are now? Etc.
So, I therefore suggest to be more innovative resourceful and intense in teaching and exploring the HEKASI subject in order to facilitate deeper and better learning of our pupils. In the end, you can be a better HEKSAI teacher no matter how ell or how poorly – you can teach now, you can teach better.