Most achievers we know have certain habits they’ve sworn their hearts to that makes them thaaat good in doing what they do. Success is not all “talent”– it’s also diligence, faith in self, and discipline. Hmm.. Let’s put concrete steps to those seemingly giant concepts!
MindGym’s very own Coach Albert garnered a top spot at the LET while keeping his sanity, day job, and numerous career stints. In his speech below to students of his former review center (Manila’s MET Review Center, September 2009), he shares specific things one could do before-during-after “exam time”.
While doing what he did may not guarantee a topnotcher’s position in the LET, it could spell the difference between succeeding or passing the LET at first take and retaking the licensure all over again next time. What could those tips be?
Move, Elevate Teachers!
by Albert Basa, MPA
Third Place, April 2009 Board Exam for Teachers
Good Afternoon Teachers!
I am here to share with you my story.
From February to March this year, I spent my weekends in this classroom. I never noticed success.
Back then, I never noticed that I would enjoy the process of learning. It’s not easy to listen to an eight-hour lecture, but it paid really well.
I never noticed that I would have several friends in my batch. Our pictures are all over at Friendster. In fact, we already planned a small reunion this Christmas.
I never noticed that I would land to third place last April–A third out of fifty thousand is overwhelming!
I never noticed that today, I will be given the opportunity to share that very sweet success and inspire you too. Hopefully to move, to elevate you.
Right now as I stand in front of you, I am flooded with memories and my heart is bursting with varying emotions!
You may never noticed it, but you are on your way to success! If you decide to pass, you will surely pass.
Don’t worry, I will make this talk short and sweet– I can feel that you’re tired with lectures so I will lecture less.
I’ll just share with you my B-D-A approach to passing and topping the LET: BEFORE – DURING – AFTER.
“BEFORE” – Your Game Plan
If I were you, I would have made my plan of taking the LET “public”. When everybody knows about it, the pressure for passing the LET is greater. Remember, pressure makes diamond.
There is no substitute to good preparation. The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today.
Therefore, make your game plan: If you plan to win as I did, you will not be out of the game.
Game Plan One: Budget your test-taking time now. I used a stopwatch on my drills. I knew that in Math I’ll need three to five minutes per item and in social science; I can hit the correct answer in a split second.
Game Plan Two: Make a “correct” guess. Guessing is inevitable. No one knows it all. When I really don’t know the answer, I look for clues in other items.
Game Plan Three: Be O.C.! [Obsessive-Compulsive] If you are OC, you will attend to all the details. You cannot forget to share a Set A or Set B. You cannot miss a single item. You will double-check everything.
Game Plan Three: Plan your snacks. My snacks are planned. I didn’t bring anything “hassle.” I had three bottles of Lipovitan and a light lunch (pero pagkatapos ng exam, nag-eat-all-you-can ako!)
Game Plan Four: Pray hard. Pray and let God “worry” for you. You cannot afford to worry now. No doubts, no worries.
Game Plan Five: You need a very high self-esteem. Have someone tell you as often as possible “Kaya mo yan!”, “You can make it!”, “Magtiwala ka lang!”. How about saying that to one another now?
“DURING” – The Tips
Tip 1: Sleep early, wake up early. A sound mind in a sound body. Do some mental exercises and remember to eat your breakfast! Get to your testing place early and while you’re on your way, continue your positive self-talk.
Tip 2: Float your mnemonics! PIAGET – SPECIAL COFI, Freud – OA PLG, Kohlberg – PCP6, Erikson – TMAD IGII IRII GSID. I used chaining and rhyming methods to memorize lists and sequences. I have mindmaps for everything. [*] It’s a breeze taking the exam when everything you need to know are readily available.
Tip 3: Befriend your proctors. They will reciprocate your kindness. Ma’am Aida, my proctor, patiently waited for me up until 5:59 PM. I was the last one to submit my papers in the entire Adamson building.
Tip 4: Take deep breaths. You brain needs oxygen. When you’re stuck, move on. Concentrate despite distractions.
Tip 5: Make your self-affirmation constant. Talk with your pencils! “Lapis, kaya ko ‘to!” If your hand tires during testing, it’s probably due to your tense grip so realize that you need to relax too.
“AFTER” – Do’s and Don’ts
DON’T – Talk about the exam. File and forget. Refrain from talking about the exam the moment you step out of the room. The “contest” is done– you can’t take your test back. I didn’t open my cellphone until the next morning. It was flooded with text messages from friends asking for answers to specific items. Nakakapraning lang! Learn to ignore stress.
DO – Go back to the life you put temporarily on hold. Hindi umiikot o natatapos ang ikot ng mundo sa LET. “LET” GO!
DON’T – Don’t wait. Don’t even think about the result. The result will be released after thirty days. If you do, you will realize that 30 days is like waiting forever.
THE GOOD NEWS
I knew that it was an answered prayer from the very start. I make a good personal “investment”.
When I read my name on the list of successful examinees in the ‘Net last May 2, I was satisfied. I thanked God.
The publication of topnotchers was a bit delayed but I never expected it. 11PM, a Friday, May 2, ABS-CBN’s Bandila broadcasted the Top 3 in both elementary and secondary. I almost cried, not because I felt very successful but because I made my mother, a public school teacher for 25 years now really, very proud.
It may sound cliche but yes, it’s true that it pays to dream big. Dare to dream big. Dare to dream grand dreams and strive for excellence! Your vision will define you!
There is no end to education. It is not that you attend a review center, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole life of a teacher, I believe, is a process of learning.
This is the oath that I signed last June 5, 2009 at the Cuneta Astrodome. This is the same oath that you will have to declare this December.
Kaya nyo ‘yan! Look forward to a celebration! Look forward to embrace the noblest profession of them all! Salamat! ***