My name is Resie Fernandez, currently serving as the Acting Elementary School Principal. I come from the Philippines but have been living in Cambodia for the past 17 years. I was a teacher for 21 years and promoted to different school leadership positions. The experience honed my skills in equipping and building the capacity of the people around me, especially my team. After completing my master’s degree in 2003, I moved to Cambodia and taught university students in the area of principles and methods of teaching.
For eight years, I worked with my students in reaching their communities; providing English classes to children, and working alongside them in small community development projects. Following these eight years of working with students, I managed a Singaporean owned language school. I led a team of national teachers and trained them to implement the Cambridge English Program and Singapore Maths.
I believe education is transformation. When a real learning process takes place, it changes the person’s perspective about himself/herself, family, community, and the world. I believe it is important to develop students’ mindset and their ability to think. Change of perspective begets a change of behavior that results in a transformation of life.
Being an educator is one of the things that inspire me to appreciate life. As the famous Aristotle once said, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” The beauty of being a part of the upbringing and character moulding of children from around the world is a treasure that all teachers must see. I am glad I did.
Having been in the education sector, and serving the CIA community for more than a decade now, I was able to develop the belief of “Teachers are facilitators, not instigators”. I am a strong believer that children learn best if they are guided and not if they are told. All children are capable of reaching their full potential once support is given, rather than being ordered. Witnessing this daily, I am confident that I, together with CIA FIRST, am shaping young individuals in a way that is helpful for their future.
How do I do this? How does CIA FIRST do this? How do we do this? The school-wide implementation of HoM at school serves as my backbone for me to deliver what is best for all the children, and to the whole school in general. HoM is the tool someone needs to face any professional or personal encounters successfully. CIA FIRST envisions students to be not merely a product of academic support, but rather, students that are holistically ready in facing life’s circumstances along the way.