How My Imperfections Kept Me Going

For many people, it’s a point of pride to be a perfectionist. When I was just starting my career, I aimed to reach my highest potential. I decided to do my job perfectly so that my superiors will notice my performance. I realized later that perfectionism is counter-productive. I needed more time to revisit and correct my work. This attitude took away some precious time intended for my family just to put my best foot forward.

Here’s a list of what I did to change my paradigm:

1. I started to take risks.

Risk taking is necessary for one to grow and improve. I must admit that I communicate better in written form. The first time I was made to present to the CEO, my heart was beating at the rate of 180 bpm (normal rate is 60-100 bpm). My opening statement was, “This is my first time to speak before a CEO. I hope I can relay my message well to get your approval.” The CEO replied that I must consider that presentation as my second. The next presentations became easier for me, not to mention that I was one of the presentors during the launching of the new system to the highest official of my country.

2. I used my own ideas.

Following established procedures is safe and organized but this does not give me a room for stretching my thoughts. I do not go by the book. If I feel that I should take some initiatives to do things differently, I propose the changes to reach the target. I give weight to my intuition.

3. I became courageous to commit mistakes.

Living and doing things right is just a temporary shield in avoiding pain. Time will come that being perfect will prevent one to develop himself. It is acceptable to fail because of mistakes. These learning eventually molded me to become better.

4. I did the same things differently the next time.

I have second thoughts when at some point in my career, I put myself in an uncomfortable situation. It’s a given in our office that when you make suggestions, you will do the next steps to effect your recommendations. My share in reinvention, although unnoticed, increased my creativity and innovation. My reward may not be a promotion but I got more increases in my private life.

5. I became open to unpredictable demands.

Part of doing business especially in government service is to expect the unexpected. That’s why I am always ready with Plan B. If I insisted on the perfect option, I could have been in catastrophic mode by now.

All of us need to know what perfectionism may be costing us. Cut loose from any thoughts that prevent us from taking risks, showing initiative, learning in the process, developing our leadership skills, and growing in wisdom.

Be happy!

How I Started A School Without Even Planning

We started a daycare center primarily to accommodate age 3 to 5 children to help our community cope with providing free learning. Our circle of friends pledged monthly contributions to pay for the salary of the teachers. My family offered our place to house the children totaling 100 who would be attending nursery classes for 2 hours each session.

We made the place comfortable and the grounds became the playground of the happy tots. This project run for four years. All parents were satisfied to have their children in our daycare center!

In one of the meetings with parents, they sounded off that they are willing to pay affordable tuition fees to add comfort and other amenities. Their kids were actually developed in the learning center. At tender age of 3, some can already read simple words.

This opened our eyes to continue the good deed. “Let’s keep our pupils and startup a preschool and elementary,” said one of my friend. Then I asked where do we get the money to build a small schoolhouse?

To cut the story short, we were able to build three classrooms on the lot of another trustee, contributed our funds and sold some personal properties. We made use of the existing building to house the library where majority of the books were donated. A play area was also fixed for the children. SURPRISE! We were given permit to operate the school by government authorities.

For a new school, we were informed that they would only have less than 20 enrollees. It’s hard to attract parents try their luck in a school with still no name. But would you believe that we had 90 enrollees for the initial school year?

Here’s an example of how “good deed attracts good karma.” The parents were sure of our sincerity as partners in shaping their children. They even helped us enroll their relatives. The fees we charge are just enough to cover the salaries of teachers and the school’s electric consumption. Now they are in air-conditioned rooms!

We are now on our second year of operation. We are sure that we’re going to double our student population this year.

Looking back, I now believe that there are times in our lives when we should plan before making decisions. And there are times when we just let things happen.

I am on my way to fulfilling my dreams for my family, for my community and for myself.

P.S. If you are interested in knowing the ins and outs of starting a school, post a reply so I can get in touch with you.DSCN2588 I just want to share my knowledge to help new school owners.

10 CONSIDERATIONS IN CHOOSING THE RIGHT SCHOOL FOR YOUR KIDS

Sending your children to the right school is a major decision. Exclusive schools are the best schools but looking at the school fees they charge, it becomes impossible for a medium salary earner to provide better education. This writeup would help parents in selecting the schools for their children if they really want them to be prepared for the secondary and higher education.

  1. Talk to parents of your target schools. You can get some insights about each school and how their children learned and improved their social lives. Relate their inputs with the other criteria to be objective.
  2. Observe the pupils’ behavior. Are they behaved, courteous and smart? You do not want to mingle your kids with bullies.
  3. Check the school’s consistencies. Call its office via telephone and compare what they are telling you versus the school’s handouts. Compare the policies being practiced with that of its mission and vision statements.
  4. A good school provides the best communications plan. Does it have a website where you can check on information you need? Are you allowed to interact on website? Does it have a student handbook so that no miscommunications will arise among the pupils, the parents, the teachers and all stakeholders? Are you notified by the school in writing?
  5. Does the school comply with government regulations? Is it registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) if it’s a corporation? Does it pay mayor’s permit and municipal licenses? Does it have at least a permit to operate given by the Department of Education? Are the school fees approved? Is the school registered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and compliant with issuance of official receipts and payment of taxes? Do they follow the SSS and Philhealth regulations? These things are very important. You don’t want to enrol your kid if at the middle of the school year, it will be closed for violations.
  6. Plan a surprise visit to the school and its facilities. It is best to see how the school looks like when it is not prepared. Check the security  and sanitary situations.
  7. Will you get your money’s worth? Some schools charge exorbitant school fees but definitely not commensurate with the facilities and standards of the school. Some parents are willing preys to the connotation that high tuition fees equal high standard. All schools are good schools. But ask yourself if you are getting the same value for what you paid for.
  8. Schools with high standards do not display information so basic that any school should have or have attained. It should speak for itself.
  9. Ask for the student-teacher ratio. The lower number of pupils a teacher handles, the more attention your child gets. A good school has qualified academic staff.
  10. The last consideration is the school’s accessibilty and hospitality. Is the school location near your residence? Will the school keep your child in case you’re late in picking him up? Will your child feel at home in case  eventualities happen?

You are now ready to decide. Remember that in entrusting your kids to the school of your choice, you still have the obligation to be their teacher at home. You start becoming the partner of the school and engage yourself in building the reputation of the institution that you chose to be your child’s second home.

Finding a School

This is the time for choosing the school suited to the needs of your child. For well to do families, there are a lot of good schools they could choose from. I read the article of Ms. Noemi Dado (A Filipina Mom Blogger) and I’m sure, I’ll be following this up.

I find this article worth reading before deciding to enrol your kids in the school of your choice.