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School of Graduate Studies, Doctorate in English

Foundations of Leadership
Lesson 1 – The Call to Leadership

What are the issues and challenges that teachers and staff must address in the global context, the
national context, and the institutional context?

Given the realities, what is the appropriate educational philosophy?

Pragmatic Humanitarianism

Education is the primary human instrument to achieving holistic development and maturity of
competencies such knowledge, skills, attitude, values, and beliefs (Magondayao, 2011 & Allen, 2009).
Education is considered dynamic and it carries the human civilization and generation under its umbrella
of encompassing and immeasurable growth (K-12 Basic Education Manual). On the other side of the coin,
this dynamic education from a far-reaching day of past to contemporary, has tremendously evolved in its
embraced to the global-wide culture of sharing through an ever dynamic of Information and
Communication Technologies. Information could be accessed, used, shared, and retrieved anytime and
anywhere under the saddening dependency of school stakeholders, particularly this generation of
learners, in electronic media with distinctive hazards and benefits. Education continually updates its
curriculum to suit learners which result to changes in educational policies and unending revisiting of
content and implementation.
Opportunity to learn now is everywhere. Cognitive, affective, and psychomotor competencies can
be attained in a click, however not momentarily. This brought education the challenge that “literacy is
now dependent not in the ability to listen, speak, read, write, or view, but, according to scholars and
theorists, in one’s ability to learning, unlearning, and relearning.” Today, in 21st century, new breed of
learners demands new means and pillars of active learning to know, to do, to be and to live together.
This global context extends its arms to the Philippines urging this country to embrace the
international educational systems and culture. Philippines responded with a yes, and change its Basic
Education Curriculum from 10 years of compress content to a 12-years of expanded and spirally
progressing curriculum in the K-12. This animates the country from its comfort zone which eventually
brought challenges due to a short span of preparation. The department of education is still wanting of
teachers, school buildings, instructional materials and facilities, revision of policies and rules, and the
challenge of implementation. It is clear in all school stakeholders that the choice to choose one’s career
is not really addressed with the K-12 due to lack of offered track and strands in every school causing them
to choose only which is available. It is considered that there are always the good, grey, and dark side of
development, which the country is dealing now but not yet enjoying.
The claimed communicatively competent and multi-literate graduates of the K-12 now faces the
challenges of continuing college for unalignment of their chosen Senior High School track and strand.
Some colleges offers bridging program that extends the time year of study and resources of the learners
who actually aiming to finish early and eventually land a job. Some colleges do not admit students who
don’t have in their credentials the enough number of units in the prerequisite subjects causing these
students to spend a lot in finding a school or stop schooling and be unemployed or underemployed.
In the Department of Education, Region IV-A CALABARZON, Division of Quezon, the effect is
similar. In Macalelon district where I teach as a Senior High School teacher, observing both elementary

School of Graduate Studies, Doctorate in English
and secondary, there is a number students which can’t be accommodated in the classrooms. These
students do are facilitated by their subject teachers in the gymnasium, in the façade, roofed pathways,
and under the tree. Teachers feel too much load and teaching 7-8 hours a day violating the department’s
memorandum of 6-hours teaching and two hours preparation. Teachers, are pushed to outsource and
refer to lots of materials both electronic and traditional from their meager salary. A lot of things are not
net considered, but generally, in our local settings, we are groping for what and how to cater the deserved
education of the learners and truly eradicate illiteracy.
Given this reality, I adhere to my educational belief of Pragmatic-Humanitarianism. It is
considered that education grows as the learners’ generation changes and teachers should keep abreast.
However, it should be reminded to everyone that the center of education are the learners. With this, an
in-depth research should be done in each locality to address what each community really needs. This
directs every resource properly and without waste of both time and finances. This brings relevant learning
and engage students who perceived the necessity of what is offered to them. As the current generation
is described to do only what they think perceived is good and easy for them. From this pragmatic view, it
should be accepted also, that learners are bound the holistic development of the abilities considered God-
given. Students need to be strong in their domains of learning and has to be well assessed. This could be
addressed by strengthening the core subjects. Every learner is a jewel in the crowd, considering them
individually unique and literate that has to be addressed in the class. However, make a student passed
the subject regardless of failing assessment is not saving them but endangering. All actions need to be
considered in results has to be foreseen. Likewise, one or two educational belief might not be enough to
cover the ideals of a teacher for the students they considered their children.
Considering our definition of a leader as someone finding direction and purpose for my students
and colleagues in front of critical challenges with moral aspect and is never value-free in all situations, I
am a leader. I involve judgement and act only on what I believe is right as Christian belief has taught me,
and with all my ability and collective capacity, I create things of significance and valuable as the context
demands. With all the endowed gifts I am as to love, authorship, power, and significance I build
teams/groups from small to big and have everyone in harmony being a bigger family ( life of Moses and
Joshua). I see to it that each creates in themselves intrinsically motivated spirit that stand for the sake
others and that one’s ability might be seen from their classmates like how a mirror does by projecting
another self. Partly, as a teacher, I am also a manager for being an organizer to achieve desired purpose
for my students in my role as a facilitator of the educative process.
If a servant leader is characterized by a selfless love for others before or never for oneself, I regard
myself as a servant leader. The living bible made it clear from both the old and new testament that
whoever god has chosen whether the kings, the judges, the prophets and disciples of Jesus are created
for serving. Their works are mandated by the spirit of God and act only as God said. It is clear that a leader
leaves everything for anyone or for all. Agape love is the empowering spirit God has shared that makes
one a servant leader. Out of this unconditional love, a leader put everything for God’s purpose. Leaving
our life for Christ is gaining the treasures God has promised. What is seen in a strong faith is more
important than all that can be perceived.
It is truly hard to become a servant leader as many has tried to hide (Jonas and Simon Peter).
Nevertheless, it must be reminded to everyone that God’s calling is irrevocable and since God’s words
never fail, what we can do is follow. God has created humanity to serve Him and not serve themselves
from the very beginning in paradise. Beyond these reasons, I believe I am ready to become a servant
leader. I have been practicing servanthood since I decided to be a teacher for all that I can be with and

School of Graduate Studies, Doctorate in English
not only the formal school students. God reaches everyone and not only those in one place. I similarly
believe that I can do everything with Christ who strengthens me and who will be with me till the end of
Handling feedback for me is like taking the words of a brother. It means consider them as my own
and not as a foreigner for me. It becomes both subjective and objective leadership when I take feedback.
I give priority to everyone fairly like my own children who sometimes commit mistakes and
misconceptions, but like a father, I would do actions like rewards and punishments for each. Likewise,
taking feedback involves that use of heart, head, hands and habits that gives me sound and sane
judgements that would build my credibility as how King Solomon has become unbelievably gifted in
Leadership is parenting. It is nurturing your own children and giving them all their necessities. It
is choosing the best for them like how we choose for ourselves. Leadership is educating our children in
the ways of life and ascertaining them as ready and strong holistically in every dimension of possible
learning. Being a leader, I would consider them successful if they can do what I teach them. When they
can stand to take my role from servanthood to apprenticeship to leading. Preparing them to take my place
does not happen in one day. It takes continuous modelling, demonstrations, facilitations, guidance, and
consultation to make someone successful as success does not happen in one moment and can’t be defined
by one-time winning or losing. Success is the summation of what one becomes in his life. Taking the
example of the disciples of Christ, He never left them and their spiritual communication is strengthened
by prayer. A leader succeeds by creating another independent leader of his/her reflection in innumerable
times as how I consider I succeed when I see myself in my students.
As a leader in relation to those I lead, I view myself as a parent. I am someone to understand them
and all their ways, someone ready to give them what I can in all my resources including my time and self.
I view myself as a friend, a barkada for them, a counselor, a teacher and an authority with both fixed and
flexible rules. It is necessary to take a complete assessment of our constituents’ characteristics which
makes a more influential and effective leader for them.
Concludingly, I realized that a leader is a servant who aims the best for the constituents through
influencing them in a proper direction, facing challenges with his characteristics and act on context. When
I serve my students, I serve not myself, I simply follow the lead the Christ Jesus has aimed and started.