Being a teacher is not my thing. I was worried that I couldn’t deliver the task given to me when I participated the Wetlands BioBlitz for Lumban-Pagsanjan River on 6-8 February 2019. The task given to my group was to teach eight (8) students the Rapid Assessment of Wetlands Ecosystem Services or RAWES for short. At first, I was nervous that the student might get bored and that every words that came out from my mouth would sound alien to them.
How would I even teach RAWES to high school students?
Together with Jaymes and Pudj, we tried our very best to give a simple description of wetlands and their importance to everyday life of human. To test if the students grasped the concept of RAWES, we let them enumerate the ecosystem services of Lumban-Pagsanjan River and grouped these accordingly – provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting services.
To validate the identified ecosystem services of this wetland, the students transformed it into a questionnaire and conducted interviews in three barangays surrounding the river. Their first five attempts were indeed a challenge since it was their first time to do survey and interview. They knocked door to door and got rejected by people who did not want to be interviewed. They started to feel anxious when they felt that time was running out and they hadn’t even reached half of their target respondents. Good thing about children is that they never give up easily until they learned how things work smoothly. As they went along, they gained their confidence and started to analyze the results of their RAWES.
Being part of the Wetlands BioBlitz is a one of a kind experience for me. I was a teacher for 3 days and I will consider it as an accomplishment because my students learned something from me especially on the importance of wetlands. I somehow envy these students because of this learning opportunity they had. Watching them the whole duration of Wetlands BioBlitz made me realized that learning and teaching is indeed fun and easy when you had actual application of these concepts and lectures outside the classroom.
I wish we also had Wetland BioBlitz during my high school years because it is indeed very interactive and best approach to understand and appreciate our wetlands and the ecosystem services they provide.