By: Julius G. Malto

Since I started attending the summer staff training way back during the Christian Educators’ Training (CET) in 2006, I have always been hearing this quote: “Sharpening the axe.” This quotation was actually taken from Abraham Lincoln, when he said, “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six hours sharpening my axe.” More woods get cut with a sharp axe. It implies spending more time in preparation. Preparation gets you ready to properly do the work.

The CET is one of the signature trainings that School of Tomorrow®, Philippines (SOT®P) provides for the staff members of schools utilizing the ACE-SOT® system. The platform on which the school staff get to “sharpen their axe” for the coming school year.

The goal of the CET is to equip supervisors and monitors with the appropriate knowledge and skills that are necessary for implementing the A.C.E.-SOT® system efficiently and effectively. By taking the CET annually, the staff members get a chance to reflect on their experiences from the previous year. A staff member, especially a supervisor or monitor, might have been serving in the learning center for several years already, but there might still be certain areas that he missed in the Procedures Manual, and CET prepares him to do things better in the following school year.

CET provides avenues for informative and helpful insight through the PACEs that the school staff will be taking during the training, the lectures that we have prepared, plus the activities that are going to be engaged in by the trainees with other staff from other schools, so that they will be equipped to be ready to begin the school year right. The participants get the chance to interact with various individuals from other schools as well. They share and learn from each other’s experiences through actual scenarios in handling the learning center. Working on the PACEs may seem repetitive year after year, but the trainees will be able to gain fresh insights out of it. The learning center staff will be able to reflect on themselves as they work on the Procedures Manual PACEs. They will be able to see whether their practices in their own learning centers that have become routine are already in line with the proper procedures that the manuals suggest.

So, what do we expect from this year’s CET? Aside from the objective that trainees will articulate and demonstrate understanding of the philosophy of individualized Christian education, the following are the expected outcomes that the learning center supervisors and monitors will gain after they attend the CET: first, they will exhibit mastery of the learning center procedures; second, the staff, both the supervisors, monitors, and administrative staff, will be able to apply proper diagnosis and prescription and course of study projection for elementary and high school students; and for Preschool and ABC staff, they will demonstrate familiarity with the lessons and sequence of the reading programs. 

Here are some takeaways from some of the trainees in CET 2023: 

In Palawan:“Why join CET every year? It is my third year attending, and it is refreshing to answer the same PACEs with a different level of maturity. Somehow, because of growth and experience inside the learning center and in life, you will find the training to be still new and fresh. It renews and refreshes us… So, I encourage you to be part of the CET yearly and see where God takes you.”

In Makati: “The CET is a great avenue for Christian educators to be encouraged in our ministries. The PACEs and activities helped us further refine what we are doing in our respective schools.”

In Iligan: “I am grateful for SOT’s consistency in promoting and holding CET every year. Every educator greatly needs to be refreshed and reminded of the reason why we have ACE schools.”

In Tagaytay: “I appreciate the CET. I am blessed and encouraged spiritually. I enjoy the gentleness of the staff and their Godly character in supervising and guiding us. It’s really a great honor to be part of the training.”

In Pasay: With the topics, PACES, daily devotions, plus the Godly character of the trainors, I was once again refreshed, encouraged, and challenged. This year’s CET was worth attending. Thank you so much for your passion to teach the teachers. I thank the Lord for you. Thank you so much. 

In Cebu: “I truly count it as a wonderful privilege in serving the Christian Education ministry (SOT). I enjoy learning in this CET, even though this my 4th time in face to face CET, I believe that this is really important to have CET every year, so that we will be reminded and get encouraged in pressing towards  the mission that God has entrusted to us. It’s a blessing as well to meet some co-trainees, we can be inspired by their stories and testimonies.  And I’m grateful as well for our trainer whose enthusiasm brings good motivation and a life that speaks of faithfulness towards the mission.  God bless us more abundantly. Onward Christian Education!”

In Dipolog: “The facilitators are very approachable. They warmly welcomed everyone. Through CET, we had the experience of simulating the procedures that we are going to apply in our own respective learning centers. I’ve learned so much from this training.

Yes, just as some of these dear trainees, we encourage you to be part of this year’s CET! Training should be an ongoing affair because learning never stops. SOT®P is committed to providing academic excellence through annual staff training. Do your part. Commit yourself to attend the training, and the benefits are yours to enjoy.

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