Educator Spotlight: Meet Jimrey Buntas Dapin
Teacher and trainer in Philippines advocates for global learning with technology
This story is part of a weekly series that celebrates outstanding teachers in our Flipgrid community. Stories by Angela Tewalt.
After five years in education, Jimrey Buntas Dapin made the courageous decision to move from his home in the Philippines to work for the railway industry in Saudi Arabia.
It’s a bold yet temporary move – his heart is always in teaching – but it’s a necessary one to follow through with his commitment to his students. Jimrey believes in a global education for everyone, that in order to make a difference, we must first understand the world in which we serve, and we must embrace opportunity from everywhere.
So Jimrey set out to explore the world himself. If he is to encourage his students to engage in people and culture and ideas from far away, then that encouragement begins with his own experience.
“I describe myself as a teacher who is always thinking of global citizenship,” says Jimrey, who was teaching high school social studies in Cebu City, Philippines, and training teachers as well. “I use technology as a tool for my students to discover the world, to engage with different learning experiences or different dimensions of learning. I want them to know that learning can take place with anyone, anytime and anywhere.”
Teaching is Commitment + Dedication
No matter where he is, Jimrey stays connected to teaching through his great advocacy of tech. He has continued to train teachers for free and soon plans to offer livestream webinars for both his students and teachers.
But the digital connection is nothing new. Back in his classroom, you would find Jimrey’s students waving to classrooms in India, smiling to friends in Russia or asking big questions to teachers in Japan while on regular video calls. To see faces from around the world was simply part of his teaching. Not only did it introduce new cultures to his students, it helped them to build relationships.
“Technology allows for inclusive education, but I also want to emphasize to my students the value of communication,” Jimrey says. “I want them to know that you can agree with people, you can disagree with people, but we must be open to any ideas that other students want to share. Then, once you have open communication, learning will follow, and harmonious relationships will follow.”
Jimrey cares so deeply about teaching. He is young, energetic and vivacious, and even though he is strict in the classroom, he is also the teacher who is always checking in with his students and taking care of them. He knows that his impact begins with imparting knowledge, but it sustains with compassion.
“You cannot teach if you don’t have heart,” Jimrey says. “I remember I struggled at first, because I was still searching for who I was as a person and as a teacher. That first and second year, I was identifying and exploring my strategy and my pedagogy for each group of students. But by that third year, I finally realized they didn’t need more knowledge, they just needed my attention and love!”
You can see his dedication through the eyes of his students. On video calls, they smile wildly, so eager to connect and learn, and on Flipgrid, they are joyful, proud, confident and happy. In opening up the world to his students, Jimrey opened up his own heart, too.
“In my five years of teaching, I feel so fulfilled and so happy,” Jimrey says. “And it’s because I enjoy teaching. I know this is a calling for me. I want to make an impact – not just for my community, but for the world and our society.
“So I know, for me, the best profession is being a teacher, and I want to encourage other teachers all over the world to ask themselves what I am asking myself – especially in this time of the pandemic crisis, right? – I want to ask, what kind of impact do we really want to make in education?”