Cebuano teacher fosters valuable Math skills to young students, promotes appreciation for the subject's fundamental relevance in the real world

Sheila Mae Manlangit.
Sheila Mae Manlangit.

IN THE world of teaching, the path of a teacher often mirrors that of a student: full of ups and downs, discoveries, and moments of joy. This is the story of Sheila Mae Manlangit, a devoted teacher whose love for math and dedication to her students have shaped her career, even across different countries and cultures.

Sheila Mae Manlangit began her schooling in Toledo City, Philippines, at Fulgencio Dolino Elementary School and later at Bato National High School. It was here, amidst math clubs and contests, that she fell in love with numbers. These early experiences sparked her passion for teaching.

She then went to Cebu Normal University (CNU), a well-known school with a strong teaching program. She studied mathematics and learned how to teach through hands-on experiences. As a scholar, she interned and volunteered, learning how to teach in real classrooms. During her graduate studies at the University of the Philippines Cebu, Manlangit majored in mathematics. Her experience involved conducting research projects, which provided opportunities to explore new teaching strategies, develop innovative instructional materials, and contribute to the advancement of mathematics education.

Moving to the United States, Manlangit had to change how she taught to fit the new system. She learned about American teaching methods and how to include students from different backgrounds in her lessons. Because students come from different cultures, Manlangit made sure everyone felt welcome and respected in her class. She used examples and activities that everyone could relate to, and she made sure to help students who learned in different ways.

Sheila Mae Manlangit.
Sheila Mae Manlangit.

Manlangit addressed the significant impact of cultural differences between the Philippines and the US on classroom dynamics and student engagement. She emphasized the importance of acknowledging and addressing these differences to create an inclusive learning environment. Manlangit continuously implements strategies such as promoting open communication and mutual respect, incorporating culturally responsive teaching practices, and adapting instructional strategies to cater to diverse learning styles. Additionally, she emphasized the need to foster resilience and self-motivation in students to achieve success, regardless of cultural backgrounds.

Manlangit liked to use a method called the "Thinking Classroom," which focuses on making students think and work together. In her classroom, students dedicate two entire days, Monday and Tuesday, working in groups of three at eight whiteboards, collaboratively solving problems known as "thin-sliced questions." Even though it was hard to change at first, she kept trying new ideas and worked with other teachers to make it easier.

In her article published in January 2024 in the “International Journal of Open-Access,” Manlangit explained the process in helping students think critically and solve problems—noting that it's important to keep students’ interests in learning alive. She imparted that traditional math teaching methods weren't enough. Instead, students should be actively involved in math activities. Manlangit uses hands-on activities like folding paper and using geoboards, which are boards with pegs and rubber bands, to help students understand difficult ideas.

She also makes sure her teaching fits each student’s skill set. She uses fair grading, so students know what they need to do to get good grades. They can redo parts of tests they didn't do well on. This helps them take responsibility for their grades and keeps them motivated to learn.

Besides teaching math, Manlangit teaches her students about protecting the environment and making positive changes in their community. She's part of a program called the “Environmental Solutionary Teacher Fellowship.” With help from groups like the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and Pacific Beach Coalition, she's working on plans to solve environmental problems.

Her work has been noticed by “The Filipino American Post,” a newspaper and website that shares news about Filipinos and Filipino-American communities. They've praised her for the difference she's making in her students' education and in her community.

Looking back on her career, Manlangit remembers happy moments, like when a student finally understood a hard math problem. She wants to keep helping students learn math and grow into smart, kind people. Manlangit, as a math teacher, aims to make a lasting impact on her students' mathematical understanding, critical thinking, and overall growth. She wants students to grasp fundamental concepts through engaging instruction, fostering an appreciation for math's real-world relevance, promoting resilience and a growth mindset, equipping students for future success, and advocating for equity and inclusion in math education. She also seeks to engage with parents and the community to support student learning and well-being.

Manlangit exemplifies the very best of the teaching profession, shaping minds, touching hearts, and transforming lives with every lesson taught and every life touched. 


Neille Pauline Gillera is a Lifestyle and PR Writer who earned her undergraduate degree in English Language Studies from the University of San Carlos. She has published a poem for the university magazine tilted, “Kuris” in 2018 and has since been recognized for her quiet dedication to crafting poetry, which she continues to do for her own pleasure and reflection. She also shares captivating stories about Cebuano food and community, contributing her writing to SunStar Cebu, where she engages local readers.


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.