‘More than just a job’: Teachers, students voice out important role of educators
MANILA, Philippines – National Teacher’s Day is a time of celebration for the modern day heroes recognized for their significant role in educating the next generation.
Though a day or month may not be enough to reckon their undying workforce, Rappler asked teachers what they love most about their profession.
October 5 marked the celebration of World and National Teacher’s Day. In the Philippines, Teacher’s Month was celebrated from September 5 to October 5. (READ: DepEd grants P1,000 cash benefit on World Teachers' Day)
More than just a career
For 26-year-old Rex Lipang of the Lun Padidu National High School, teaching is more than just a job; it has become his life. He is aware of how he, as a teacher, can motivate students to dream big.
“I love teaching since it can be a medium for me to encourage students to be community-engaged individuals who can provide initiatives and services, who can give people reasons to smile and the hope of living a good future,” Lipang said.
Working for 7 years now, 29-year-old STI College Ortigas-Cainta teacher Marc Kenneth Marquez said teaching is not just confined to classroom lessons.
"I teach not primarily because of my academic track record and professional background but because of my pure heart found among the young souls and minds hungry for knowledge and mastery of essential life skills. I teach not for the promising career but for the promising future of all the people I can inspire beyond measure,” Marquez said.
Leaving a mark
For communications trainer Mark Kenneth Edades, 27, what he loves most about being a teacher is leaving a mark on his students.
"I also believe that even after I am gone, my influence will be immortalized by those students who believed in me and shared what I have taught them to others,” he said.
This was echoed by 36-year-old Urdaneta City University instructor Alyssa Ashley R. Diego-Malag. She said that teaching also provides her an opportunity to exert positive influence on her students.
"What I love most about being an educator is having the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of my students. As their second parent, I am able to give them roots to stay grounded and wings to make them soar greater heights,” she expressed.
Labor of love
Sharing a valuable lesson he learned from his former teachers, 22-year-old Rendell Sanchez said that teaching is a labor of love. (READ: [OPINION] A teacher's life, from the point of view of her red ballpen)
“It is love that I received when my former teachers tapped into my potential. They listened and paid attention. They believed in my dreams no matter how grand or far-fetched,” Sanchez said.
Now a teacher at the Philippine Science High School Calabarzon campus, he said that it is this love that constantly inspires him to pay the service forward.
“Teachers especially in public schools are overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated. I experienced firsthand how teaching is a laborious calling but also how the fulfillment in doing it is incomparable,” he said.
Carla Nicoyco, a Grade 10 teacher at Miriam College High School, is hopeful that her students would understand that everything she does in the classroom is meant to help hone them into becoming better persons.
“I want them to know that I care about them. Everything that I do, my hands, my heart, my head, is for them. At the end of the year and even beyond their schooling, I still care about the kind of persons they’ll become, and at the end of it all, I want them to be good people,” Nicoyco said.
Sowing seeds of learning
It might be easy to quit when things get tough but for 24-year-old Mindanao State University professor Ricky Bustos, sowing seeds of learning among his students plays a big factor.
"I love the return of investment. I mean we all know that it's not lucrative, it's not that fabulous a profession in terms of finances but the return of investment is really fulfilling. A simple message from my student can really motivate me. Their love keeps me going as a teacher,” Bustos said.
Eden Grace Yungco, a 36-year-old Grade 9 Special Program in Journalism Adviser, said that nothing can be more fulfilling than witnessing successful students who paid tribute to their teachers.
"The best thing as teacher will be seeing your former students successful in their chosen careers and being a good citizen of our country. Seeing them as competent, refined individuals, and successful in their chosen field of endeavors is heart-warming feeling,” Yungco said.
For math teacher Teresa Atinelle Ramos, “being a teacher is the best way to make an impact on someone's life.”
Loved by students
Students also shared some valuable lessons they learned from their teachers.
Michael Philip Untalan, 22, said that because of his teachers, he learned that “the path towards our dreams is not just for the keen and intelligent, but more importantly, it is for the resilient."
He said that he is grateful for their trust, hard work, concern, and dedication.
"Salamat po sa pagpapamalas sa amin na ang pagiging tunay na guro ay hindi lamang nakikita sa kagalingang magturo ngunit mas nakikita ito sa kakayahan pumukaw ng angking galing ng mga mag-aaral,” he added.
(Thank you for showing us that being a true educator is not just seen in how well you teach but it is manifested in one's ability to awaken the potential of students.)
Andrea Louise Mendoza,19, said, "Ang mahalaga ay kung paano mo ibabahagi ang mga aral na ito sa mga tao sa iyong paligid nang may respeto."
(What’s important is how you share to others with respect whatever was taught to you.) – Rappler.com