I was born to a family of teachers. Our family’s tales are a mix-and-match of both ancestral memories and classroom anecdotes.
The elders in the family would parade their roster of students who became successful. Every student was a badge of pride.
But not all. In one trip of an aunt, a group of robbers armed with high-caliber guns got on the bus she was riding. When it was her time to surrender everything valuable she had, another hold-upper told her, “Hoy, hwag yan si Ma’am. Teacher ko yan. Mabait yan.” (Let her go. She’s my teacher and she’s kind.)
In the end, my aunt was the sole passenger who went home with an untouched purse. It is actually this experience that shows respect for the teaching profession.
I saw this for myself in June 2014 when I started my off-campus training at Makati High School. For us at Philippine Normal University (PNU), it is the highlight of our schooling. The off-campus training determines whether we continue or quit.
We are called “student-teachers” as we are in between two stages, nearing the end of being a student and barely at the start of being a teacher.
My first week of teaching gave me a superficial feel of a classroom. I entered a 4-walled room filled with students from various backgrounds, cultures and with different personalities. I stood in front of 40 different minds of various interests. I knew I could not come to class half-prepared.
We were told you should be chapters ahead of your students as they could ask questions at any time. Or they could give wayward answers which must be processed and explained if they are wrong. This is all part of a teacher’s job.
I see how teachers assimilate knowledge and values. I am amazed how they could become a confidant, a lawyer, even a parent to a lost student. I am awed by how they are able to shape those who are often called the future of the nation.
But in this noble profession they live with meager means. Most of them survive with barely enough.
They end their days recalling the fun and frustration of teaching in the classroom, while their students remember what they taught. In the end, if they leave their mark, they remain in the memories and hearts of their students. – Rappler.com
Ian Harvey A. Claros is the executive vice president of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines and an associate editor in English at Torch Publications. He is currently an AB/BSE Literature student at the Philippine Normal University.