Terror

Oo. I consider myself a terror teacher. Pati ako matatakot sa sarili ko.

Pagpasok palang ng classroom, animo’y mga ipis na ayaw sa ilaw ang mga estudyante kong balik kaagad sa mga upuan at todo pretend na behaved sila. Otherwise, makakatanggap sila ng death stare.

“Umupo nang matuwid, itikom ang bibig, kamay sa desk!” Parang military. Iyong mga boys, aliw na aliw kasi marami sa kanila ang pangarap ay maging pulis o sundalo. Don’t ask me why.

Nung minsang birthday ko, kinantahan ako ng mga estudyante. Hindi man lang ako ngumiti. Sabi ko lang, “Thank you, sit down,” sabay resume ang lesson. Cold-hearted, ano?

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Thank you, sit down!

Mabait naman ako sa totoong buhay pero kailangang maging super strict sa classroom kung hindi kakainin ka ng buhay ng mga batang hindi nauubusan ng energy.

I’m sure hindi ako iyong paborito ng mga estudyante ko. Pero may mga mangilan-ngilan na parang they could see through me. Iyong tipong mababasa mo sa kanilang mga mata ang pang-unawa. Na tila sinasabi, “Naiintindihan namin kung bakit kailangan mong maging istrikto.”

“Teacher, kokopyahin?” tanong ng mga tsikiting.

“Ay hindi, tititigan!” sagot ko.

May mga palihim na ngiti. Marunong pala akong magpatawa, sarcastic lang.

Siyempre, dahil Teacher’s Day ngayon may mga greetings at throwback pictures noong ako’y nagtuturo pa, three years ago.

Bigla kong na-miss ang ingay at gulo sa classroom.

Iyong pag-prepare ng lesson at pagtuturo in straight English na parang college students ang mga kausap (nganga iyong mga bata).

Iyong pagkanta at pagsayaw tuwing may program. Kapag teacher ka dapat kaya mong gawin lahat.

Iyong feeling na tipong may na-inspire o may natutunan sila sa iyo.

Maraming nagsasabing teacher nga ang aura ko maski hindi na ako nagtuturo. Marami rin ang naguudyok sa aking magturo muli.

Puwede naman, subalit marami rin kasi akong gustong gawin. Mahilig din akong maglakwatsa at pumunta kung saan-saan. Hindi lang para mamasyal kundi pati gumawa ng mga bagay na ikabubuti ng bansa, community work kung baga. Bilang guro, mahirap iyong madalas na wala ka sa classroom.

Hindi biro ang maging teacher kaya sobrang saludo ako sa mga indibidwal na pinili ang tahaking ito.

Sa lahat ng teachers, mabait man o terror, tulad ko, happy Teacher’s Day!

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The Noblest Profession

I always wondered why a lot of my teachers were grumpy. Well, not really a lot of them but for some reason, teachers in general exude this malevolent energy. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But in a funny twist of fate, I became a teacher – a mean teacher at that. And I realized it’s necessary to wear that “mean teacher” mask in order to have some semblance of a class.

I taught in the public school for two years and it’s one of the toughest jobs I ever had but it was also a character-building experience.

Sadly, the teaching profession in the Philippines seem to have lost its glory. Blame it on low pay (although better compensation and benefits is currently being pushed). Or they’re just being worked to death with extra tasks (serving as school nurse or librarian on top of being an advisory teacher). Plus tons of unnecessary paper work they have to accomplish. And the plain fact that they’re taken for granted and don’t get the respect they deserve.

In Thailand, they have the Teacher’s Day and Teacher Appreciation Day where the Thai’s get to show their respect for educators. We sort of have that too but I’m afraid it’s not as genuine as I hope it to be.

Today is World Teachers’ Day and as I remember my former teachers, I wish I could bow and offer you flowers, the way the Thais do it.

To the cool, everybody’s friend teacher who taught me kindness and compassion.

To the teacher who believed in me more than I believed in myself.

To the teacher who inspired me to be excellent in everything I do.

To the teacher who was a constant encouragement and who always saw the beauty in everything.

To the terror teacher who taught me diligence and discipline.

To the stand-up teacher who never failed to make me smile.

To the teacher who influenced me to be the successful person that I am today.

Thank you.

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