Teachers are the ones students can consider their second parents/guardians. Once students arrived at school, it is the teacher who is responsible not only in learning new things or correcting wrong things but more so, teachers play a significant role in shaping the lives of the students under their care.
Even now, I still remember most of my teachers especially the one at kindergarten who took care of me as if I was hers. She and her family migrated to the US before I finished 6th grade. Although we don’t talk or exchange messages anymore, we didn’t forget each other. I still remember her, she still remembers me. Well, that’s according to her daughter who I still have contact with. Anyway, I am who I am today because of my teachers. They are one of my many feathers on both sides of my wings.
A teacher’s job is more than just teaching the subjects required and managing a huge number of students in the class. They stay up late and endure lack of sleep as they continue checking the students’ papers and exams. The next morning, you won’t see any trace of suffering on their faces as if the night before was amazing. In a way, we say they are good actors.
Teachers also think of ways on how they’re going to make rowdy students listen; to focus. How to develop the confidence of the ones hiding in the back. And how to make each lesson interesting and fun. It’s a pity they’re not being compensated like the other high paying jobs such as doctors, engineers, etc. Their job somehow is comparable to those professions mentioned above.
In terms of salary, teachers are being looked down. As a matter of fact, two teachers that I personally know in the public schools have more debts than savings. They contacted me many times over asking me to help them come here to teach. However, all our conversations normally end in “Huwag nalang siguro. Sayang item ko”.
Moving on, education was never my choice and was never on the list of courses I want to take when I went to college. A friend who was a year older than me took education and I was like, “She is so out of her mind!”
Although I wanted to have a high paying job as an engineer in the past, I ended up studying education. Other than the fact that education is only a 4-year course and not 5 years like engineering or architecture (it saved me one more year of tuition and other fees), my friends who took up engineering for one semester encouraged me to join them at the college of education so we can be a force to be reckoned with during sports. Back in high school, I was the captain of the volleyball team. Also, they mentioned numbers and a lot of computation exercises in engineering. So, all courses with math as the main focus were all deleted in my system.
In short, I was swayed by their words. I registered and took the education faculty exam. I passed and started my life as a future educator. Nothing so special during my first year. The only thing I enjoyed was playing games here and there.
But things changed suddenly. During my out-campus training, I slowly developed a liking for teaching. My students would soon send me notes and letters saying they were happy I was their teacher. They said I inspired them.
I made several excuses for the varsity team so I could spend more time with my students and prepare interactive lessons for them. This move resulted in me heating my butt on the bench, removing me from the list of first six players. It didn’t hurt me. I moved on.
Looking back 8 years ago, the year I graduated from college, I can’t help but smile. The profession I didn’t like and never dreamed of having is one of the very things that complete my life. Calling teaching a “job” doesn’t sound fair to me. Calling it “life” sounds pretty awesome though.