Being a teacher
Let me start by saying that being a woman is a tough role to play. As life goes, somehow, becoming a wife and later, a mother, seems to be the way to go. My role as a mother is something I cherish but at the same time, it is something I find challenging. It is the same when I look at my role as a teacher. I cherish it, but it is challenging and sometimes extremely difficult.
Being a teacher, and sometimes, mother, to several classes of students every year, is akin to baby-sitting the said students sometimes. Some of these students and I seem to have a love-hate relationship at times. They hate the amount of work I give them, and the expectations I pile on them. And I love them almost as much as I love my own children. Sometimes that love is reciprocated. Sometimes, it is not. Do I mind that it is not? Yes,I do, and it occasionally hurts, but I understand. And I let it pass because I am tasked to teach many students, usually different ones every year or so. To dwell on the disappointment would not help me move on with the new batches of students.
I have been asked what drives me in the pursuit of educating the youths of today. I guess I have never thought of it so much as a job but as a passion-filled mission. When I am standing in front of my students in class, or on the field, or anywhere else, I do not think of myself as just a school teacher who has to teach what is in the syllabus and make sure all my students score a string of As for their exams. Instead, I strive to be more than that – I want to be their friend, their sister, their mother, their confidante. It has been said that a great teacher INSPIRES! Most of the time, that is what I want to do, inspire my students, the youths of today, to excel in the things they do – be they academic or non-academic fields.
I realize I am not the best of teachers. I do not think that I am a “one in a million” kind of teacher. I do not always have information at the tip of my fingers. There are times when I might have failed in some tasks. I might have disappointed some of my students. At those times, I am wrecked by feelings of guilt and disappointment. But I remember that I am only human and I can only do so much at times. This is not an easy thing to do, but I too have had to learn to forgive myself.
In spite of it all, I do have my wonderful moments – many wonderful and unforgettable moments. My students are my trophies and when they come back and say hello to me, when they send me wedding invitation cards, when they call me up or text me or communicate with me online, those are the moments I truly cherish. Those are the times when I know that I have made a difference in some lives and those are my reward. The system and people higher up can dangle all sorts of monetary rewards and whatever deals in front of us. But the best reward, to me, is when I see my little boys and girls grow up and become men and women of substance. Then I will know that I have fulfilled my mission and whatever sweat and tears I have shed have not been in vain.