Sunday, November 16, 2008

heartbeats: teachers

Believe it or not (this is for unbelieving students) I have wonderful experiences with my teachers. Throughout the twenty one years I stayed in school I met a lot of them who made lasting impressions on me and made an impact in my life. By now I could not really recall their names, only those scant memories of their faces and the wonderful lessons they taught me.

I remember the lesson of courage that my kindergarten teacher taught me the day she brought me to the school dentist. She kept my fears at bay when she gave me not just her assuring words but also her encouraging presence. I remember too that ill-looking but chubby teacher who was always on call whenever a quarrel erupts. She was feared, but her presence taught me the value of discipline and a strong character. I remember too the teacher who captivated us with stories of the Greek gods and goddesses, of mighty heroes who ruled the world with wisdom. She gave me the capacity to dream and ideals work for. I remember too the teacher who held my hand when I was new in the school I transferred in.

In my shame and fear she gave me a head start in my new environment by introducing me to new friends. She taught me the importance of friendship and the value of togetherness in a world where aloneness could make us self effacing. There was also that teacher who kept on prodding us to study harder and aim higher. I remember hating him for a while, but little by little he instilled in me the value of hard work and taught me that the world has no place for mediocrity. 

As I recall the lessons that my teachers taught me in school I begin to discover that those which created lasting impressions on me are the ones that deal directly with living. The teachers who made valuable and memorable lessons for me are those who did not hesitate to stray from their syllabus whenever life and everyday situations presented us with lessons to be learned. Teaching is more than just reading, writing and doing arithmetic. Studying is not just getting good grades and the best awards. It is the values that could be gleaned out of these lessons, values that are important for life and correct living. After all we are studying not for school but for life.

This issue is dedicated to the teachers which I would like to consider a vocation rather than a mere profession because of its importance. In this issue we have a principal to write about the plight of a Filipino teacher, a student who writes about his expectations of teachers and a fresh graduate who writes about his ideal teacher, the ideal he is working for. This is our tribute to them and our way of saying thank you for keeping up the work of educating our people.

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