OLD people say that taking up a teaching vocation is like constructing your own room in heaven. Especially so if you're teaching children with special needs.
Being a teacher is both a humbling and uplifting experience. You are given the power to mold a person into someone you want them to become.
But to Lorilie Eran-Quijano, a Department of Education (DepEd)-Agila 2017 awardee for Most Outstanding Sped Teacher, it’s not only the teachers who can touch and change the lives of the children. In her case it’s her students who touched and changed her life.
Born in Malaybalay, Bukidnon to parents Vicente Bacting Eran Sr. and Maria Nancy Buenaflor Palencia (both are deceased), Lorilie got married at an early age. She experienced the hardships women who got married early usually experience.
“Putol-putol akong pag-eskwela sa una (My studies were always interrupted),” she recalled.
Her situation encouraged her more to finish her college degree. She persevered and graduated at the Bukidnon State University in Comval in 1999.
She took up a Graduate Diploma in Special Education (Sped) at the University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City with the help of a scholarship from the Department of Education – Resources for the Blind, Inc. (RBI) and graduated last 2013.
“But the most important thing that challenged me to be a teacher is the passion to teach and care for these (special needs) children,” Lorilie recalled.
Currently, Lorilie is handling visually impaired, cerebral palsy and intellectually-disabled learners. She is also the Sped, Campus Journalism and English District coordinator in DepEd's Compostela District, Division of Compostela Valley.
Last 2014, she finished her Master’s Degree in Teaching Special Education at the Southwestern University in Cebu City.
To be a teacher is not an easy task. She said one must have a heart to teach the children especially those with special needs, and it takes a great and “special effort” to get a “heart.” In her case, it’s her students who gave her a heart to be the most outstanding teacher.
It’s not just one quality that made her an awardee as the most outstanding teacher. She said, passion to teach, patience and perseverance to understand the children, courage to face other people and stakeholders to establish linkages to gain support are just but few of her qualities that made her stand among the rest.
And these qualities of her were not gone unnoticed by the region’s DepEd. Just last October 2, she was honored by the region’s DepEd.
“The more I’ll aspire to become the best teacher to my students, because I care for them and I love them as if they were my own,” she ended.