THIS week on Thursday, October 5, the world celebrated World Teachers’ Day. For those of us who serve the world by teaching, it was good to be greeted, remembered, toasted for the day. To those who greeted us, remembered (and maybe shuddered at, hah!) the grades we gave them, and toasted that teacher from whom they learned that one lesson that matters, thank you.
The day after, I met up with two of my friends who make up, with me, three teachers who regularly lunch. There was Vangie lately of China, Jasmine lately of the UPB, and moi, Teacher at Large. We lunched at Max’s on Session Road, that place that will take a long time yet to become a Baguio story.
Vangie, a.k.a. Evangeline Caasi Mitchell, and I are both Baguio natives who met in, of all places, Morong, Bataan. As young educators there in the 1980s (Vange stayed till the 90s), we prepped refugees from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia for life in their country of resettlement, the US of A. Vangie handled English as a Second Language, I did Curriculum, teacher Traning, and something we called C.O., Cultural Orientation.
C.O. was culture-based training to enable our students to deal with their cultures while living in the US and to deal with American culture as against theirs. Uh-hmmm.
Jasmine Bayquen is currently on the faculty of the Department of Language and Literature of the UPB. We were seatmates for a year or more. On the other side of her desk was that of Scott Saboy, her best friend. Jas thinks that we should be teaching everything as ESL, and I do handle a number of my classes as such. It only makes sense to do so, in a country where those for whom English is a native language have come to number few and far between.
Speaking of Scott, last Wednesday Jas and I sent him off over coffee and donuts as teachers who coffee, along with Ann, Scott’s wife, also a teacher. Scott flies to more exciting places soon, and maybe we will touch down to visit when he is settled. And stop at Vangie’s too, when China stops requiring visas for Filipino tourists.
You know, I noticed this week that you know you’re with teachers when. for the love of all that’s holy, the talk will always at one point become academic, like how we should all be teaching everything as ESL. And C.O., I might add.
To all the teachers in the world, especially those who taught me well, Happy Teachers’ Day, though it was last Thursday! Vange and Scott, travel safe! Safely – okay, already.