Missing it

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Thursday, July 17, 2014


AS PART of our services for a certain school, I am handling a writing enhancement class for some of their selected students. The students range from grade school to high school. They were chosen by their teachers because they have shown talent for writing and speaking.

Prior to meeting them, I had several thoughts in my head foremost was how was I going to handle this class of diverse students. Perhaps, even more compelling was how would I handle a class? It has been ages since I taught kids. It would have been a cinch if I was still teaching but it has been 10 years since I was in a classroom. And I was not sure if I still had it.

That was how I felt when I entered the room where 20 plus eager students were waiting. It did not help that before entering the room, a grandparent approached me and said that her apo was excited in entering my class. It turns out that her daughter was a former student of mine. I just smiled and thought to myself, must be getting old na. My former students have children already. Anyway.

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When I finally entered the class, I knew in an instant I still had it. I guess it never goes away. A teacher is always a teacher. But there was something that I really missed. And that was the innocence of it all. We were laughing and smiling and when class ended and as the students filed out, I found myself smiling because of the warmth of it all. I missed students saying bye sir, thank you sir. It seemed all so fresh and innocent. There is something so uplifting about it.

I told Chona about that and I asked her what would be our life be like if we had stayed at Ateneo. We would probably still wake up at 5 a.m. and rush to school in our old car this time without the kids because all have graduated. We would be alone. She would go to the grade school and in the high school. That seems so distant now I must admit. Perhaps at the time we left Ateneo, which was a painful experience for both of us, we could have never thought that it would open a whole new experience for us. Our lives took a really different path and now as I look back at those days I can only smile. I have to say that I do not have the energy anymore to face a class of teenagers. I could probably still cut it but it would just exhaust me and there is no fun in that. But somehow, you miss it and that was how I felt when those young students smiled and greeted me. Some of my happiest days were spent at the Ateneo High School.

I have always said that I shall forever be a teacher. It really does not matter what school or who your students will be, I know I shall always be a teacher. It is in me. A very big part of me and only those who are true teachers can understand that. It doesn't have to be explained, only felt. There is no reason, there is only the truth.

I am really looking forward to this class of mine. They seem eager and fun and I will surely learn a lot from them.

They have so much to teach these kids. There is much to learn from these kids. I was reading through their papers and I was actually smiling as I pored over them. I am quite excited in what we can do as the days unfold and I am sure they will be able to share many things. That is one perk in being a teacher, you learn from students. Oh they have so much to teach. Their faces may change but they are still the same.

It is just sad that I have met many administrators in the seminars that I have given to schools who have said the same thing in different words. There seems to be a different breed of teachers nowadays. I shall stop there and say no more. You can deduce from that.

But still I miss those days but I do not. We move on to better things and sometimes we need to go through darkness to get to the light.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 17, 2014.

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