Macagba: Teachers’ return of investment

Beyond the classroom

BEFORE going back to school from the holidays, my wife and I met up with a former student of ours, which paved for me to reflect on my role as an educator to students.

For one, I must say that one of the ultimate joys of teachers is to be able to see how our students beautifully transformed to become better individuals since the first time we have seen them. During our meet up with a common student my wife and I were able to handle, we were surprised by how our students after sending them through the realities of the world have developed a deeper sense of who they really are and what they want to do in their life.

This is something that we do not appreciate often since who they are outside the corners of the classroom or the campus is totally up to them. We can always make simulations of the world where we wished they would be considered as catalysts, but in order to get there will be up to them.

As such, at times, teachers like me often wonder, if we have done enough for them to be prepared for the world, not realizing that in the midst of this uncertainties, they would be able to go through the ropes of life and apply all that they have gained to continue with their journey. But through time, I was able to grow and have faith on them that the valuable lessons we have shared to them will make them face the various challenges in their journey.

Likewise, being able to converse with our former students has always been a joy as are we happy to see how they have grown in their own wisdom. We also become witnesses on how the content in class discussions or the matter that they have been asked to study in our subjects fruitfully nourished their insights and reflections to become better individuals. They may not be talking exactly about the details of the subject matter we discussed years ago, but you would realize the main points of citizenship, love, service, or even the values we wished they would get are inculcated in their hearts.

For us teachers, these little miracles brought about by healthy and even hearty conversations bring us to continue a deeper witnessing of our return of investments that could not be matched by any form of monetary gains other professions would promise.

If artists are judged by the quality of their masterpieces, businessmen by the profit that they have gained, doctors by the diseases they have cured, or engineers by the buildings that they have built, we teachers are as good as the lives that we have transformed one individual or classroom at a time. This however continues to be a challenge for us teachers to make sure that whatever they learned in class becomes relevant as they go through their lives.


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