SENATOR Imee Marcos said in an interview by CNN Philippines last May 27, that nowadays it is difficult to find “truly committed” teacher, which is why students are supposedly falling behind in life skills such as leadership and resourcefulness.
“The reality is most of those who enter education did not have education as their first choice. Unfortunately, it is hard to find a truly committed teacher in these times,” she said.
Many eyebrows were raised on the disturbing statement of the honorable lady senator. Are teachers not committed to their calling? The statement hurts the teachers but the Philippines is a democratic country and the freedom of speech is safeguarded by our Constitution. We have to respect the senator’s right to speak and we are also free to give our comment if we like or we do not like the statement.
There is a saying that we should be careful and responsible on what we utter. The tongue has no bones, but it is strong enough to break a heart. Teachers are not ordinary beings. They belong to the “ilustrado” group, the enlightened ones. Their intellect and artistry created civilization.
That is their commitment!
We do not know if there are teachers who can stand up and speak out loud that they are not truly committed to their profession. The commitment of the teachers is a continuing obligation, the state of intellectual and emotional adherence to the teaching profession. If a politician would want to be popular, he or she should not step on the shoulders of the teachers.
Teachers are not only committed; they have the utmost dedication above commitment. Dedication is the devotion of the teachers to their chosen profession.... like the devotion of Jesus Christ to save mankind. That could be the reason why teachers bring their school work at home, cross dangerous rivers to reach remote schools, trek the rebel-infested areas to be with the children of the indigenous people, risk their lives on election day, and take the responsibility of parenting hundreds of children.
We cannot question the commitment of teachers because as “loyal and best work horses” of the government, they have to toe the line on the curriculum provided by the Department of Education. They do not just get what they teach from the ceiling. As professionals, they follow guidelines from DepEd.
The Department of Education admitted that teaching life or human skills may be “lagging” in the classrooms but it still maintains its confidence that schools will be able to adapt with proper guidance. That could be the reason why even under the reign of Covid-19, DepEd is trying to offer other modalities, not just face to face teaching.
It is not true that teachers are not committed because the end-goal of their teaching is to nurture the holistically developed Filipinos... college and livelihood readiness of the 21st century after the children have finished senior high school. Teaching life skills are very much a part of day to day lesson.
The teachers are very much aware that their lessons and activities include the following skills: information, media and technology, learning and innovation, effective communication, life and career. To handle all these, DepEd gives opportunities to teachers to undergo reskilling and upskilling seminars.
As part of their commitment to their profession, many teachers have already finished Master of Arts and Doctor of Education degrees. The soft skills to be learned by the children are already included in activities like boy-girl scouting, and leadership training conducted for Student Government Organization, Young Entrepreneurs Club, School Debating Team, Junior Scientists Circle, Young Shavers for Peace and Progress, and more.
In the so many activities facilitated by the teachers, there are already proficiencies associated with leading, thinking, interacting, management and other human skills. Teachers do not teach corruption in public office, money laundering, electioneering, vote-buying, payroll padding, economic sabotage, gambling, hoarding and black marketing.
These are not the expertise of our committed teachers.
So, it is unfair for anyone, even from a politician, to say that it is difficult to find a truly committed teacher. This is a brutal insult and an intellectual blasphemy to teachers who consider their profession as sacred.
Opinions vary and we have ours. That is the beauty of democracy.
Teachers are not perfect. Teaching could be their first choice or second choice. This is their honest way of earning a living. They have a commitment and a dedication for the welfare of our children. Long live teachers!