I JUST don’t know if I have the right title for this article. I decided to write this after joining a group of teachers (mostly female) one lunch break. The teachers were having a series of seminars in preparation for the opening of school year 2014-2015.

One teacher (in her 40s) started the conversation, saying that she is always tired and she can hardly find time for intimacy with her husband (especially on class days). Her Saturdays and Sundays are for cleaning the house and washing clothes. In between her tight schedule of activities, she has to find quality time to tutor her children. She has to buy food from the nearby carinderia to save time. Her husband is already complaining because they could no longer have time for passionate romance.

I am reminded of the definition of a teacher given by Dwight D. Eisenhower, “A good teacher is an individual who can understand those who are not very good at explaining, and explain to those who are not very good at understanding.” How will the teacher explain her lack of romantic attitude? There is only one reason. She is tired very tired. By nature, male and female teachers are romantic. In their blood runs the inspiration of poets and novelists.

With the advent of K to 12 curriculum of the Department of Education, teachers have to familiarize themselves with the program, look into new strategies, master the grading system, and scrutinize the contents of the textbooks (many books have not arrived yet).

Teachers have to attend to related concerns of K to 12 like mother tongue adoption, indigenous people education, non-formal education for out of school youth, feeding program, and outreach program for the employed youth (those who have not yet finished the basic program in education).

The teachers comprise the workforce of the government for related programs like sports, nutrition, election, population data gathering, cultural mapping, environment, livelihood, biodiversity, climate change, culture, tourism town fiesta, church fiesta, other legal holidays, and the other special events needing advocacy campaign.

In school (other than classroom concerns), teachers are bombarded with built-in activities like JS Prom, school intramurals, division meet (district, provincial, regional, national), language week, national book week, bench markings from other schools and hosting of this and that seminar. More time have been consumed outside the class and they have to submit their class records, lesson plans, grade sheets and other documents on time.

Teachers are sometimes “requested” to donate an amount to accommodate visitors or bring folding beds for seminar participants. Oftentimes we hear that teaching is a noble profession, if not the noblest. I want to agree because I was once a teacher. That could be one point that I would like to emphatically stress.

Teachers have to start their day at 7:15 am. That’s the time for flag ceremony and they are expected to leave the school at 4:45 pm. Principals can adjust the schedule if the pupils and students are living far from the school and have to walk three to five kilometers (or even cross rivers).

We would like to believe that principals are very understanding because once they were also classroom teachers.

We have noticed that public schools have small classrooms. Inside, there are 50 up to 60 pupils/students. When the weather is hot, children would smell like smoked fish and the teacher would look like a crumpled gumamela at the end of the day. When she (he) reaches home, first thing in her mind is to stretch her body in bed like a hibernating janitor fish. Sex is not a priority. She is not even giving it a second or a third thought. Poor husband!

The husband should become a hero by cooking for dinner and lovingly inviting the wife to eat. Can the husband withstand the ordeal? Yes, because on their wedding day both of them made a solemn promise to care for each other. To sustain life, there should be romantic encounter. Both the husband and the wife can overcome mental and physical fatigue. These are simple things that they can review. To be continued