Never has it crossed my mind’s eye to become a teacher. I would choose any other field or career except it. In fact, after my high schooling, I was so undecided of what course to take, of which way to go as if I was in the crossroad Robert Frost is pertaining to in his poem, “The Road Not Taken”. I was definitely certain I never wanted to be one; I would not get myself involved with it, not even in my wildest dream! But, should I say fortunately or unfortunately, because my relatives who are educators said I must be like them, and that I should follow their steps. According to them, there was no better profession for me other than teaching. Woe to me! My life seemed to be driven by my family’s beliefs. I had to obey. I had no choice. So I had a plan. I would go against the current, regardless of my kin. They would be the ones to provide for my allowance and miscellaneous fee. I was by then a scholar, a grant my relative also worked out.
At first, I was just planning to finish the first semester and then I would shift to another course but I never had the chance because they didn’t allow me to. I finished the degree with recognition though I never really liked it. For me, it’s better than not having a degree at all. After graduation, I took the examination not because of the excitement to be a “professional teacher” but because it is the expectation from all the education graduates. I was so blessed to pass it at once. I had my license but I still got no plan to teach. I was working as a cashier in a gasoline station while my classmates were already teaching as PARA teachers. Whenever they see me, they would always ask when I plan to apply for ranking. I would only smile and say “I’m waiting for the right time.” Yet, at the back of my mind, was the fear of handling the obligation. Yes, I fear the responsibility of they say the noblest profession. I’ve seen it from my auntie. She was coming home late in the afternoon. She was staying up late at night because of lesson plan and some paper works to be done. I didn’t want to experience the same.
Those were the reasons why I never wanted the course. But, I was reprimanded. That was the only time I was moved. I decided to process my application. So happy I was, because I topped the ranking and was immediately hired as a regular-permanent by the government, and I was summoned to practice my teaching craft and skills at Sotero Baluyot Elementary School. Teaching there was never easy for me. I had to travel for a couple of hours to come to school so I get home only during weekends. It was the first time I left home for days and to think that it would be for years, I felt even sadder. I did the works at my best though. I have to like it I know. I became friends to the parents and to the students and I started to love the job. There, I had a student who was visually impaired. Her classmates used to tease her “bardo” which is an Ilocano term for “duling”. Because of that, she became a true loner. She rarely participated in class discussion though I’ve seen a real potential in her. I said to myself I had to help her.
I trained her to join the quiz bee. She got second place in the district level and became one of the participants in the division level. After that event, she became active in our class. Her classmates started to befriend her. Other teachers begun to notice her and became one of the best in their subjects. Pupils never tease her again. In the graduation day, she was an awardee. After the ceremony she and her mother came and thanked me. I had two more graduations when I decided to apply for transfer to my home base. Luckily, it was granted quickly. When the parents and the students knew that I would be leaving soon they approached me and asked if I could stay for some more years. Though they know that somebody was coming as my replacement, they say they would always prefer me. I was happy for their sincerity. I wanted to stay but my parents want me to be with them too. That night, was the only time I felt I AM A PROFESSIONAL TEACHER.
Thoughts came back to my mind. The moments with the parents…The experiences with the children..happiness..struggles..Somehow I made a difference in them and I know I am a professional. Yes! I have become a mother to lonely children, a doctor to those ill, a guidance counsellor to the erring pupils and a very jolly peer but , I am a professional teacher. I shape the lives of the young and impressionable children, inculcate values in them. I practice differentiated teaching styles so that students are learning best. I setup and design classroom to get and keep learners’ attention. I control emotions in most stressful situations. I am accountable to teaching profession, to the pupils, my co-workers and the society. I have never dreamt of this path but with this responsibility comes great pride and joy because I am a teacher..a professional teacher.
Courtney from Study Moose
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