“Never in my wildest dreams have I dreamt of becoming a teacher.” This was my introductory line when I delivered my impromptu speech in front of a group of teachers who took master’s class at Xavier University. Along with this line were scenarios flashing back. . . My elementary and high school teachers tagging along not just big bags full of teaching materials but with commercial stuff to help augment the meager income they received in doing the taxing and heart quenching job of teaching.
They were to me, missionaries who painstakingly labored their way out just to reach out to the young populace in far – flung areas and made education available despite low salaries and in limbo benefits. Teachers were images of sacrifice, of service, and of deprivation to financial stability. They are sacrificial lambs in many occasions and situations which call for heroism. They are full of passion and are too busy to be in fashion and I could see how laborious their work was. These were reasons why I told myself that I should not become one.
But fate has it all that brought me to my most dreaded profession. Situations and conditions pre-determined my destiny and it took me awhile to realize that it was never an accident that I matriculated education during college and that I was meant to become a teacher for life. It was during my early years of teaching when I truly realized that indeed teaching has never been an easy task. It is always paralleled with drawbacks, challenging responsibilities and unswerving demands of the job. It is twinned with orders, circulars, and memorandums which are bound to be followed and implemented. It is in fact, a profession which requires a certain degree of commitment, patience, service-orientation, level-headedness, and docility of heart to perform the tasks/responsibilities expected of it.
In teaching, the teachers are duty bound to obey (sometimes blind obedience is deemed necessary) any policy and to perform its vast and enormous culpability. That is why teachers are always at risk and are prone to various stressors which in many cases have caused frailty. A lot of factors are to be considered in order not be weighed down by its pressures. Often times, the call of duty impede our personal desires and whimsical pleasures. The deadlines we have to meet, the requirements we have submit, the lessons and strategies we have to prepare, the clienteles we have to face, the co- workers we have to deal and the superiors we have to obey orders with are the myriad responsibilities a teacher has to perform.
But my number of years in teaching has aligned my thoughts and has shaped my emotions. The day to day experiences and encounter with children has proven me wrong that despite the demands and challenges, there is fulfillment in teaching. There is a sense of pride and joy in knowing that children under your care have been formed into a total person and have become successful and great assets in the society where they belong. When students come back and say their pieces of sincere thank you, a certain feeling of elation is somehow felt bringing to mind the fruition of what I have labored for.
With this thought, an inmost joy is felt knowing that I had my share in the most noble profession and mission of molding the hearts and minds of the children and above all, I have my share in building a nation with a promising future … Furthermore, there is a rewarding feeling, knowing that, what I do in the service of the youngsters is my way of serving my creator, the Greatest Author and Teacher of all times. And in faith I know that my sacrifices will never be in vain in the eyes of my Master Teacher – my unseen partner. My only prayer is to bloom in this vineyard where He has planted me and not to grow weary despite the tests that He prepared for me! Now I realized that, “never in my wildest dreams have I dreamt of becoming a teacher” because I was molded and predestined to be. HE is my potter and I’m just a clay.