I was raised by teachers. My parents were Public school teachers. Manila paper was a staple and the smell of Pentel pen ink was always present in the house. Back in the day, teaching using the computer was unheard of. Chalks were the medium and dustless chalks a luxury.
I am a teacher but admittedly, not a very effective one. As to why, I will explain it in another post. Today, in celebration of World Teachers’ Day, I dedicate this piece to the teachers who made a dent in my life.
To the teacher who opened my world to the wonder of stories. I looked forward to every Sunday School, paid close attention to how your eyes would grow wide, and most importantly, your nail polish. I copied you at home, lining up my dolls and retelling the stories I heard from you.
To the teacher who taught me to read. It was not the reading I remember the most but how, one surprising day, we cut bananas and papayas in class and made fruit salad. It was the first time I wore an apron.
To the teachers who helped me discover new things. You taught me the word ‘kidnap’ and it was a fear that haunted me daily. You taught me the words ‘noisy pupils’ and I was careful not to be on that list. You taught me the word ‘quiet’ and I had a hard time being one, even until now. But, you also taught me the words assignment, cleaners, and pass your papers. With those I learned that some things have to be done on your own, you need to pick up after yourself, and most importantly, opportunities have deadlines.
To the teachers who gave me time on stage. You helped me conceive a dream I never knew I had until later when the stage became my avenue for influencing others.
To the teacher who made me take over her class when I was 14. You were right. I was going to need that experience to toughen me up six years later when I had to go on Practice Teaching.
To the teachers who made science and math the most important subjects in the world. You made me religious! True enough, algebra, trigonometry, chemistry and physics are nothing compared to the complexity of romantic love. I am glad I was trained in your class to survive!
To the teacher who taught me how to be a homemaker. I can bake, I can sew, I can arrange furniture, I know the color chart, I can make fruit preserves ,I can embroider, heck, I can even dress a chicken all because you did not accept anything less than perfect from us. As to having a family, I am working on that.
To the teachers who had to deal with our adolescence. Today, as I deal with young people I have one question: How did you maintain your sanity without punching us in the face? *clap clap clap* I have many words but all can be summarized in two: Thank You!
To the teacher who made me fear my English class. You unearthed a wealth of courage I did not know I have.
To the teacher who scribbled notes on my essay. I fell in love with writing because of you. Also, I was slightly in love with you until you left us.
To the teacher who gave me an 80 in a major subject. I.will.never.forget.you. Hahaha!
To the teacher who made me interpret my Dexter’s Laboratory comics in class. I discovered my humor because of that experience.
To the teachers who instilled the love of country to us. I am fighting because of you. I will not be quiet because of you.
To the teachers who showed me the bridge between Theology and Practice. I am having a swell time because your lives are living examples.
Lastly, to my in-house teachers who until today check my attendance, give me occasional lectures on matters I usually evade, and evaluate my performance in life, thank you. You were our first teachers and will continue to be after every one is finished with us. Thousands of unruly, hard-headed pupils came and went out of your classrooms but, bad news, we’re staying! Sorry parents, you can’t get rid of us. Haha! After years of leaving the service, here you are still teaching us tirelessly about life and the one true God we serve. I guess, when you are a parent, you never retire from teaching.
I was raised by teachers. I hope that in this generation, I can also raise some. With everything that is happening in the country and around the world, I fear for this generation. The world is full of monsters ready to pounce at these young people. Therefore, I have committed to fight for them and with them. And education is my weapon of choice.
I am a warrior. I teach.