Friday, September 28, 2012

To Be or Not To Be

My head teacher informed me the other late Friday night that we're attending a whole day seminar the following day. I know it was a command rather than a request, so I kindly obliged even if it meant cancelling my thesis appointment on schedule.  Not to mention the foolish crimes I committed lately in school, I had no reason then to beg off. One would not want to be accused of attitude problem, would one? But still, I must confess this frankly and I should be honest to myself that doing so was "out of my heart." 

The weather perfectly matched my temperament that day. It was gloomy outside and I too felt as if gloomy inside. The first speaker was serious as if we were in a court room; the second was funny as if we were watching in a comedy bar; and the third was serene as if we were attending a church mass. They were informative on their respective topics and variety in delivering is the spice. But in the middle of the thing, you know the feeling when I just have to sit there for hours and force myself to listen? It felt like an equivalent of frontal lobotomy!

So amidst the seminar, as gesture of what I believe saving my whole being from insanity, I hauled out my phone inside my bag just a wee bit so that the speaker would not see my little secret. A bit oblivious of the event around and about the topic at the moment, I looked up and I don't know how the funny speaker suddenly popped out near me. I was sure she was not a magician, but things were swift and I just found her standing right through me. 

"Why did you become a teacher?" she asked for the second time. 

I was caught off guard. I heard my seatmates reiterate the question to me, but I mercifully seem can't comprehend and formulate a reasonable answer. It was not that I was dumb. You know me better than that. It was just that things were too shocking; I felt guilty of a mischief and so unprepared logically because it was an impromptu. Yours truly, known in college days as a mighty mouth, sat there like a perfect clod.

When I went home after the seminar, I felt so embarrassed for my own self, thinking how stupid I was! Replaying the question over again and fishing for a perfect answer in my mind just increased my angst. Frankly and humbly, I realized that I just really don't know the answer. So, why, why, why indeed did I become a teacher? Time for reflections.

It did occur in my wild imagination to become a teacher someday but I have always dismissed the idea. Teaching isn't just in my DNA. I knew it to myself that I wanted to be somebody else. My close friends knew that I was planning to shift to some other arts or business courses, but fate had it that I had already earned several Education subjects with "brownie" grades. 

We always discussed in our major classes about the rudiments and importance of the teaching profession. Sometimes I felt guilty faking my recitations and essays, appreciating this noble profession, which in fact I really don't. But what can I do? I was just trapped in a course that just don't love although I have nothing against it. I should not be sent to purgatory, should I?

The final year was the point of no return. It was then that I had to face my fears. I was privileged to be deployed in public school. I am no much firm believer of miracle, but I must say that little by little I learned to appreciate, in the truest sense, the beauty of the teaching profession. And hey, I'm no kidding!

Putting my feet in the shoes of a teacher gave me a glimpse of the nobility of this profession. I learned that when and if I become a teacher, it is not enough that I sing silly songs, play foolish games, read funny stories, laugh out loud and appreciate a flower. The dimension of teaching profession is more than the four walls of the classrooms; it embraces the many facets of life. I realized that when and if I become a teacher, I should also be prepared to act as a parent, a counselor, a friend, a servant and even a shock absorber. 

East II is on the go! These are my co-teachers in the district during our
cheering contest in celebration of World Teachers' Day.

Being asked by the speaker during the seminar was an eye opener for me to re-evaluate myself as a teacher. Experience like that reminds me that I am given this very great opportunity to be of useful to other people's lives. There are times when I just want to give up and say good bye forever, not knowing that there are a lot more hopeless souls out there who, despite their sad situations, still go on fighting for a better life, that many young children out there, eager and hopeful, are waiting for me at the other line. 

I am very lucky and privileged to be chosen as a teacher. And this I will be forever proud of until the end. So now, thanks God, and allow me to greet myself with a clean conscience: A Happy World Teachers' Month!

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