High school life, for me, was “full of adventure and at the same time for soul searching.” So it’s no wonder that I resorted to a life of teaching (aside from the fact that I was born to and nurtured by public elementary school teachers), a profession that is in a way cathartic and filled with adventures of its own.
During my pubescent days (I can’t help but still feel very excited), I enjoyed it very much because I had a very big barkada. We were fourteen in the group. We called our group totter dodders. These were the years when friendships were established and ideals, crafted. So, I would always look at my high school years with happy memories. Aside from searching for the meaning of life, my thirteen friends and I enjoyed wholesome gimmicks such as bowling, putting, playing the guitar (a skill I never mastered), attending masses, chatting among ourselves and organizing get-together activities. We don’t even have to invite others because we were so many.
In the midst of friends and gimmicks, I never disregarded my studies (I hope my nine-year-old son will also do so). In fact, my friends and I would often encourage each other to study more. We would have late nights where we would stay at the homes of our friends just to study. We would really encourage one another. We loved to be with the student council leadership and activities that centered around outreach programs.
Balancing studies and after school activities is never easy but I made sure it was done. I would always tell myself, ‘first thing’s first’. So there was a mechanism for me to put a balancing act.
In college, I felt more focused on my studies. Although I have to admit that my first love was nursing. Due to financial dearth, I heeded my parents’ advice to follow their footstep.
Although, I never dreamed of becoming a teacher I made sure that every single cent which had to be spent was spent well.
Being a teacher has its rewards. I first learned this during my first teaching experience back in high school. I got involved in religious work. That was the time when I discovered there was something in teaching. I enjoyed seeing students really excited when it comes to learning the basic truths of our faith. I don’t seem to remember any particular teacher I disliked, but I do remember the ones I did like. They are the ones who made me think and who challenged all of their students. They were very demanding but I learned best from them.
Now, I realized, if I weren’t a teacher, I would have made my career miserable for teaching has taught and offered me a lot of leadership practices and immense experiences in dealing with teenagers, reaching out to them and knowing their concerns and problems first hand. More so, I get the opportunity to reflect on the practice of human virtues that I talk about in my literature classes. Furthermore, I got to treasure the virtues more in my heart.
Through my interaction with my students, my fellow teachers and my superiors, I grow as a person and as an educator. In any other field, this remark would sound abstract, but in “teaching” growing, learning and working become indeed very real and visible.