One of the things I will miss the most when I no longer teach my Little Chickens (a.k.a. the seniors class. For some reason they’ve taken to calling me Momma Chicken (or shark, or tiger, and lets not forget cougar at times!). One day they decided that since I’m their momma whaterver, they became little chickens), are the random bits of sunshine they throw my way. From unexpected hugs to hilarious comments, and even those little endearing puppy-dog-please-please-please-teacher-eyes they send my way, these are little bits of sunshine that brighten up even the most dismal and difficult days.
Not too long ago, I was having a really bad day. But one of my little chickens threw such a bright ray of sunshine my way I couldn’t help but feel the love.
happy, happy sigh
I am so gonna miss this.Read More
Hello there Dears,
Yes, it is me again, your teacher.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen this side of me…the side that gets soooo overwhelmed and upset with the fact that no matter how hard I try, I can’t not let your behavior get to me. And like last time, I find myself so frustrated with things that happened in class and I thought it best to let you know how I feel about it.
So here it goes: like in my last letter to you, I’d like to remind you that while I may be one of the most lenient and “child”- centered teachers you will ever meet, please don’t forget that I am human too….and that I can only take so much pushing before I tip over and lose the smile I try to keep while we’re together. Please remember that I ask very little of you, especially since I am one of those teachers who firmly believes that it is not the facts and figures that you remember in my class that matters, but that you actually liked what you learned and how you got to learn this in my class. I like letting you have fun because for me, this is what really makes learning more meaningful and life changing. As I often tell you in class, aanhin mo naman lahat ng theories kung hindi mo rin gagamitin, diba? Also, please remember that more than just doing well in my activities and exams, what really counts for me is to see you become better people and this is not measured simply by scores in tests, but by your character, behavior and attitude. I feel at times that no matter how hard I try to help you find it, the lost art of respect, gratitude and proper etiquette is an impossibility…..but I am trying very hard not to believe that, because what kind of a world would we have if that becomes a fact, right?
So yes, today I got my buttons pushed by you guys and yes, I tried hard to remain calm and focused on the bigger picture. What I ask from you now, however, is that you not make it too hard for me to keep on wanting to do what I do in class because believe me, in as much as I looooove it to bits, there are days when I have to think about it.
Oh, do know while today may not have been such a wonderful day for me, do know that I have had so much fun and felt so much joy while teaching you guys. If you could only see my Facebook wall after class, more often than not I sing (well, you know what I mean!) praises of you all the time because many, many times, I take away more than I would have expected from class. The little jokes we exchange, the pseudo-intellectual conversations we carry on, and yes, the heartfelt discussions we have really make my day. And yes…that’s what keeps me going. That’s what makes me stay true to being not just a teacher, but a teacher here in the Philippines despite the fact that my contemporaries have found greener pastures elsewhere.
Till next time, but hopefully in better circumstances,
Miss RiaRead More
Every now and then, I still find myself questioning why and how I happened to fall into teaching. I still haven’t figured out the answer to that, but every time I find myself questioning just that, I am reminded that whatever the reason may be, I am just so lucky to have been given the opportunity to be among the ranks of those who are called ‘teacher’, and while I may be (and perhaps always will be) an Accidental Teacher, I am grateful that I am able to heed the call to do what it is I do.
Today I’d like to take pause and honor all the teachers that have paved the way for my own path, because in my heart of hearts, I know I wouldn’t be here if not for what I’ve gained through them.
Perhaps the teacher I owe most of who I am today is Teacher Chona. It was she who recognized early warning signs of dyslexia in me and went through great lengths to help me overcome that looming learning disability. While it may come to hinder me every now and then, I believe that her support and insights as early as then made learning, and yes, even excelling, a possibility for me.Read More
Every once in a while I think I have been teaching for far too long. At times, I have to admit it gets very tiring and monotonous, especially when it comes to the routine of class (particularly in the preschool level!). However, I think everyday I still gain something new in my growth as an educator. For a little bit, when I get stuck in a rut, it was a little hard to appreciate my own growth potential. But whenever that happens, something always, always happens to remind me of why I teach.
Today the message came via an email of a former student who was asking for some help. In her letter, she talked about how much she enjoyed my class and how it has influenced her over the years. It was heartwarming, to say the least. One thing she pointed out was how much she appreciated my teaching style (which often times, admittedly, is very preschooley). She went on to say that through this she enjoyed and appreciated the class, and it made learning very fun and easy. Granted that some students may say that when they’re asking a favor of you, but I’d like to believe in my heart of hearts that maybe I did make an impact in her life. What makes me say this? She is enrolling in a masters program abroad in early childhood.
For me, I’d like to think that growing as an educator is not limited to my own personal growth and improvement. It goes beyond getting all those letters behind your name and having countless publications in journals. Growing as an educator also means being able to spark an interest in your students that allows them to explore endless possibilities that are open for them. Today, I felt that, and while I may question where I stand in my profession every now and then, I know I did wellRead More
A few months ago, the legendary Oprah Winfrey announced the end of a 25-season run of her syndicated talk show in 2011. This came as a shock to those who have grown to love her and what her show represents. For me, Oprah has been an amazing teacher. While I do not always agree with what she has to say, she has taght me many of the essentials in life through The Oprah Show. From little tips on how to do things to life saving techniques, I have really learned so much from the show, her guests and herself. She is the epitome of selflessness and genuineness, in my opinion. She speaks her mind but does not do so to offend others. This is something I admire in her. Like her, I, too, am an emotional eater. Because of her candidness about her own experiences, I am reminded of looking into the emotions behind my eating.
If there is one lesson I hold most dear, however, it’s that she reminds me daily to love myself and to not let others define who I am.
The other day, I caught a rerun of the episode where she announced her retirement and I love how she said that she felt it in her bones that this was the right choice to make. She put it so perfectly when she said “I love it enough to know when it is time to say goodbye” . It dawned on me that maybe this is why I keep questioning where I am in my preschool teaching profession and whether or not I am indeed ready to hang up my teacher’s hat again. I realized, just like Oprah, no matter what job that may be (be it your teaching profession, a medical career, or even those construction jobs or call center positions), when the time is right to say goodbye, you will just know. For now, I will listen and see what the answer for me really is.Read More