A TEACHer, Not a FLUNKer

A TEACHer, Not a FLUNKer

This is the ever-witty quote of Lady Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago today.

When I was a child, one of my goals was to teach. That isn’t anything new in my family because I have a lot of cousins who chose that as their profession. I guess we owe it to our grandfather who became a teacher and then a school principal from being a working student. He loved teaching. He taught me, too. He liked writing on this yellow pad. Now, I wonder why he always had yellow pad paper. Unlike my mother who taught me once in her life (she taught me Algebra, of all subjects!), my grandfather was patient. He had techniques. He had passion. And I loved watching him teach.

And so I taught, too. I started in college when my college socio-civic organization gave free UPCAT (the entrance exam to the University of the Philippines) reviews. Of course, I taught my favorite subject, English. These were high school students, rowdy and playful. Then, I taught singing and became a vocal coach. This time, I taught voice lessons, stage performance, and spiels delivery. And my students’ age ranged from 3 to 72! Then, finally, for five years, I taught communication, culture, and call handling at BPO companies.

The love that is teaching

There is some magic when you have the power to affect people, to influence them, and to ultimately make them better individuals. There is a force that turns someone into a performer when she/he steps in front of the students. As if by some miracle, it instantly makes your existence on this planet worthwhile.

You don’t get this feeling when there is no passion in teaching. This is what Senator Miriam is referring to. I watched an interview of her and she shared about her strict mother who was a school teacher. Miriam herself was a teacher as she taught law subjects at Trinity College and the University of the Philippines. She’s now also a lecturer and a favorite guest speaker in graduations and special occasions of different schools and universities.

Like the lady senator, I have a high regard for the ultimate goal of a teacher. You can be a terror or you can be the favorite. But if you sincerely want learning and improvement to take place, you can move mountains — cause you can extend your patience, you can be smarter, you can learn something new, you can improve someone’s skill, you can influence action, and you can influence change.

I know I’ll find ways to go back to teaching. There are so many ways to do that. Especially when you can create what you teach. Now, isn’t that something! 🙂

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