10 Years as an Educator

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Avatar for rayselp
2 years ago
Topics: Lessons, Reflection

Yesterday marked my 10th year as a teacher. Wow. I didn't realize that it already has been a decade. I took some time to reflect on the learnings that I can say I had gained in this 10-year journey.

But first, let me give you a background of why where I am today. To those of you who read my previous article "How did I become a teacher", you might probably remember that I was not a graduate of a bachelor's degree in education, I was actually a graduate of a hardcore and specialized branch of Science/Biology which is Forestry. Woah, you might not even know what that is... anyway, deep inside me is the desire to teach and be a molder of young minds, so when an opportunity to teach knocked on my door, I grabbed it... and it has been 10 years since I grabbed that opportunity.

So, what have I learned in my 10-year journey?

  1. Being a teacher needs patience, lots of it. Yes, one of the qualities of being a good teacher is to be patient. Imagine being with kids, you might argue but you're teaching the high school level, it doesn't take a lot of patience as compared to kindergarten... but I tell you, it's different, yes, but it still entails you to have patience - lots of it. Patience comes in handy when you've already given your students instruction, and then they would ask you literally about what you've just mentioned, and so you tried to explain it again, and another one will ask the same question. Haha. So, if you don't like to repeat again and again, then, you need to build more patience.

Are you running out of your patience battery? Please recharge right away or else, it's either you blow up, or others will.

  1. Being a teacher won't make you rich. If you have the ambition to become a rich person, then, being a teacher may not be the career for you. This may sound discouraging, but the truth is, we sometimes are overworked and are underpaid. The amount of workload that we do doesn't just happen in the actual teaching session with the students (whether online or face-t0-face), but it actually goes round the clock. Planning a lesson, looking for interesting materials, researching, checking assessments, giving feedback, being available when a student asks for questions or clarifications even beyond class hours, talking to parents regarding their child's status, and so on... I know it's part of our job, but sometimes, it becomes discouraging when the amount of work that you do is not tantamount to the salary that you are receiving, but we still do it anyway, for the kids, always for the kids.

  1. Being a teacher means being selfless. Being a teacher means being selfless. When you have a student who is in need, you will do your best to fulfill your role as a second parent. This need may be in the form of different types of support like advising, cheering for them, or even just merely listening to whatever they say. When a group of students asks you to look over them when they need to make a project in school beyond school hours, you say yes to them. When they have a fundraising activity, and they need to sell their baked goodies, shirts, hoodies, etc., you buy from them. When they finished their exams, and you want to give them a reward and make them feel stress-free, you will treat the class with ice cream or pizza. Why do you do such? Because being a teacher means supporting them in any way that you can, even when you're not sure if there's something left in your pocket.

  1. Being a teacher means non-stop learning. Being in the academe entails you to realize that there's a need to improve yourself - think about professional development. Teachers attend seminars (now webinars) not only for promotion but also for self-improvement for their ever-changing types of learners. We, teachers, need to learn new things, new styles, new technologies to be able to become at par with the teaching standards that are expected of us. When there was a change in the Science curriculum as part of the K-12 DepEd curriculum, we needed to adjust and learn how to teach subjects that were originally not taught by us. For example, originally, I was only teaching Biology to 2nd year high schoolers (Grade 10) but because of the shift to a spiral curriculum, I also have to learn to teach Earth Science, Chemistry, and Physics. Now, because of the pandemic situation, we have to learn how to create effective instructional materials for both synchronous and asynchronous classes, make ourselves more open to challenges in the online classroom and learn the basics of troubleshooting, etc. etc. The list goes on and on. And again, for what reason? - For the kids.

  1. Being a teacher is touching someone's life. I may not be the best, articulate, and most intelligent teacher that my students have, but I know, in one way or another, I was able to impart my good values to them. I remember one time one of my students approached me and told me that she was applying for a pre-med course in one of the prestigious schools here in the Philippines. She was my student in her 2nd year in HS, this happened when she's already graduating. She asked if I could make a recommendation letter for her because she said that she was inspired by the manner that I taught Biology to them, she became more fascinated to pursue a career that's directly related to it. Man, it was a proud moment for me, and I was also thrilled at the same time. When I started having homeroom classes, I always share the bible verse 1 Corinthians 10:23 - "Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial." whenever we discuss something about obeying the rules, making decisions, doing something. I was not aware that this verse was imbibed in them. There was one time when one student recited and related these words in their Christian Life (CL) class and told their teacher that it was from me, the teacher laughed and asked them if the words are really from me. The students said yes. After the class, their CL teacher shared this story with me, and we both laughed. During our homeroom time, I told them that I appreciated that they were able to remember what I was sharing, but also clarified that the words are not from me, I was only a means to share God's word (through the Apostle Paul) to them. We all laughed hard. Oh, I miss that class!

A teacher is a noble profession. I am not saying this because I am one. I am saying this based on experience. So, right now you may be thinking of a teacher that has touched or even changed your life or perspective, go back to him/her, send a message, tell your teacher your appreciation for him/her. It's not the grandest of things - the little ones, those small acts of kindness that you've received from him/her. I bet you, he/she would appreciate it.

If you're a teacher like me, always remember that you are not alone. You may be in a dark position right now, not knowing what to do, you may be in agony and uncertainly, just remember the very reason why you keep doing what you do - the very reason why we teach is for the kids, always for the kids...

Thank you for reading!

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Avatar for rayselp
2 years ago
Topics: Lessons, Reflection

Comments

I always dreamt of becoming a teacher. Sad to say, I was not able to pursue it. I am working as a Call Center Agent as of now as I am the breadwinner of the family. Right after my graduation I get to Cebu to work for me to provide the needs of my family. It saddens me somehow but I always look at the brighter side of the way. I still hope that I can pursue it in the future.

Anyway, congratulations for the long years you shared as an educator. Salute! 💜

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2 years ago

rk for me to provide the needs of my family. It saddens me somehow but I always look at the brighter side of the way. I still hope that I can pu

Hi MissJo! Thanks for the wonderful words. I always remember that there's a right timing for everything. I am rooting for you! :)

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2 years ago

Thank you as well for believing. 💜

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2 years ago

My paternal grandparents were teachers, and so was their only daughter. I have a cousin who is also a teacher. Perhaps, if I had not found the path to writing, I may have been, too. I salute you, not only for your 10 years of being an educator but for being a truly dedicated one. Based on what you shared, you are the kind of teacher I had when I was younger, and the ones that inspired me and pushed me to do better.

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2 years ago

I also have a family of teachers, my grandparents are both teachers as well as my parents. :) Thank you for the appreciation. :)

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2 years ago