How did I become a Teacher?

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Avatar for rayselp
2 years ago

"Make your passion your profession." - 3 Idiots

I graduated in the year 2009 with a 4-year degree at a University in Los Banos, Laguna (Shout out to Elbi peeps here!). The course was only for 4 years, but I graduated in my fifth year due to thesis problems (I can write another story for that sometime). Anyway, during my "fifth" year, I didn't take any more subjects, only units for my thesis completion. As the eldest of the family, I did not ask for an allowance from my father during this period, because I was too shy. So what I did was to make ends meet by offering English tutorial lessons to some Korean students in the Philippines. As I remember, I was receiving at most PhP1250 per week. I am just not sure how long one tutorial session is with Bbon, my student. This may be a little amount, but to me, during that time, it was enough to sustain my university life. It was enough to buy food, pay jeepney fare, pay computer shop rental fees, and others. I did this for more than 6 months (Summer and 1st Sem). When the pressure of graduating is becoming more evident, I decided to apply as a Student Assistant in my major's department in College. There, I do some clerical/office jobs, even assisting some of our professors in their field classes. During that time, I was paid PhP30 per hour, with a maximum of 100 hours per month.

Anyway, after 3 additional units (1 unit for summer, 1 unit for 1st semester, and 1 unit for 2nd semester), I was able to finish my thesis manuscript, and become part of the graduating class of 2009. Yes, I did it! I graduated from the university.

Before graduation, I volunteered at a new non-government organization based in Japan. I attended a 2-day event at SMX-Mall of Asia. Because of this, these people from the organization invited me to become a pioneer employee of their counterpart non-government organization here in the Philippines. I gladly took this job offer and started working for them literally 5 days after graduation. My work is job description was somewhat not related to my college degree, but I still took the job. I was receiving PhP12,000 per month. I worked as a coordinator of the projects to different communities. I stayed for two years in that job, because (1) I have nowhere to go; and (2) The workload is intermittent. I am busy one week, then, no activity in the next two weeks. Being in this job though made me realize that there's still room for improvement for me. I went back and reflected on what do I really want to do?

I realized, I really wanted was to teach.

December of 2010, I was literally ironing the wedding gown of my aunt when I told her that I wanted to try teaching as a profession. Lo and behold, she said I should submit a letter of intent and CV to her work's school principal. So, I submitted my application letter and CV in February of 2011.

I was actively looking for a job within the vicinity of Los Banos, Laguna, and in March of 2011, I got a call from a government institution where I applied as a researcher. I passed the panel interview and was invited for a technical interview, which I think I've failed. I was scared that at that time, 2 years had already passed since I "used" my knowledge and skills in scientific field research.

So, I just continued with my job, until the first week of April came. I got a call from the school where I applied as a teacher. It was funny because I completely forgot that I sent my application letter 2 months prior. They invited me for an interview on April 7.

I went there not knowing where the location of the school is, or how to get there. With the help of some of my friends and relatives, they instructed me on what to ride, where to go, etc. During the interview, the principal asked me right away...

"So, what brought you here?"

I didn't plan to tell that I took the chance to apply because my aunt told me so. But, in the spirit of honesty, I started telling him the story of how I was ironing my aunt's wedding dress, blah blah blah... - the very reason why I was there.

Another thing that I remembered from the interview is when he asked me my thoughts on using our native language which is Filipino to teach Science as a subject - and I was asked to answer in Filipino. It was stressful. The last question was about my symbol. If I am to be an object, what would symbolize me and why.

In answering this, I remembered the time that I was invited as a guest in a school's elementary graduation (for my previous work), where I awarded the Academic Excellence Award to their top 5 achievers. After giving a little speech, I witnessed them sing their graduation song entitled "Pass it on" while each student lights a candle and passing on the light to another student, and to another, and to another. I told the principal that my symbol is a candle, this little thing, small as it may be, can become a source of light to a lot of people, and that little fire, little light that is within me can be shared with others, and in turn, be shared to others more. (Pang-beauty queen ba ang sagot ko? Hehe)

He was impressed and after a few minutes, I was in a holding room with other applicants. I was so afraid during that time. It's was only my second time to be interviewed formally.

So, the principal called me and told me that I passed the interview and that I am to do a demo teaching the next day. The principal told me that he will send me my assigned topic and learning plan template on the night before my demo teaching.

Wait, WHAT?!!


I have no idea, or I do, but I don't know what to do!

Thankfully, one of my college friends is a teacher in a school in Quezon City, and she invited me to stay in their apartment. She lent me her laptop, gave me some advice, and allowed me to work on my demo teaching. I was just staring at the learning plan template, not knowing what to write.

The clock is ticking.

It's 3:00 AM. I was able to think of activities under each part of the learning plan, but I was quite not sure. I said to myself, I need to rest. The morning of my demo teaching, my college friend and her housemates asked me if I was able to finish my learning plan, I showed my work to them and they helped me to improve what I've written down. I vividly remember someone advising me to not forget to lead the prayer or ask someone to pray because I am applying as a teacher in a Catholic school.

So, I finalized my learning plan, went to a printing shop, prepared to go back to school for my demo teaching. Woah, I was there on time. I waited for a few moments in the holding area, and then, I started to "perform".

After about 20 minutes, I was asked to wait in the holding area. As an overthinker, I looked back to the whole process of my demo teaching, what I did and did not do, what I forgot to do. I almost forgot the game that I prepared as a motivational activity. HAHAHA.

And so I doubted if I passed the demo teaching. But on second thought, the principal had me waiting.

I waited for a few minutes and then, the principal called me and discussed with me the good points of my demo teaching and those that I can still improve on. I was right, the game that I almost forgot is the "sayang" moment according to the principal. But, he saw the potential in me, he saw something in me. So, he congratulated me and for the first time, I felt I've achieved something - something that I've really fought for, worked hard for, something totally new to me, something that I had to learn, something that I really wanted to do.

I first watched 3 Idiots in 2009. This movie, I can say, has resonated with the passion of teaching in me. It's true that for you to become successful, you should love what you do. So, here I am, fulfilling the 3 Idiots quotation "Make your passion your profession."


P.S. The avatar was made by my partner as part of my requirements in one of the subjects during my Master's study.

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Avatar for rayselp
2 years ago