Thursday, July 17

Teaching Mauie

Once in a blue moon, I write about my experiences as a teacher. I think that I didn't write more about them in the past because my subconcsious mind doesn't want to. It's just that, sometimes, I do get so tired at the end of the day that my mind wants to get away from what I do at work. Besides, I get to write more seldom now. Now I feel the need to write because after these past few years of teaching, I have become a more learned person. Students can teach teachers, too... BELIEVE ME!

From Rap I have learned to become a different person apart from what I was back then. My son was my first student (as I were his). I taught him in homeschool for a year before we sent him to a big school. He was able to read independently before he turned three. That's when I knew that I can teach. So I enrolled myself in graduate school and reinvented myself.

From my Kinder 1 class I have learned how to share. I learned how to share myself with other children. I learned how to divide my love and attention with 14 kids everyday. Some of them needed me to say "Good Job!" for a coloring activity even they have made a rainbow-colored person. Some of them needed me to sing for them their favorite nursery songs. Some of them needed me to tell them stories. But all of them needed me to show them how to have fun with learning. Oh how I miss our "Spiderman Clap" days!

I learned so much from my special kids. From Josh, I learned patience. Once he turned his table upside down because he was so frustrated with our seat work. I would have lost my senses but I managed to take a deep breath and just relax. From Kenneth's crying and headbanging moments, I learned to be understanding of others. I started to research more about autism and how to become a more effective teacher of an autistic child. From Keille and Angela, I learned how to appreciate life's little triumphs. I jumped with joy with every new word that is added to their vocabulary.

I learned how to dream from Lorane. She may be mentally challenged but she has dreams of making it big someday. I hope that someday all of them can come true. From Elliza I learned acceptance. Her teachers and classmates may think of her as a naughty child but all I got to see the sweet girl that was just longing to be accepted. From Viana I learned that a family doesn't only mean having both mom and dad together. From Isha's very busy schedule I learned about time management. From Maki I learned how important it is for a Filipino child to learn Filipino (unless the parents plan to send their kids to international school!). From Bernard I learned cooperation. Success in learning away from school is possible only from a joint collaboration between tutor, student, and parents. From Naoya I learned how to smile more. Once I asked him why he's always giggling during our sessions. He told me "Para tatawa ka at hindi ka papangit!" Hahaha, this one's really a classic. A child's innocence really is amazing.

My mom is a retired professor. Growing up in a family who always needed to make ends meet, I have always frowned upon the thought of me being a teacher. But here I am, back to the noble profession that helped my mom feed and educate me and my siblings. I am glad I became a teacher because from being one I become a well-rounded person each day.

To teach is to learn twice. ~Joseph Joubert, Pensées, 1842

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