Teaching: The Art of Giving One’s Soul
A student in Abellana National School here in Cebu City Philippines once told me that he considers teaching to be the hardest profession to fulfill, and with that, he asked me if I wanted to become one. I thought I could answer his question directly with as much carefree attitude as I did when our education teacher asked us the same question way back when we were freshmen. Instead of answering, I paused in silent reminiscence of the past experiences I’ve had. I just sat there in silence for a few seconds, and during those moments, there were plenty of realizations that struck me all at once.
For the first time, I realized that I am now at the threshold of both an ending and a beginning of one of the chapters of my life. My life as a practicum-student is coming to an end while my journey as a real professional teacher is now unraveling before my very eyes. Though I can see no end in sight yet, the path is all but ready; waiting for me to step in and begin the long and eventful journey. In line with this realization; came the second which gave me anxiety. I asked myself, “Am I ready to face the challenges of being a teacher? Do I have what it takes to become a teacher who can touch lives and make a difference?” Plenty of questions came rushing and with that my student prodded once more, “Miss O, ganahan jud ka mag-teacher sa una pa? Bilib ra ba ko sa mga teachers!”(Miss O, do you want to be a teacher even then? If you must know, teachers, are my idols!) How can I answer a student as eager as him? Someone, who looks up to the teaching profession so much? I am at a loss because honestly, I never wanted to become a teacher. Before, if one asks me if I am to follow the footsteps of my mother and be a teacher too, I would answer, “No way! Over my dead body!” Not that I don’t put the teaching profession in high esteem, actually I think it is the noblest of all professions. However, I just don’t think I have it in my character to be serious enough and do what my Mother does and all the other teachers whom I idolize. Being a daughter of a teacher, I saw all the rigors and paper works my mother has to bear and I never dreamed to be like her. I see teaching as a boring and tiring profession albeit a truly noble one. But as fate would have it, I too am destined to be one. To make the long story short, I am now a graduating education student and am very fervent and passionate about becoming one. Having been able to teach in a public school like Abellana National High School opened up my eyes eventually to the wonderful life of being a teacher. Yes, I saw how tiresome it is because of the workload, the students, and the environment, but then again I don’t know why at the end of the day, still there would always be a sweet smile on my lips and contentment in my heart. For as long as I know that I did my best to impart knowledge to my students, that I was able to show them how much I care, then I can say that my day is complete.
When I turned to my student waiting for my answer, there was a smile on my lips and I softly said, “I never dreamed of being a teacher, but God allowed me not only to teach you guys but also to give you a part of me that I would never get back and you would always have. Do you know what that is? It’s my soul as a teacher. Every time I teach you, the Lord is also teaching me the art of giving my soul to you; my beloved students.