I never planned to be a teacher… not after I saw how hard it was when my own teacher asked me to compute her students’ grades.
But, as they say, “things happen while you are busy planning something else.” After painful struggles and denials, I finally found my calling and answered, “YES!”
Fortunately or unfortunately, however, I get so attached to my students that their pains and disappointments, as well as joys and triumphs, become my own.
No matter how many times people say that one should never involve her feelings, I keep violating that “law.”
My students become my friends. We talk about so many things, even those not connected to the subjects I teach them.
They share their stories, their dreams, fears, pains and even their corny jokes. I go with them when they just want to “bond” and chat the hours away. And, most importantly, I guess, they let me be myself and accept me as a person.
I am proud of their talents, their skills, their daring. I admire the way they pass hurdles and challenges given limited resources. I love them for being who they are, idiosyncrasies and all.
They can be my moment’s headache, but they are always part of my memories. While I may sometimes yell at them, they are still the reason for my laughter. They are my moments of sanity in a day gone mad. They make me laugh so hard at times, yet sometimes, looking at them moves me to tears.
People say you will never get rich by teaching. Maybe they are right.
But one afternoon, while having our “bonding” time, I took a look at them and told myself: “Never mind, I have my jewels and smileys in the classroom. I can still go on till the next payday.”
Joan M. Dizon is currently juggling teaching in Lucban, Quezon, and pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Media Studies degree at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.