Latest Stories

Good teaching comes from integrity


I spent the best of my times teaching, driven by different passions in setting my objectives.

I accepted Helen Keller’s dictum: “Education has as its object the formation of the character.”

Teaching is a commitment that has shaped and defined my life.

After trying my hand in advertising, I opted to try the academe.

With my background in philosophy and letters, I started my teaching career in a high school classroom at a Catholic university. Young learners were entrusted to me to help them discover life in its abundance and make each of them a promising child of God. To educate them was to subject each one to the proper formation of character.

But transformation had to start with me. Good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher who must be emotionally and academically prepared, and can set a good example of the profession he is representing.

I am guided by the belief that the building of character is not only confined within a classroom or a school but  wherever one interacts with others. Change becomes an integral part of his/her being.

At a workshop I once attended, years after leaving high school teaching and moving to college instruction, the president of the religious university shared an anecdote lionizing the teacher as a professional, a loving parent, a religious and social worker, a coach who helps solve problems, a healer of the spirit and a living model everywhere he goes.

Walking the talk

All of a sudden, the speaker pointed to me as a teacher who “walks his talk.”

To him, caring for a family was the same as dealing with students and raising them to understand the true meaning of life. He made inferences from the way I was raising my family. Without me knowing it, I was being measured.

I cannot imagine how deep a mark I must have made when he was my student some years back.

For my professional advancement and to strengthen the academic empowerment of my students, I took two master’s degrees—in literature and education. Then, I got a doctorate in education, major in educational management. One of my professors was the former top student in a class I had taught.

How honorable it is to be a teacher! It earns respect, dignity and recognition.  It carries a tremendous opportunity for  widening one’s personal and professional world.

In college mentoring, e-learning is a big help in disseminating information and lessons to my students. An extension of my interest is to open my Facebook account for social communication.

Although it was not my intention to renew old academic relationships and contacts, birthday greetings were sent to my account by more than a hundred well-wishers who were my students decades ago. Many of them are now based in foreign lands with their families.


One greeter wanted to be sure it was really me and asked: “Were you my teacher in English, then a young man, a PWD (person with disability) using a crutch?  You know, you were our idol!”

So they remembered!

And where are the others who left some living moments for me to cherish?

Some of them tried to pursue writing careers because of their experience in campus journalism. Many of them I invited to teach. Some responded to the call and are now in the field and became my students pursuing master’s degrees in graduate school.

Several found juicy assignments both in the public and private sectors. I feel that their success is my accomplishment, too.

Why have I remained in teaching?  I left school life for a while and tried the corporate world, where I did some traveling. But after some years, I went back to my old love. I got another teaching job and became part of the administration.

“Whatever you do, love it.” I accept this premise. I am aware that the true meaning of love is the kind of life I will leave behind when I am gone. It is my legacy.

It is said destiny is a matter of chance. But I say it is a matter of choice.  I want to borrow this axiom: “If, through a person, a little more love and goodness have come to this world, then that person’s life has had meaning.”

I submit.

(Teofredo Silva-Tisbe is from Lipa City. Now 70 years old, he is semi-retired but teaching a few subjects at an international school. A PWD who uses a wheelchair, he has been teaching for 46 years.)

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: character , integrity , Learning , teaching

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  2. Cagayan mayor shot dead after flag-raising ceremony
  3. Obama, family cause a small stir at Easter service
  4. Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return
  5. ‘Malang’ next crocodile attraction after ‘Lolong’
  6. Gigi Reyes’ only option: tell all
  7. Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst
  8. Ancient enigmatic carvings in danger of disappearing
  9. New plant to boost supply of clean energy
  10. More bodies from ship; transcript reveals wavering
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Annual blackout simulation drill held
  • Saudi Arabia reports 3 more deaths from MERS virus
  • Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  • Why are Americans obsessed with missing plane?
  • Napoles to have surgery on Tuesday – report
  • Sports

  • PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers
  • Ilad’s last-second basket lifts Gems over Bakers
  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention
  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Business

  • Century Pacific Food sets IPO price at P13.75 per share
  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • Marketplace