A profession or a career is a crucial choice every human being needs to make a decision of. When we were young, we were often asked: “what is your ambition?” Our answers usually pertains to a specific occupation we were exposed to, like to be a police officer, nurse, doctor, firefighter, or a teacher.
Being a teacher, in my opinion is the most noble profession of all. Do it well and you will be able to inspire the future generation to do wonders. Be a bad teacher and you have just robbed someone and maybe scarred them for life. All we have now is the result of what we learned in the past.
When I was in Kinder One, I had a teacher who would ask students who failed her test to stand in front of the entire class. And at the count of three, classmates should go in front and unbutton their shirt — All the buttons for the boys, half of the buttons for the girls. I failed in one of the exams, and I was one of those girls in front. Deep down, I felt such shame and violation, and was quite helpless to do anything about it. This memory remained buried until it resurfaced again a couple of years ago.
When I was in second grade, one teacher of mine encouraged me to join my very first singing contest. I practice hard for it, but was not used to the acoustic of the big gym. When it was my turn on stage, I kept hearing the echo of my voice, arriving later than the minus one. I sang faster and faster, still, all echoes. Finally, I decided to stop — thinking of catching the next stanza correctly, and still, my voice appeared delayed! Needless to say, I lost that contest. I thought that was the last time I would ever join a contest after such failure, but when I reached third grade, my new teacher encouraged me to join the contest again! And that was when I experienced my first win. 🙂
I also remember one teacher in High one, who would try to play Christian music in school and share Christ’s love to us. She shared the gospel and explained the importance of God, something that made me feel uncomfortable. Not having a religious parents and staying in a nonsectarian school, I didn’t have a religion, or any knowledge about spiritual matters.
When I was in high two, I had a pastor’s wife as our teacher, and she did her best to invite her students to attend her church’s fellowship. My classmate, James, invited me to it, and I went. It was during those days when I actually accepted Christ as my Lord and Saviour.
My most influencing teacher, however, is my lifetime music teacher. He trained me for years, and encouraged me to join contests, exposed me to singing groups, choreography, hosting, conducting and even teaching. I got to be under his tutelage when I was in grade 6. Until now, I still take lessons from him. To him, I owe lots!
I had a physics teacher in high four whose motto is “Aim high, hit the bull’s eye.” According to him, if you aim for perfection, and doesn’t hit it, you will still get something better than the average, as opposed to aiming just to pass, or to get by. He further encouraged us by writing a “top-notcher” list on the board after every exam, for us to aspire to have our names written there. Needless to say, physics became a favorite subject of ours, for it seems as if a lot of people were really good at it. Lots of perfect scores during exams!
The most memorable influencer in our high school for me, is Mr. Antonio O, the former O.I.C. of Philippine Cultural High School Annex. He looked like lao hu chi, and he loved taking pictures. He encouraged students to have hobbies and collections, and even let us showcase them out. He organized school-wide riddle contests, lantern-making contests and other extracurricular activities, stressing that learning is not limited to the classroom walls. He is the overall administrator, and yet he is close to everyone’s heart. As students, we could see his sincerity, dedication, and genuine desire to see the good in every bad student. I remembered approaching him on his office one time, informing him that our Chinese history teacher just gave away the periodical exam content to us, the week before the exam. He really got mad and fired that teacher immediately. That week, he organized a remedial class and personally taught the subject to us, giving us a fresher view. When the test came, there was this question about various countries who were interested in China and we were supposed to write the Chinese names of those countries. I answered it in English because I didn’t study the Chinese characters — and he gave me the full score! For him, the knowledge (e.g. knowing the countries) is more important that knowing how to write it out correctly.
Surely, I am boring you with my ramblings already. I am making these reflections in life because yesterday was our last day in Makati Hope Christian School. Though Fil and I were merely ABC Music & Me teachers there, we got to feel the environment we were working in. Lots of changes these past few years. It was worst when we found out that the school is being controlled not by the principal, but by “The Devil.”
The Devil claims to be a man of God who knows his Bible verses. Profit is his main goal and the school is his business. Teachers and school administrators are all his employees and he can hire and fire anyone at his own whims.
When his church split in two because of his refusal to submit, he formed his own church and required students to attend. He pirated a good Christian from another church to teach and work with the students and grade their attendance. Maybe for first Sunday, all high one will attend, then next Sunday, high two, so on and so forth.
When the school principal had more principles than him and was willing to make a stand for it, the Devil “promoted” that principal into becoming a consultant and hired someone younger, nicer, and more moldable than the former principal — a few weeks before the school year ends!!!
Going back to my topic, I really believe that teaching is more than just passing the knowledge from one person to another. Teaching is inspiring another person to put those knowledge into good use. It is more than the information, and it often involves the character and values of the teacher. Teachers are the greatest Influencers.
Who are the teachers that influenced you most?
disclaimer: this blog is full of my thoughts and sentiments, and is in no way reflective of other people’s thoughts.