Tuesday, September 18, 2012

To be good or to be good only to us?

Since last year, I’ve rested from the rigors of teaching. No, I still love teaching, or being a student. If given another chance of time, I will go back to graduate school to pursue another Master’s degree or pragmatically the Ph.D. Although I am teaching one class in Public Speaking, teaching more than one or 3 classes has not been my thing since last year due certain priorities. Still, as my wife can attest, I am and will always be a teacher regardless of the paths that will be given to me in the days to come. I am sure we hear or read the words “teaching is the noblest profession”. Fellow mentors, or tormentors, despite the salary which leads most of us to go “Loandon” (Loan dito, loan doon or Loan here and there.), a part of us say that there is fulfillment in teaching. This is especially felt by those teaching pre-teens below students. You’ll notice them learn how to read and write. Eventually, you’ll notice them grow academically, psychologically, spiritually, and physically. You’ll see the overall growth. You can’t help but be happy, even if you’re not the type who grins a lot. Since the time I graduate college in 2001, I considered myself a teacher, although my real teaching years are 5 years (2002-2004, 2009-present). I salute teachers who taught for more than a decade. However, alongside this salutation is also a reminder. There’s a reminder that there is a temptation. Yeah right, we might say that it should be with an “s”, so make it tempationS. Yes, as teachers, we are experiencing temptations. There is always the temptation to amass large amounts of debt. Yes, these times, our kids wanted to have the latest gadgets, latest phones, latest etcetera, forgetting that their parents are just Teacher 1 in a public school or a low rank teacher. Hence, the temptation to go, well, “Loandon”. There is also the temptation of falling for your students. Let me tell you this with all honesty: students especially nowadays are pretty. Especially if you’re teaching high school and in your mid 20s (for example), some female students can even pass as your prospective date. With just right conditions and seemingly conniving circumstances, a young or even old male teachers will be tempted to date a student, or worse than that. Since even our law itself considered teachers as persons in authority, there is also a tendency of corruption. Yes, we heard of teachers running away the student fund or overpricing student related expenses (let us be professional and proper: if you’re not that kind of person, don’t be hurt. This is just for example’s sake). No, I am not talking about that temptation. This is the temptation that, when we give in, doesn’t automatically make us go to jail or have our PRC cards revoked. This is the temptation of drawing our students, both former and current, to the US-WORLD. This is the temptation of self-centeredness. Since we’re teachers, there is a temptation of teaching our students to be good…to us, to those that pertain to us, and similar to us. Yes, we teach them values. However, there is the tendency to teach our students subjective values. To explain this further, let me give questions. Do we teach them to be good or to be good only to us? If we saw our students starting to be friendly to another teacher that we don’t like, do we rationalize our insecurities by disguising it in a form of concern? If that is concern, is it a concern that the students might be in danger in that another teacher or is it just plain jealousy because “our precious sons and daughters” no longer surround us? When calling for our former and current students for help, is it for them to be better or for yourself? If for yourself, is it because you really need a helping hand or just their attention? When we’re being called “daddy”, “dad”, “mom”, “mommy”, “ate”, “kuya” and similar terms by our students, do we feel good? If yes, do we remind ourselves that, after the terms of respect is given, to keep our composure and move forward to our job? Do we teach because we wanted to be heard (not bad to certain extent)? Do we call our students “son”, “daughter”, or “anak”? If yes, do we call them as such because we’re just plainly sweet or because we are building our own yes-men/yes-women army to be used in “future purposes”? Are we teaching students some real “high standards” or you’re just too overprotective? Do we teach them values because they need them or because we need these students? Are we teaching the alma mater values for students to be better people or just because we wanted a product that is called OUR OWN? Are we teaching our students to remember what we taught them or do we teach them to remember US built in the guise of teaching? Teachers and aspiring teachers, let us remember that our students have their own lives. Let us remember that they are individuals, not our army. In fact, even army guys and gals have their own lives. Let us minimize, if not let go, our insecurities by teaching the students what they need. Once they’ve learned, let us move forward and teach another. Yes, cherishing our past students are good, but let us be reminded that it is our duty, not merely our pressure to teach them. Teach the students to be loyal to the right teachings, not to us. Teach the students to remember what they need to learn, not remember what makes us happy if the students do it in the first place. Teach objectivity, help them with subjectivities and relativities. Well, even yours truly find this one a tough one, but in order for us to be efficient, effective, and emotionally secured teachers, let us keep reminding ourselves with these, or more.

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