Today, October 5, marks the last day of the National Teachers Month (NTM) celebration here in the Philippines.
As mandated by President Benigno Aquino’s Proclamation 242, activities related to the NTM should begin by September 5 and end by October 5, which had been declared by the United Nations as World Teachers Day. Read Department of Education’s Memorandum #96-2014 on this link for reference.
Since October 5 this year falls on a Sunday while October 6 is a regular holiday (for Eid’l Adha), most activities related to the National Teachers’ Month took place last Friday and yesterday. If you want to know more about how this special day was celebrated throughout the Philippines, check out the official Facebook page of the National Teachers’ Month committee secretariat.
Now having said all of that, let me share with you some realizations in my nearly three years on this job. I began teaching in academic year 2012-2013, shortly after I left my first job, which is being an editor for a book publishing company.
It is perhaps not an exaggeration to say that about 1,500 students have already been under me. In those five semesters, I’ve encountered a wide variety of students – scholars, part-time workers, rich kids, DOTA addicts, and the like. Some are really driven, while others are satisfied with just getting a passing mark.
We may not be required to work eight hours a day unlike those who are office-based, but that really doesn’t capture the fact that our work does not end inside the classroom. Just imagine the unpaid hours we spend doing school-related stuff like lesson and test preparation, computing grades, and the like!
Us teachers may be enjoying more no-work days than other employees because of class suspensions, but that does not hide the fact that unlike the latter, we don’t get to maximize our vacation and sick leaves. How can you afford to go on vacation when that means being late in class discussions?
Teachers also occasionally have to deal with mean students. Some students for example make fun of their teachers for petty reasons like owning low-tech gadgets, having Visayan accents, and poor fashion choices.
Before judging their teachers whenever they make small mistakes, students must think about the personal sacrifices and hard choices they’ve made just to stay in teaching. It’s never about the money. It’s easier to earn a whole lot more doing something else. It’s about loving the job. So despite their shortcomings, teachers should be given the respect they deserve.
Unfortunately for me, my engagement in this profession seems to have come at a wrong time. The full implementation of the K plus 12 curriculum by 2016 means that most general education subjects (where the courses I teach falls under) will be moved to high school. Also, tertiary institutions are tightening their rules as regards hiring people without a masters’ degree.
Anyway, those are topics I’ll explore more in the future. For now, I am steadfast in my commitment to stay in teaching as long as I can. I just freaking love this job! 🙂