Start Time: 7:20
For now, you are planting seeds.
The first year years of teaching is a roller coaster ride and I can tell that you are on the lowest part of that ride, but as we always tell the others, it gets better.
These are the words Dr. Martin, of the Loyola Marymount University Dean of School of Education, who spoke to us last Sunday afternoon. Teaching for more than 25 years now. I still don’t know if I can stay that long in this profession.
How would I describe the past few weeks? Or just this week? Just like the others, my heart had reached it breaking point and I am on the verge of giving up. But, please tell me how can I give up on something and someone I love so much? I never thought that loving teaching would also mean loving the kids I teach. It came as a package deal.
Much as I wanted to blame the parents as to why their kids are like that, I know it’s not right. They are sending their kids to school that means they are doing something right for their kids. I wanted to blame their previous teachers, but it’s not right. They tried their best. I know they did. I want to believe they did because that’s their job. I want to blame the system, but would the system listen to my tiny voice? Who am I to say that this system sucks. Suddenly, I stopped finding who to blame and got back to work. I don’t want to be blamed, so I have to get back to work.
As the first year of my teaching culminates in two months, slowly drowning myself with all the disappointments gathered up on me, all I wanted to do is survive. I thought, I am already okay. But I am not. This week was a hell lot like my first week in this school!!!!! Fighting kids left and right, parents coming over looking for the kid who broke her child’s arm, test papers coming unlimitedly, how many times do we have to be Dr. Data and Ms & Mr Magicians? how many tests in a span of two weeks?! How many “bilog na hugis itlog, do we have to shade?”, how many bath soaps do we have to line up for in the gym, which could have distributed inside the classroom, how many zeros and ones in a 5-item test do I have to record?! Ooopps. I am starting to count all the not-so good stuff here. Let me stop. I can’t remember the rest that’s why. There’s no point in remembering. It will break my heart, over and over again.
I texted my Mama, Papa and two sisters, “Please include me in your prayers. I am losing the love for what I do.” Then Papa texted, “Kasama kayo lagi sa mga panalangin ko.” I smiled and then my sister sent me pictures of our new cat sleeping on her lap. Then Bebang texted, “Ate, may work na ko!”. I cried, as always. I cried because I am happy. They are simply telling me to ignore the negative feelings I am having and just do what I do because at the end of the day, there is a family to come home to.
“Have you signed your commitment letter for next school year?” I was asked last night.
“Not yet. But I will.”
It’s a roller coaster ride, remember? Then it gets better, remember?
So yes, I am completing this fellowship which I am halfway through. After this, will I still teach? Yes, because it gets better and better.
For now, ask me about my kids, and I will still happily share my stories… (Bipolar lang.) Hahahaha….
We are just planting seeds. The results will not be easily seen. It will be seen in the society later on. I pray. I pray. I can only pray for it to happen soon.
It’s the weekend. I can’t wait to see my family and friends. I can't wait to come home and hug Mama, pat Papa on the back (coz he isn't that much of a PDA), squeeze Jude and Sugar, wrestle with my younger brother and sing my heart out with my two younger sisters. I can’t wait to eat that isaw and run that 2.2 kilometer elliptical, tree-lined pathway and of course, hug my friends!
Today is Friday, I can’t wait to get that salary from my part-time job, watch Bride For Rent, laugh with friends, guy-hunting, dance that 16-minute zumba dance and finish Kafka on the Shore. No matter how sad my heart is, there will always be many things to smile about and look forward to.
End time: 8:45AM
Let me go back to recording the zeroes and the ones.....