Bitin: This Is How It Feels
I woke up an hour late. Yes, Five am is already late for me. I am suppose to be up by 4am, taken a bath by 4:30am, packed bags by 5:00, had coffee by 5:10am and ready to go by 5:30am. But today, I woke up late with allergies, so my eyes are red and bulging like I cried last night, my nose is itchy had turned red because of rubbing it. Popping antihistamine is not a choice because I have to stay awake for the rest of the day.I stepped out of the house by 6am, took a cab and grabbed breakfast from a McDo drive thru. Honestly, I am already on weekend mode after finishing all the deliverables yesterday. I had not prepared anything to teach. No nothing. Afloat. This is how it feels. Today is the first day of the Reorganization in school. For the next three days, we are to accommodate the incoming grade 2 kids. But before that, we have to send off our kids to their new rooms as they step up to grade 4. Every time, we reach the door of a room, I tell the designated kids to fall in line in front of me. I tap their heads one-by-one and say, "Magpapakabait kayo sa bago nyong class. Gagalingan nyo." Then off they go in. One of my girl students, hugged me before getting inside her new classroom. Another one, bid me goodbye, probably, 4 times. Until I showed my "teacher look" face so he would stay inside his new classroom. He was the repeater in my class. Now, I'm happy he was able to move up. Like a proud momma I am! This is how it feels. Next year, I will be a special teacher. I won't have an advisory class anymore. What a relief! Did I just say that?! Writing and filling out several forms endlessly is so tiresome. Makes me wish I have my old job back. No wonder, the administrative office has been clamoring for it as early as February to get started and done with. Around 9am, the newly appointed advisers welcomed their kids. Since I won't be handling a class on my own, I secluded myself and started writing this. I was wondering what I could do to help when my co-teacher ask if I can help them with their class since she and her partner teacher are still finishing their forms. I told myself that I won't be that sweet teacher that I was when the school year started. I'll make sure they will have fear in me. Hehehe. As I have said earlier, I really don't have anything planned for the day. From my first year of teaching, I learned that kids love doodling more than anything else. They can doodle while talking, they can doodle with friends, they can doodle alone. I gave each of them a clean sheet of paper, told them to write their names and draw something that is their favorite. Last year, I had 51 kids. Today, they welcomed 60 pupils, 7 kids were absent. What else to do for the remaining 1.5 hours? I called them one by one to read. Since they are 60 in class, making them read an entire paragraph will be time-consuming. So, I just let them read a sentence. With that one sentence I can already consider if they are a reader, a slow reader or a non-reader. I collected their doodles and called them one by one, looking at their handwriting, I had made assumptions if they are readers or non-readers. But of course, there are really kids who have very bad handwriting but can readily read. Sixteen boys honestly said that they cannot read what's on the paper. One of the girls, just held the paper and look at me and said that she can't read it. Anothe girl tried to read from the first word but failed to read the next 2-syllable word.
"Si Kiko Kalabaw ay ......." I told myself: "Here's the new set of challenge!"
All because of Mass Promotion! They stepped to grade three not because they worked hard for it but because, the government mandated it! Badtrip. This is how it feels. I wonder how my 48 kids are doing in their new classes... Are they ok? Will they miss me? Outside the classroom, my Escuero kids were waiting for me. Regine, the smallest in the group, handed me a folded paper. Cher: Anong ginawa nyo kanina? Regine: ..... (giggles)..... pinabasa po kami. Joana: nag-drawing po. Jihoo: Cher, classmate po pala namin si Jamaliah! Cher: Pinabasa ba kayo? Jihoo: Opo! Cher: Ikaw Joana, nakabasa ka? Joana: (with a shy grin...) Opo Cher! Regine: English pa nga Cher! I hugged Joana! Imagine my #teacherkilig feeling at that moment! She is one of the few kids I offered to extend afternoon reading classes with. Those afternoon classes were actually limited. There were days I had to cancel because I had other things to do. Office to go to. Or just too tired. On those days, I give her and the other reading materials. Or pull them out of classes so they can watch and listen to nursery rhymes and other videos. They like it better than being in the class. Hahaha... Another set of Escuero kids ambushed me in the hallway. Cher: Oh kumusta? Nagawan nyo ba ng paraan na maging classmate si Patricia? Dyna: Hindi po Cher. Nilipat sya dun sa kabila. Cher: Anong ginawa nyo kanina? Mary: Pinabasa po kami. Ang lakas nga naming tatlo magbasa! Una po si Xyvz, mahina lang. Tapos si Dyna, medyo malakas, tapos nung ako na, ang lakas ko magbasa! Cher: Anong binasa nyo? Dyna: English po. Mary: Tignan mo si Teacher Kat, maiiyak na naman. (Pointing at my face) Cher: Oh galingan nyo dun ah! Dapat bibo kids kayo dun! Magsiuwi na kayo! At Teacher Nikki's Room: Patrick: Ang swerte ng mga bagong grade 3. Mababait ang mga teachers nila. Me: Akalain mo, grade 4 ka na! Pakabait ka dun. I don't have separation anxiety. I decided to have lunch at SM Fairview which is more of SM FARview. Just for a change. And then, I decided to read Regine's letter.