#Wonderful World of Wonder: The World of Teaching, The Wonder in Teaching

Friday, November 20, 2015 0 Comments A+ a-

Why do you want to shift to the College of Education?

Possible Answer #1: Well, quite frankly, because this is one of the most under-populated colleges in the university, so it's really more of the case of you needing more students to enroll than me needing a college to shift to.
Possible Answer #2: I want to shift to the College of Education because I want to teach children and I think that to be able to do so, I need to learn how to be a competent one. And, shifting to this college would make me become a competent teacher.

Some three years ago, when I was still looking for a college to shift to, the one staple question that was always asked to me during panel interviews went like this: Why do you want to shift to [insert name of college]? To tell you the truth, I was so depressed, so frustrated, and so hopeless that I didn't really had the heart to even try to pretend how eager I was to apply for their college. As much as I want to be honest and give the first possible answer, I couldn't really do that in reality so I gave the second possible answer instead. My answers were all like this, generic-looking because I was too lazy to think of a personal answer and resorted to Googling smart-sounding answers for possible interview questions. I've applied for five different colleges that I wanted to shift to, but I really had no particular college in mind. Any college would do, as long as I get to shift out of my college that I've fallen out of love with and that I've learned to hate back then. As undeserving as I was (because of my insincere answers), I was luckily admitted to each of the colleges I've applied to, but for some reason, I chose the College of Education. The first few days into the opening of classes and I still don't have any idea why I found myself inside the corridors of Benitez Hall. I was pretty much like a zombie, aimlessly walking and becoming more and more lost of my purpose in life (but hey, even zombies unconsciously know that their purpose in life is to munch on humans). 
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Some would advice me that this feeling of being lost and confused is just a normal phase in any college student's life. But I was too tired and too stubborn to listen to them. I was that depressed. But, in one class that I had in my first semester as an Education student, this one professor told us this on our second meeting: 
"Sino ang mga shiftees dito? Sino ang mga Educ students talaga simula freshman year? Now, I asked you this because I want to see who needs help. Help, in the sense that I want to help you realize your reason why you chose this course. Yung mga nag-enroll as Educ freshmen at nandito pa rin after 2 or 3 years, you don't need much help, because at some point, you've already established what you want to do with your life. But you shiftees, need help. More than me teaching the syllabus of this subject and more than me requiring you to pass this course, I want to help you realize why you chose this course, why you're going to love this course and why you're not wrong in choosing this college, whatever your reasons may be."
It was safe to say that, for the last few months, after playing "deaf" and "blind" to any kind of encouraging statements, this professor's question got into me. For a moment, I wanted to believe that I was still a deserving student of this university, never mind that my previous college wanted me out of their turf. For a moment, I wanted to believe that somebody still believes that I have the potential to succeed, never mind that my ambitions has been crushed by my previous professors. And for a moment that stretched up to this day, I believed.

In my new college, the requirements were as heavy as before and the deadlines were as deadly as before. But the one reason that made everything seem more bearable were my professors. You see, they were more than just professors. They were teachers, parents, friends and confidantes all rolled into one human being. They made me believe in teachers again, but more than that, they made me believe in myself again. And for that, I'll be forever thankful.

With their aid, I've realized why I needed to fail. I've realized that I needed to feel all those pain for me to realize that one way to prevent my depressing experience as a misunderstood student is to become an understanding teacher (among all the other characteristics that a good teacher must possess). And while I'm still far from being the good teacher that I've envisioned, I'm pretty sure that I am very much on my way, with big thanks to my life-long teachers.

Why teach?

For those who wants to solve their attitude issues, you may want to take a lesson or two from teachers. See, when you're a teacher, you learn a whole lot of things (and no, further studies isn't even on top of this list). You learn how to manage a class of 30 to 50 students of varying needs and characteristics. Don't forget to add to that the parents and/or guardians that you must also learn to face for each student you have. You learn how to manage your temper and how to make use of what little time you have. Undoubtedly, being a teacher really does wonders to your attitude!

For the longest time in my college life, I've been lost. And it is with this profession that I've found myself. I've learned that to become a teacher, I need to sacrifice a lot of things, but I also learned that I don't need to sacrifice my ambitions to become a teacher. I've always wanted to become a veterinarian, an artist, an environmentalist, a story-teller and a writer. But being a teacher makes me come close to being all these. I become a veterinarian and an environmentalist each time I teach my students how to take care of the environment and the animals. I become an artist each time I teach art and appreciate the artworks of my students. I become a storyteller and a writer each time I introduce a new story and each time I invent my own stories to use for my class. I'm practically everything who I want to be in this profession!
I want to become the likes of my professors. I want to be that someone whom my students would consider as a hero. I want to become that someone who will make them want to go to school, someone who will make them dread the idea of weekends, and someone who will make them eager for Mondays to come. I want to become that teacher.
It is no secret that in our society, while we applaud the heroism and dedication of teachers, we still do not think that highly of them. Based on the statistics alone from our university, of the 70,000+ college applicants, only a very, very small portion put "Education" on their first choice of course. Of this already small number, more than half of them shift out on their sophomore year. No wonder that in our college, the population of graduate students largely outnumber the population of undergraduate students. With this in mind, I teach because I want to inspire others to teach too. I want to inspire others to look beyond what one will get from teaching, but rather, look at what the others will get from your teaching. I want to change the society's notion that education is a course to be avoided because it will not yield us profitable returns. Because while this may be true, the heartfelt gratitudes that you'll get from those whose lives you've touched are just priceless.  
I know that there will come a day where I will consider quitting this profession, and so, I will continue teaching, and continue finding more reasons to let me remember why I chose to become a TEACHER in the first place.

The world of teaching, the wonder in teaching.
This is my world of wonder.
The photo in the meme (outlined in orange) shows the little buckets of crayons that I use in my class. My students give color to their masterpieces with these little "buckets of joy".
Philippine Airlines flies to Auckland, New Zealand 
starting December 2015.