Sunday, July 19, 2015

I Am a Bad Teacher

     I was quite fortunate that this school year, there were some good things that happened to me professionally. First, I was able continue my part-time stint as a college instructor in my alma mater. I have passed through the SOPs of the hiring process, so hopefully no one would question my teaching post. This was quite a nice experience for me now that I am teaching in college because I would be able to discriminate teaching younger to more mature students. Most of all, I would be able to share what I know in education and LET-related topics that I initially started here in my blog. This time, I would not just be posting but rather be “teaching” and discussing these for real to college students. My worries however, is that my teaching approach would be different most especially on dealing unwanted behaviors from my students. Since my students are in college, and I assume that they are at the “right” age, I hold quite a high respect to them. I assume I don’t need to reprimand them because they know already what they are doing. They may as well reject or accept what I will say to them, since they have perhaps already established their personal beliefs and principles. I am just hopeful, very hopeful, that they would not mistake my respect for weakness.
     Second, my application for reclassification from being a Teacher I to Teacher III has been approved. I am just happy that in my five years as a teacher, I would be promoted to the next stage of my position.  Most of all, I am ecstatic not for the title, but for the increase in my salary of course…hehehe….I may sound too shallow but practically saying, I really need the raise since the loan that I had eats up almost seventy-percent of my monthly salary…hehehe…I just have to wait for my appointment and I pray that it would not take too long. (They say that it would take very long since a lot are in the waiting list to become Teacher III. I’m just hoping that we will be ranked since I’m quite confident about my credentials..hehehe..but some say it is seniority basis, and if this is the case...hay I dunno when will I have my appointment.)
     This school year, I am quite discouraged because of the change in leadership in my school. I think my philosophy as a teacher is quite in clash with some people. You know, as teachers, the school head would ask something from us to be accomplished, and I have no problems with it as an obedient teacher. Yet, I have this belief, that my priority is always and will forever be my STUDENTS. Between being a subordinate and a teacher, my being a teacher manifests most of the time. Sometimes, they would ask me to accomplish reports and do certain tasks in the office, and I am quite uncomfortable being asked about this while I’m still doing my classes. Not because I am “lazy” or “disobedient”, but I don’t want to leave my students hanging in the middle of nowhere. You know the teacher’s effort to capture and maintain the student’s momentum with the lesson and all of a sudden this will come to a halt and be disrupted because you were asked to do something in the office, this is quite frustrating for the teacher and the students. This is the reason why when I am being summoned in the office, I most of the time answer that I will do or come after I finish my class. Hay…however, this has been given a bad meaning of insubordination in my part. I am just a bit saddened by the idea that I am implied as bad teacher because I prioritize my students’ learning than an order from the superior. That while some teachers would stay at the office and are not teaching their students are commended as good teachers because they obey their superior, while I who would dedicatedly teach my learners and be implied as the disobedient one.
     As a teacher, I sometimes command and ask my students to do an errand. But if that student couldn’t immediately attend to my errand because he was studying or doing a learning task, would that be disobedience on the part of the student??? Hell NO!!!! But in my case, I was chastised because I was doing the most fundamental task of being a teacher: to TEACH and make students LEARN.
     Let me make myself clear. I am not saying that I do not recognize authority, nor I refuse a task or an order given by the superiors. In fact, when I am tasked to finish a report, I do it as efficiently as possible, even bringing my work at home.  I also have such a high regard and respect to the authority.  I am just saddened by the idea that prioritizing my learners first before an order from a superior is tantamount to being a bad teacher. The school head at the end of the day, would still has the last word and would rate and evaluate the performance of a teacher (and honestly, I am not worried, or to blatantly say it, I don’t care). And to save me from any conflicts which I find unhealthy personally and professionally, I just have to adjust. Obey before complain as the cliché of some of the teachers goes. Perhaps I just have “to have to leave my students and give them seat works to immediately attend to the superior’s needs”.

Thank you Caloy for the of the days he needed to stay because of unfinished seatwork...
     On the brighter side, what made my day was the fact that one of the most naughty and the most crybaby students that I had sent me Suman Latik (a delicious local delicacy of sticky rice topped with sweetened coconut meat). I totally didn’t expect it since I scolded him a lot when I was his teacher. He gave this to me through his granny and when I asked why he had to send me this gift, his granny told me that he remembered that I also have once given him food most of the times. He might have also remembered that I jokingly told him that when he graduates, he must not forget to give me snacks.  I was quite ecstatic that my students recall my “goodness” to them. It affirms my belief that my worth as a teacher is never limited neither on the opinion of other people nor of my superiors. My worth as a teacher is how my students see and appreciate me as their teacher, how I have helped and inspired them, in one way or another, develop their potentials and grow as a person. It made me feel that maybe I am not that “bad” teacher after all.

P.S. Please enlighten me. Am I being a bad teacher if I prioritize my students first before a superior’s order? If you’re a teacher, a school head, a supervisor, a superintendent or the DepEd secretary (as if he can read this…hehehe), please comment and enlighten me.

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