Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Teacher's Journey (Thus Far)... Part II of III

This is the second of a three-part account of my journey in life as a teacher. It's something I really wanted to write for ages, and now's the best time for me to do it. Hopefully, you guys will like it.


Thinking about one of my favorite anime of all time, GTO, I realize that indeed, as the Directress of Forest Academy put it, teachers are "Seikokusha". Teaching is indeed a calling, and when I got to third year college, under Mr. Bulaong, I began to feel the itch to teach yet again, albeit the turn was that I was keen on teaching Philosophy, despite being a Comm Arts student. I braced myself for the challenge, and went ahead and fought for it.

My college teachers were very instrumental to how I ended up this way... Mr. Bulaong, for giving me all the opportunities I needed to excel; Dr. Barbaza for challenging me whenever I was getting smug about my own capabilities; Mr. Calasanz, for being the first person to really look at me and see the potential for teaching Philosophy. It was a calling, and I answered. I can't even begin to think how amazing all of this was to me. I was going to live the dream.

Few professions can be deemed nobler than teaching. I remember the story of a teacher whose student became the president of the Philippines. When they met after he won the elections, he looks at his teacher with wide eyes of recognition, and, casting aside any conventions that he was the highest official of the land, eagerly shakes his old teacher's hand, and says: Hi, sir!

Teachers unlock potential, and open the student's sense of wonder. That is one thing magicians and mentalists have in common with them, which is why I find myself doing those as well.

.:Teaching Assistant: 2004-2005:.

Immediately after graduation, I started on my Masters in Philosophy. I was going to be a teaching assistant for Philosophy, and I was under Dr. Ibana for a year. It had its highs and lows, and at the time, I had a lot of failings that resulted in my contract not being renewed the following year. This naturally set me back a year and a half in my M.A.

Nonetheless, as a teaching assistant for Dr. Ibana's ethics class, I really learned a lot, and enjoyed the company of the students, some of whom became my friends. After my tenure as T.A. ended, I eventually started dating one of my former students, and I guess losing my job as a T.A. doomed our relationship from the start...

You see, outside of teaching, I found my life directionless. I was a loose cannon, and I seemed to have no focus in anything I did. Life outside of the academe was really adverse to my improvement as a person, and it had adverse effects on my relationships in general at the time. I can never apologize to her enough that I really screwed up the fairy tale for her. Divine got a raw deal out of that, too, sadly.

Looking back at this, and the many other things that happened, I understand now why that relationship wasn't meant to be. Looking at how I am now with my Beloved, I really feel that being a teacher in Reedley International School has contributed a lot to how I've changed for the better.

Maybe I can never make up for my shortcomings back then, and I know all of these are not excuse enough for having been a horrible boyfriend and having had a horrible temper, but I now recognize where all of it fits into the bigger picture. I'm thankful for the erstwhile relationship, because despite everything, I certainly learned a lot. I recognize that it's all behind us now, and though we may never see each other or speak to each other again, I still think it's fair enough to thank her at this point for showing me that I was far from perfect, and I have a long way to go before I could ever hope to make up for those shortcomings.

Having said that, I'd like to think my Beloved has seen how I have endeavored to never repeat those mistakes. It's been over a year already, and we're still going strong. I would've never seen the need for a change had I never realized what was wrong in the first place.

To my Beloved, I hope you never forget how I had to pick myself up from rock bottom, and how I still continue to change for the better, and how I hope to prove myself worthy in your eyes. I love you so much, and I know that this teaching vocation has been one of the main things that has given me the focus and direction I need in life to not screw up the way I have in the past.

What I didn't realize was that an even greater challenge was upon me, and it wasn't going to be long before I would have to face it...

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