[OPINION] Why Teaching?

By: Alarice Banasihan

My family, which serves as the root of the love I have for teaching, is my inspiration and motivation as a teacher. The desire to contribute to the community and make a difference is also part of why I am a teacher now.

My family, community, and the pupils I work with throughout the decade have been like a living reflection of myself. They continually change according to the legacy that I want my pupils to remember.

Teaching isn’t easy and it is not just work for pen and paper, but it is a masterpiece of an empowered mind and a compassionate heart. A manifestation of passion for a greater cause. Indeed, it is a ministry, rather than plain work.

My love for discoveries explained why I wanted to seek the hidden talents and skills of my pupils. I once was just a timid, ordinary kid from the block, until there were people who picked on me . Then I started believing in things that I didn’t know I could do. The importance and the love that I felt was awesome, I learned to break the thick wall surrounding me – my  comfort zone.

I personally improved the skills and the talent I never knew I had. I was able to earn respect from former peers and even my former mentors. I am motivated by the feeling of being accomplished and worthy – the fulfillment that I can do something that I enjoy much like coloring, singing, creating poems and writing essays.

And these experiences are the best things that I keep to find the hidden treasures my pupils hold on to. These experiences that uncover so many possibilities, I wanted to help them out of their comfort zones too and establish their full potential.

I always want them to feel the love I felt when one of my mentors believed in me. I want them to be motivated and inspired the way I was, so in return, they would be eager to share their skills and talents not out of fear, but rather, because it makes them happy and fulfilled.

The path I had chosen could be muddled most of the time by problems and unexpected circumstances, lack of resources, or discriminating words and discouragement both from work or even from family members. Despite my current health condition, I am motivated by my compassion and for my love for teaching, which keep my fire burning, for I know my pupils will benefit from my teaching the most.

As I travel the trail, I see my future self continuing to embrace the change to adapt and to adjust myself to the needs of my pupils. I still see myself carrying a big heart, catering to those children who thirst for care and for the trust that they need most.

I also take note, that whoever I become in the future, my happiness with what I do comes first, because for where my happiness is, there would be where my heart is. Kneeling and praying is the best resort I can have to stay on track, because I sincerely believe that God would have never put me here if He did not have a great plan for me.

My pupils need to see the strength in me to be able to be strong, so I must not be vulnerable. God is the only strength I can have, my fortress and my miracle.

As for my plans, cultivating new ideas and harvesting new learnings will be part of the key factors contributing to them. Partly, reflecting on what I already did and the success and failures of the decisions I was particularly part of will definitely reenergize and revitalize my goals. Putting the plans into action, and carrying out what was just an idea will eventually result in an extraordinary impact not just for me but to my pupils and the community as well.

Since leaving a remarkable legacy isn’t stress-free, nor ever easy, any little step forward can create a huge lift eventually. 

An inch of effort and an ounce of determination can lead to something great. The most important thing about this is that never giving up and continuing to stand tall amid struggles seem to pull heavily – don’t dare to give in to giving up.

To sum it up, having a heart will always be part of me and my future self with regards to teaching, the love and care that any child needs, I would gladly give, as if they are my own flesh and blood, anyways, I am their second mom. 

Next to it, embracing change, it is given, as we all know everything changes, including the necessities of our pupils. It would depend on their aspirations, beliefs, and talents. We should adjust to serve them well.

Finally, among the three, the last but never the least, is staying focused, always realigning the goals to the plans and on how it should be carried out in an activity or a program. It is important also to know the stakeholders’ capacity to assist you with projects to be successful in carrying them out. There are many NGOs and LGUs that would gladly offer to reach out to students. They are more than willing to lend a hand.

Ever since, art, creative writing, and singing interest me the most. Sharing these with my pupils will never seem like work. Sharing them will always be a fun-filled activity as part of teaching and learning.

Looking for every bright side amid failures and hunting for every silver lining in the dark can fuel the inner desire for a continuing process of making every dream becomea reality.

Every child deserves to dream, and these dreamers deserve to be champions. And these champions will never be champions without that extraordinary person – the teacher.

And that is who I am and who I will always be – a mentor, an educator, a channel of learning, imprinting virtues and knowledge with a heart – being the change I want to see in the world.

Alarice C. Banasihan is a teacher at Bayog Elementary School in Los Baños, Laguna

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