Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hindsight: Making or Breaking

A couple of years ago, my 4th Grader, then 10 year old niece almost became the only and the youngest drop-out in the family. My brother told me that Lara was dropping out of school. Lara is a vibrant and smart little girl. She was accelerated from nursery to kindergarten the first time she entered school because she was too smart for her age. At the age of 4 and before she formally went to school, she already knew her ABCs. She can count up to 100. She can identify all the shapes [including the pentagon, the hexagon and the octagon]. She can even name all the 9 planets of the solar system and she knew that the sun is not a planet but rather a star. She was even able to write her first story book even way before she can actually write. She would dictate to “Auntie” her creative ideas and I would type it on the computer while big sister was making sure that auntie was really typing down what she was saying.

But Lara was not having fun in school that year. She was not the same little girl who is always excited to go to school even if she has no new school bag. She used to love school even if she has no new school supplies like crayons. Last year, she told her Dad that she wanted to join the drawing contest. But my brother told her not to because she has no new crayons. She came home that day with a medal for winning first place in the drawing contest. My brother realized that Lara just borrowed some crayons from her classmate so she can join.

That year, Lara lost interest in school. She comes home crying almost everyday. My sister-in-law asked her why she doesn’t like school anymore. And the reason she gave her was something she couldn’t take for granted. She went to the school the following day and told the teacher that Lara will stop going to school for the meantime and will just take a vacation until she is ready to go back again or perhaps… she will be homeschooled.

Lara was just like any students. She may even like some of the students who I handled in the past. Lara lost interest in school because of her “teacher”. According to her… her teacher was always mad every time she asked her questions about the lesson. It turned out that Lara would ask questions about the lesson and the teacher didn’t like to repeat the lesson. Lara cannot understand her lessons and the teacher was not willing to re-teach or make extra effort in explaining the lessons. The attitude of the teacher affected Lara’s attitude towards school. Lara’s teacher was always angry and mad at the students who didn’t understand her lessons. And that the teacher was always hollering at Lara every time she asked questions and that scared her. So, she didn't want to go to school anymore.

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On the hindsight, I realized that a teacher can make or break a student’s soul. I could be guilty of all those accusations. I realized that I am not a perfect teacher myself. I can get angry at times. I can be impatient sometimes. And I could be grumpy most of the time. I could also be guilty in being a human being capable of human mistakes and frailty. But I know that is not an excuse.

As a teacher....

- I have responsibilities beyond what I am expected to handle. As a teacher, it is not my responsibility to judge my students but rather, accept them as they are.

- I hold in my hands the future of my students and what they become in the future is my greatest achievement or my worse failure.

- it is not important if I finished the lesson or if I was able to execute my lesson plan or not. As a teacher, it is not important if I pass all my students regardless if they learned from me or not.

- what is important is that… my students learn to love learning and strive to continue learning even after they left school.

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

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