Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Success 101: Unteaching the Teacher

The hardest lesson I learned from being a teacher is… to unteach myself.

Life is a teaching-learning process and the world is your classroom. And being an educator is not just a profession (I wish it was)… it is a lifetime commitment. The compensation is not much (I really really wish it was) but huge in other “fringe and intangible” benefits.

I became a teacher, accidentally. I have other plans in my life [something grand] but my calling was in this field (or so I thought.) I was never good with kids but the kids are good to me… so we compromised. I love to talk and they taught me to listen. It has some drawbacks but I was always compensated by the non-materials things. At the end of the day, I was tired but appreciated.

During my first year of teaching, when my idealism was still high… I outdone myself in all aspects of my personal life. My creativity amazed me to no end. I was so much inspired and tired-less. And for the first time in my adult life, I love what I was doing.

Students come and go. As a teacher, it was not in our job description to invest on personal relationship with our students. But somehow, it helps a lot in making a good foundation on human relationship as a whole.

For sometime, I thought getting their trust and respect is worth the investment. It makes it easier to teach them and make them do what you tell them to do. That way, your work is done quickly and effortlessly. So, no need for re-teaching classes so it means - less work and more rest.

For awhile, I guessed it was not a bad idea at all. If you were nice to your students, you are sure that they are not making fun of you when you are not around or making faces when you are not looking.

For a moment, I learned that they are also capable of graduating from being a student to being a friend. But this has consequences that one has to deal with. And I learned that too late.

Being a teacher never prepared me for success – my students’, that is. Success for me was no big deal. I can’t even claim that I am successful because people’s idea of success is varied and always changing. But one thing is sure - success changes a person.

Just like any other profession, there are some downsides in being a teacher. The investment you put in your personal relationship with your students are hard lessons to learn… to un-learn them is not an option.

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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.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hindsight: The Lessons

The lessons of our life are the reasons we are living for.

Taking each day as an opportunity for learning is indeed a course that we should walk off if we want to leave a print on other people’s lives.

Not all are given a great opportunity to leave a legacy for the world to cherish.

Not all are lucky to make a great invention for the world to benefit.

And not all are given the chance to change the world… but everyone has the right to make a difference in other people’s lives and an opportunity to live the lessons of life.

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

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.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Best Days with Dad

My Dad wasn't really around when I was growing up. Well, he was pretty much around until I was 10 years old. But during the most critical stage of my growing up years where I was going crazy about my teenage life due to hormonal change... he was abroad working to give us a better future.

I am not really complaining or something like that. It's just that, now that I am a grown up, I just wished that he was there during those times when I needed him the most. I feel that I would have made less mistakes and better choices when he was around to guide me. And maybe, life would be a little easier to comprehend when I have someone on my side even when I was unreasonable and stubborn.

I am an only daughter and given that situation, I am indeed a true-blooded Daddy's girl. He has no choice. LOL. But then, even if things turned out differently between us... those few years that he spent with me when he was not working away from home... where the best days of my life.

When Dad retired from working abroad, he spent few more years before he finally left us for good to a better place. It would have been a great opportunity for us to catch up where we left off but I was already more independent and my needs were different and I can mostly achieve them all by myself. It was then my turn to leave home and work for my own future. 

Every time I came home to visit, I could see in his eyes then that he wished I could stay longer so we could do things together. But I was too busy hanging out with my friends and partying. I never heard him complain though but instead he just stayed on the background and watched me shine.

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It's Father's Day and I am celebrating it by looking back and listening to Taylor Swift's song "The Best Day" over and over again. I so love this song. The only thing I hate about it is that it makes me cry every time I listen to it - like right now.

I'm five years old, it's getting cold, I've got my big coat on
I hear your laugh and look up smiling at you, I run and run
Past the pumpkin patch and the tractor rides, look now, the sky is gold
I hug your legs and fall asleep on the way home

I don't know why all the trees change in the fall
But I know you're not scared of anything at all
Don't know if Snow White's house is near or far away
But I know I had the best day with you today

I'm thirteen now and don't know how my friends could be so mean
I come home crying and you hold me tight and grab the keys
And we drive and drive until we found a town far enough away
And we talk and window shop 'til I've forgotten all their names

I don't know who I'm gonna talk to now at school
But I know I'm laughing on the car ride home with you
Don't know how long it's gonna take to feel okay

But I know I had the best day with you today
I have an excellent father, his strength is making me stronger
God smiles on my little brother, inside and out, he's better than I am
I grew up in a pretty house and I had space to run
And I had the best days with you

There is a video I found from back when I was three
You set up a paint set in the kitchen and you're talking to me
It's the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs
And Daddy's smart and you're the prettiest lady in the whole wide world

And now I know why the all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
For staying back and watching me shine
And I didn't know if you knew, so I'm takin' this chance to say
That I had the best day with you today



Today... I miss Dad more than anything else. I just wish that I was able to tell him that. But then, I know deep in my heart... I know he knew that.

I love you Dad! I HAD THE BEST DAYS WITH YOU.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Subject Matter: Teacher's Pet

Being a teacher, I admit, I play favorites [in a very discreet way at least]. I don't usually admit it nor show it. I am just being honest. I’m sorry but can’t help it. I guess it’s human nature to take sides. I like students who are smart and responsible. And I like the feeling of being adored back.

One hot summer of 2004, after a gruesome day of yet another boring in-service seminars that public school teachers were required to attend, I took the jeepney going home. The jeepney was packed with commuters up to the roof. Sitting across me was this familiar face who was all dressed up, looking sophisticated and successful. I tried to recall who she was but I can’t come up with a name. I know she felt my stare and she just looked away with a long face. I felt a bit sad about the reaction that she gave me so I just looked on the opposite direction, thinking I must have offended her. As she paid her fare I heard her voice and it was then I realized I know that young lady. She was a former student… one of my favorites… the best in the class… the one who was always nice to me and always ready to give me a hand.

As we approached the town boundary line, I handed the jeepney driver my fare. But he sent it back to me.

I was surprised by his reaction and I asked, “why?

The driver said… “You don’t need to pay your fare… for you – it’s free.”

I was then confused, so I inquired again.

But he just said, “Hello, Ma’am”, looking at me from his rear view mirror, “don’t you remember me?” he continued.

I tried to recall his face but nothing would register.

Then he said… “I was one of your former students.

I was a bit embarassed not to remember him so I gave him a big smile trying to hide my embarassment and said thank you.

You failed me in your subject that’s why, I can’t forget you.” he said next trying to make a conversation with all those passangers listening.

Then, addressing all the passangers in his jeepney… he said.. “She is my favorite teacher in the world.

All eyes were looking at me except… that of the familiar young lady sitting across me. I was embarrassed. I didn't know if it was because I felt I didn't deserve the recognition or because one person seemed to disagree.

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Playing favorites has it’s rewards and of course, its fall-backs. But sometimes you will find yourself unprepared for it’s outcome.

In my 11 years of teaching, I watched how some of my students developed their skills and matured into responsible citizens while the others opted to remain stagnant. I watched some of them outdone themselves while the others totally given up on themselves. I witnessed how some of them pursue their dreams and got it while the others let go of the same. I watched some of them marry their childhood sweethearts or their new found love while the others are still in search of their one-true-love. It was unbelievable how some of these kids outgrown their former teacher both in experience and otherwise.

It’s true, we are just teachers but our impact on our students varied. Our responsibilities may be limited in academics but we will surely leave a lasting mark on their values as a human being. And more importantly, we are not sure who among them will truly live the lessons that we taught.

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

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.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hindsight: A teacher called Mistake

Sometimes I doubt it if I have what it takes to be a smart woman. I have screwed up a lot in the past but I can’t call that as being stupid. Maybe I just made some bad decisions or harmless mistakes or radical judgment that made me somewhat irresponsible.

But as what we all know, a lot of people learned from their mistakes. I am no different. Those mistakes that I committed in the past are life-changing experiences for me. It gave me the wisdom to make proper judgment. It gave me the right attitude to address my problems. It gave me the freedom to make the right decision without prejudice.

Mistakes taught me everything outside the four corners of the classroom. And those same mistakes are the same tools that I used to teach my students lessons in life.

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

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.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Success 101: The Good Teacher

People are basically proud of their achievements. Who aren't? Achievements give people a sense of pride and power.

But…

some people are also basically humble of their achievements. Why not? Achievements sometimes give people a sense of humility too.

Maybe…

achievements can make people either proud or humble.

If there is a season I really hate… it’s election season – the worse season we could ever had. It’s worse than winter. I hate it because political hopefuls are all self-righteous. They are all bragging about their achievements left and right while accusing each other of their personal weaknesses.

It’s so depressing.

One day someone asked me, “are you a good teacher?

I was caught off guard. That was the first time that I don’t have an instant answer to an instant question. I don’t know how to answer that question though deep in my heart I have an idea.

Ask my students,” was my only reply.

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Honestly, I don’t really know the answer. I am not in any position to say that I am a good teacher because self-evaluation is not always reliable. It is always bias. But if there is anyone who is more qualified to say if I am a good teacher… maybe you should ask my students. They are the ones who surely know the answer. They are the ones who are capable of answering that tricky question. And they are the ones who are really qualified to judge me.

Being humble doesn’t mean that you should not brag about your achievement. It’s alright to brag if you want to inspire other people of your achievements. But to brag about it to compare yourself with other people and to put shame on them is another story.

Humility is a virtue. People are given a chance to acquire it. But not all are successful.

----------------------------Ruthilicious-------------------------------

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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