WHY do I teach? Why, out of all careers and vocations, did I choose to teach? See teaching is never easy; one does not only deal with different personalities that are the students alone, but their parents as well.
The work doesn’t stop when the bell rings but continue on at home in preparation for the next day’s syllabus.
Sometimes, even the weekends are full with other extracurricular activities and again, preparation for exams and innovation of teaching methods that will suit the different learning styles of students. In addition, one has to maintain a reputable character to be a model for the young ones. It is never simple but the rewards, oh the rewards far outweigh all the sacrifices, time, and effort invested in this profession.
One does not only get to impart knowledge but equally important is the chance to get to touch lives, guide paths, and mold characters as well. Imagine that, to have the power and ability to make this world a better place rearing and preparing individuals who will take on the world, one by one, little by little. As hard as it is, the fulfilment is unparalleled.
And where do I love to teach most if not in public schools. Aside from the sense of pride to be able to teach in one (as getting in public schools require certain credentials for teachers including certification and specific degrees whereas private schools have much greater leeway), it is here where you get the opportunity to be exposed to students of all walks of life.
Most, if not all, belongs to the middle class or lower. The ones that could not afford to be sent to private schools due to financial matters. And my heart always goes to such, who does not treat poverty as an excuse but instead chooses to strive to be better despite the circumstances. It is a great privilege to teach them albeit their large number because you get to be a part in their making, with aspirations to make them shine bright in this time and the future.
Being a new teacher in a public school, as being new in any other situation, comes with a little fear, apprehension and excitement all at the same time. I fear because it is human nature to be afraid of the unknown. I am apprehensive because again, humans tend to self-doubt a little when faced with new challenges. And excited because I get where I want to be, apply all the things I learned, studied, and practiced for, and be immersed in the real deal.
Working in a public school is a lot different than being in private. It takes real dedication, love and commitment in what you do, for one because unlike private schools which are well funded, public school relies on government taxes for it to run. Facilities and supplies could need improvements and you have to make do of what is available and create best ways to maximize them for its effective use or sometimes compromise.
For instance, there are not enough computers available for each student so what we do is settle in giving them two is to one in ratio, alternating per class meeting. There are also times when you have to bring out expenses straight from your pocket to meet the needs of your class and to make the learning methods designed for each of their learning styles be put to its execution.
Sometimes, monetary contributions from the students are a must and this has to be explained thoroughly to the parents for them to understand why and the proceeds of the fund, and consequently even filling in on those who doesn’t really have anything to give.
Being a new teacher in a public school is challenging but seeing the students really learning, performing and improving is only one of the intangible rewards that make it all worthwhile. The smile on the student’s faces, their small appreciations, and them making you feel loved is an incomparable joy. The pride and feeling of proudness in realizing the potential of each one and knowing that they will be somebody someday is unequalled.
By Francisca Bayogan Witawit