What it Means to be a Teacher

Aine Latoja || Illustration by Erika Flanco ||

The 5th of October passed by without much fanfare. Even so, many students took the initiative to greet their favorite teachers a Happy Teacher’s Day, likely motivating and brightening their day as they continue to teach in this current mode of learning.

Therefore, let us review what it means to be an educator.

First and foremost, our teachers are our first guardians outside our home. They make sure that we learn in a welcoming environment that reassures its students that they are in a safe space. They support us in our academic endeavors, give criticism when needed, and even play along with our jokes. It is their role to ensure that all students flourish and showcase their passions in the learning environment they have created.

When asked about the importance of creating a stimulating learning environment, Sir Emman Patata, a Social Science Teacher, makes it a point that no learning will occur if said environment is not conducive to both the teachers and students. 

“If the students are not motivated, they may not participate in the learning process,” Sir Emman emphasizes. “The best way for us to know if we are on the right track is to ask for feedback from the students themselves directly. Let us involve them in designing the learning process because they are the best judge of what works and what does not.”

Educators today continue to ensure that students continue to exercise their critical thinking skills despite the set-up, instigating the curious minds of students with various learning styles. Even as children, our first question was “Why is this like that?” or “Why is that like this?” In this way, teachers further act as parental figures to us— providing  answers to our never-ending queries and developing our love of learning.

In Filipino Teacher Ma’am Darry Portillo’s case, she revealed that she didn’t change anything in her teaching style. ”I give my own materials na nandoon na ang topics na kailangan matutunan ng students. I make sure din na relatable ang discussions like kayang maconnect sa real world para mas meaningful ang learning.” [I give my own materials that already have the topics that students need to learn. I also make sure that the discussions are relatable, like connecting it to the real world for more meaningful lessons.]

However, online classes have also opened new opportunities for teachers. When asked about some of these, Sir Ely Tajos, a Filipino teacher, says that, “The pandemic has [created] an opportunity for me to validate and make my students aware of the important role of humanities in our lives, especially language, literature, and art. Ang mga disiplinang kadalasa’y isinasantabi o minamaliit ay ngayo’y malaking salik sa pagpapanatili ng ating katinuan ngayong may krisis.” [Disciplines that were often ignored or underestimated are now a big factor in maintaining our sanity in this time of crisis.]

Lastly, teacher and adviser of The Science Net, Ma’am Remalyn Tomol, would like to close this year’s Teacher’s Day by saying: “Teacher’s Day is that one day in a school year that teachers want to feel appreciated for all the efforts that they are exerting to facilitate the learning process of their students. But as the adviser of SciNet, I really don’t have to wait for Teacher’s Day to feel that because I was and am blessed to have staff willing to take on the additional responsibility of school journalism. Fearless but ethical and fair. Consistently publishing articles worth reading. Always challenging and improving themselves by joining contests and workshops. What more could a school paper adviser ask for?”

Even after Teacher’s Day, don’t forget to express your gratitude for their endless efforts and hard work. 

And so, with all that said, go, show some love to your favorite teacher— or all of them at that.

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