On teaching and being purpose bound

Joel James Cubillas

School year 2015-2016 is about to commence. And I, a high school teacher for four years, am elated.

Once again, I will be given an opportunity to meet a student like Renz Belen who had signatures as regular handwriting. He almost did not understand the differences among complex, compound and compoundcomplex sentences but through his perseverance and constant questioning, he mastered it nonetheless. He remains to be one of the best mannered people I have met and is now an engineering student. Only God knows how he passed his Engineering Drawing subject.

Nikko De La Vega, another former student of mine, had the whitest teeth a man could ever be blessed with (but his skin, reminiscent of dirty charcoal, might be the unfortunate catch) was the best in Math and also a winner in Language Arts competitions. He’s now well on his way on attaining a certification on Public Accounting.

There could also be another Lester Absulio- an artist at heart who had the weirdest (almost horse-like) snigger among the class. His up-to-dateness when it comes to Lebron James’ kicks was also remarkable. Les is now a under a multi media arts program.

Jennifer Salazar, a petite lass who always had something wrong with her lungs, was among the jolliest. It’s only recently when I discovered that she had no real ailment: that all her excuses were mere products of her brilliant mind and lazy habits. We just laugh it out whenever we come across each other and I think she knows that as her teacher, I still appreciate her like anyone else.

Chances may also permit that I meet another Kyle Luna. He desired to be alone most of the time but when you get to know him, you’d appreciate his vast knowledge on films, video games and everything that could be framed by the TV. He’s about to finish his two year program on Information Technology.

Also among my students was Jeric Limcuando. He was the class clown as his contorted face alone could reciprocate any given dull moment. It’s delighting that he manages to make everything light and happy despite his coming from a broken family. He told me that he is about to enrol as a Criminology student and even promised that he will be among the trustworthy Police.

But teaching is more challenging, more hardcore when I will be given, once again, an opportunity to meet Public High School Students.

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Students like Chavie Abello who walked more than 15 kilometers, under the tropical heat and along smoke belching jeepneys, but still managed to become a staffer of the student government body, eventually became my scholar. He is now an HRM student and a scholar of an established fast food chain.

I’d also want to meet another Jonah Lorilla. She is one those who can sing and cry at the same time. Her rendition of Regine Velazques’ “Isang Lahi” is as fake and as entertaining as it could be. She is now enrolled as a Grade 9 student.

Or another Reniell Osorio who, despite of financial incapability and child labor , could be as happy as a penguin on endorphin.

And I’d love it if will be given the chance to meet again a class like 7-abaca or 7-lagundi— classes that I have advised— for they made me feel like I am a father or an older brother. They somehow validated my existence as they made me someone of substance, someone of influential nature.

Us teachers may be overworked and underpaid. But if you happen to watch Sabsy Ongkiko’s youtube vid on teachers’ return of investment, then you’d understand that the teacher’s vocation is of highest rewards.

See, it’s kind of the other way around. I mean, teachers may be the ones who supervise their students, but the students could also make their teachers’ lives more purpose bound.

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