on teaching

Posted: May 21, 2007 in All and Sundry, Musings, Rants

“He who is a teacher from the very heart takes all things seriously only with reference to his students– even to himself.”  — Nietszche

sometimes bad days do happen to teachers. god help us, we can only do so much even if we really believe that we are key in molding young minds. exigency of service, that’s what they say, above everything else.

on toxic days like today, the feelings of frustration, disappointment and doubt would suddenly creep in me; gnawing like a day’s old wound. and i would often start questioning myself about the choices i made. sometimes, however noble you think your job is, you can’t help but realize in the end that you are just perhaps kidding yourself–romanticizing the whole thing to make yourself feel better.

today was horrifying because for a moment there, while in the middle of throwing a fit, i was certain that i’d have the courage to just up and leave. yes, leave the teaching profession, leave the university that doesn’t obviously appreciate its junior faculty, leave this life of imagined nobleness.

what makes everything frustrating is that bad days for teachers aren’t usually caused by students. apparently, our days are made bad by fellow teachers themselves–those teachers who transformed into “power-tripping” administrators overnight, suddenly forgetting that they are, first and foremost, teachers.

i feel extremely sad at the apparent possibility that i can throw everything i’ve put on this job just like that and leave. the late nights researching on different strategies, the moments when i often catch myself waxing intellectual about methods in language teaching, those days when i space out and actually feel happy knowing that a student eventually improved and learned something from me, and those graduation days when i am often caught between not allowing myself to feel proud and really feeling a bit of pride for the fruits of my labor.

like mothers, teachers more often than not, aren’t allowed to give themselves the time of day. they aren’t allowed to just step back and marvel at what they have done just like how painters take time to look at their finished paintings meticulously, surveying details with  a satisfied eye. that is the implied idea.

above all the duties that we need to comply, we are also expected to be “infallible,” “perfect,” devoid of any capability of human error.

sometimes,what we teachers need to have above everything else, is “soul.” without it, perhaps, we’re nothing but just conveyers of information.

i resent those times when i am not allowed to feel that i deserve a little bit of time and space to just breathe in happy thoughts and enjoy not having to go through stupid university bureaucracies and “power-tripping” administrators breathing down my neck.

today, i have had enough of the condescension, of always having to be sorry for being “imperfect.” and if throwing a fit had made a point, i do hope i was able to drive the message home. if there’s one thing i really don’t want to be– it is to be a pushover, somebody that administrators can just pull around willy nilly.


perhaps it is time to leave. 🙂

  1. nino says:

    usahay makapangutana ka, naa ba ko sa u.p.? makaguol. pero ayaw palupig ana, day. hunahuna-a nalang ang imong mga natabangan nga estudyante. daghan na sila. usa o duha ra na ang naghatag nimo ug kalagot karong adlawa. 😉

  2. dili man makalagot ang mga estudyante kaayo. most of the time, ubang tawo nga dili estudyante ang magdala ug kasapot. lagi, usa lang ni ka adlaw. kapoy lang kay tungod gikasing-kasing man jud nako ning pagtudlo uy. maayo unta sayon nga tratuhon lang nimung murag trabaho lang jud. apan lisud kay kasing kasing man jud na.:-)
    salamat sa comento. hinaut unta makahatag nig gamayng kalinaw sa akong huna-huna.

  3. liguified says:

    “today was horrifying because for a moment there, while in the middle of throwing a fit, i was certain that i’d have the courage to just up and leave.”

    hay claire kasabot jud ko sa imong gibati. nauna lang ko sa imo og duha kabulan.

    hilak, higala, og ginhawa’g lalum… atubanga’g ngisihi ang daku na kalibutan. ayaw kalimti na daghan ang gahulat na masinag sa atong kaanyag. mubo ang kinabuhi og daghan pa tang ukayon.

  4. johnnypanic says:

    pakshet! you nailed it mam. kahilak… teaching is no mere job. it is a calling, sappy as that may sound. sad thing is when power and misplaced ambitions turn some people cold, myopic, indifferent to greater concerns. pak!

  5. kiday says:

    hala ka no? lament kayo. unsa man mam,pasalvage nato?

  6. apathy says:

    imagine feeling that everyday and hiding it behind boisterous laughters, smiles, and jokes…perhaps kinahanglan na lang magpretend na okay ra para okay ra ang tanan…

  7. apathy says:

    isa lang masasabi ko, gusto nako siya panitan sama sa pagpanit sa mais dayun idangdang ang iyang gapula-pulang unud sa gabaga nga uling.

  8. apathy says:

    karon mura na siya ug litsong iro!

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