"Being a teacher is my passion, my dream. But it is also how I can provide to my children, because I am a single parent. So teaching is how I can help them to become educated people. My mother was always a model for me, as a woman and as a teacher, a really good teacher. She is now 86 years old and she retired when she was 60. I followed her steps. She was always a very devoted teacher.
The children are the reason that make me keep coming here everyday. My mother always told me that we need to love the children. We need to provide for them, whatever they need, even when is something that is not about school. She was always extremelly carefull for them. Sometime she had to provide food and other things and she always did with such a good heart. If anyone didn't have food, she always bring some to them.
When I was teaching in grade one, I had kids that I need to bath, so I used to took them to my house and bath them, help them to get in the right bus and care for them on their way back home, it was part of the skills I needed to have. We have to take care of every child because it always has an effect on the others, even on that ones who don't need so much attention.
I think being a teacher has qualities and problems. The good part is that this is a lifetime job. The bad part is how many pupils we need to handle. This year, in my class, I have more than 50 pupils. This is very difficult for us as teachers. We are not able to personalize how we educate each one of them. If I could have a class with 35 or 40 students, I could do so much better. When I was teaching grade one, I had to handle 76 pupils in one class. Now it is better, in grade five, I handle 48. The children have different characteristics. They come from different families, different backgrounds. It's very hard to handle all those differences.
The only support that the system gives us is the salary.
At this time it is not a good salary. It is not enough.
Teaching is definitly not about the money, you probably heard this.
In teaching we feel happy, we satisfied ourselves about what comes from the children. But in the other hand we always need to balance our financial situation, because teachers are employees, we have our needs as consumers. We have our families needs, our kids needs. How can we send them to school? How can we provide them enough food? A good house for them? All the concerns that everybody has in life.
When you say that you are a teacher, people look at you very highly. My mother is retired now, and even today, she is really respected. If they now that you are a teacher, you are highly respected. If one of my pupils decided to be a teacher I would feel very happy, because it means that they saw something in me that they can follow.
I expect my pupils to be good people. Good citizens in the future. I can not tell you that they will all become professionals, because education in Philippines is becoming really expensive, really hard. There is so many fees to pay for. We have public colleges, but even those, they have to pay some fees. The good education is the one we pay high prices for. If you want to become a doctor, for example, you need to expend high amounts.
Teachers, we need to love our work. Love the children. We have to teach them well how to become good citizens. It is not easy, I know that is a very hard job. But it is a good job, a very important one. We need to molde the kids, we need to build their character, their espiritual, their personalities. So the future is on us. I want to say congratulations to all the teachers. God bless you!"