By MARY ANN RAVAGO - CARBONILLA
English Teacher - BNHS
It is true that some good things never last.Truerthat nothing in this world is permanent except chang
Leaving my comfort zone which I thought would be mine forever and where I stayed for almost two decades is not easy. Having all the amenities in only one room I might really say brings me comfort. The air-conditioned spacious room with refrigerator, microwave oven, bread toaster, comfort-room and even soft couches where you can recline when you are tired working I think is what everybody dreams of when he/she works. It could be the most conducive place to work on. Walking in one meter or two to meet your classes and transact business to other offices is not that tiring. You can go to and fro so many times to the classrooms and offices because of the short distances. What else should one ask for in addition to a higher remuneration?
But good things in life are really not meant to last. Each one of us encounters change, be it a good or a bad change, a slow or a drastic change, one should endure. Not even in my wildest dream, I thought that I would teach in a public school. When I decided to submit papers for ranking, everything was just for curiosity. I just wanted to explore and to experience what it was like to be applying for a teaching position in a public school; this I had never experiencedin my entire life. Though there were times I would like to, most of the times I thought it would be very difficult for meto teach in a public high school. So, my final decision was not to accept the offer if there wouldbe chances to be hired.
But who am I to fight against my destiny and the will of God for me. I cannot forget when Mr. Armando C. Capili, the principal, called me up sometime in May of this year and told me that he has a vacant teaching position for me. Without any hesitation, without thinking it twice, I accepted the offer and reported to Bataan National High School the following day.
Still in confusion of one of my major decisions in my life, I do not have much choice, but to go for it and stand for it.
The “twist of fate” which I always called it has started. No more air-conditioned room, microwave, bread toaster and other amenities which made my life so comfortable. I have to bear now the super hot classrooms that while you are teaching, you are perspiring too much. I am very much apprehended that I might get pneumonia. The cold lunch that no matter how delicious it is you cannot savor its taste. The couch is now a table where you can take your nap after being tired from teaching. The comfort room does not have any privacy anymore. It is both for female teachers and students. What is worst is the very, very far classrooms which took away all my energies. Nothing is left tome except the faith in God that I can bear the hardships and survive.
I also called it “retrogression.” Being used to prepare power point presentations for instruction, now i have to be patient in writing in manila paper for my visual aids.
It really took me a lot of adjustments in transferring to a public school. Physically, I always get sick, thrice I think. I became a little bit tan and lost three kilos. Intellectually, I have to go down to the level of my students because I taught college not high school students for the past years. Emotionally, I am really very much affected with the personal problems of my students unlike before that I do not engage myself that much with them, but in a public school you cannot ignore them especially if they are asking for help. Financially, many are in dire need of money. No money to buy food, to pay for the different contributions and transpo. They are borrowing everything – stapler, scissors, pen, tape- and even ask you for some paper. I cannot do anything, but help. Help in the little way that I can. Who am I to deprive them of any assistance?
Amidst all these – sacrifices, adjustments, diminution of salaries, hardships and sufferings – I feel a great sense of fulfilment in teaching and being with the students. There are times, you will get angry and I think that’s normal, but later on there will be more laughters and happiness inside the classroom.
I remembered years ago, 23 years ago to be exact, that I was ministering lots of young people, journeying with them and leading them to be closer to God. I think I am now in the public school to continue serving the young people by educating them, equipping them with enough knowledge and values, making them holistic individuals, letting them feel that they are important in spite of their status in life.
As Pearl Buck would say, “Only the brave should teach. Only those who love the young should teach. Teaching is a vocation. It is a sacred as priesthood; as innate as desire, as inescapable as the genius which compels a great artist. If he has not the concern for humanity , the love of living creatures, the vision of the priest and the artist, he must not teach.”
I am now one of the public school teachers who has accepted the challenge of the most difficult and toughest tasks, to teach .In spite of the hard work, I must teach, touch and transform lives of our public school students. This is a call for me and I shall respond to that call.
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