Teaching is truly a noble profession. Sometimes it is frustrating because you encounter challenging students, but most of the time it is very fulfilling. I have been teaching for more than a decade now and have taught in different schools in the Philippines and abroad. In 2013, I eventually decided to enter the public school system. I am now on my fourth year as a Social Studies teacher in Novaliches High School, and the journey has not been as smooth as expected. I had apparent culture shock because I was used to teaching in schools were there are available resources to help a teacher execute lessons well. However, part of the challenge of being a public school teacher is not only the limited resources, but also the students who come mostly from less privileged families who don’t frequently come to class because of lack of funds for transportation and allowance. I have then realized that teaching in a public school is truly a calling, and I am grateful for the angels who constantly guide me.
One of those people was Mrs.Paulino, a Master Teacher who mentored me until she retired in 2016. She was very nurturing and patient, and she taught me not only things about the subject matter Economics, but she imparted values that are truly priceless. I used to have a very high standard when it comes to giving grades, but in the public school, there will be times when compassion is more important than the actual academic performance. I learned from Ma’am Pau (as I fondly call her) that you have to balance the mind and heart when it comes to giving grades to our students. Sometimes, we have to consider a lot of factors because we might be the only hope for these students who might not be able to afford going to college. It is essential to understand and be empathic towards the students, and that’s what I learned from my dear mentor, Ma’am Pau. I am now a better educator because of her (but of course there’s always room for improvement!)