How are you? I was thinking when was the last time we asked you that question and genuinely sought the answer.
As for some of your students, you know we are reluctant to wake up early and drag ourselves to school. We chit-chat away until you come in and greet us “Good Morning.” Then we reply in that long-rehearsed response, not sure what is actually good in the morning. Without us knowing that in most mornings, you are actually asking yourself the same thing.
You come to school early to share the lessons you have prepared for hours the night before. While in the middle of the lecture, some students come in late, and unprepared.
You face a class of 30 to 40 students (in some cases even more) straining your voice to be heard by everyone over the loud classroom chaos. This goes on day in, day out, even after school, when you meet your tutees. Then you grade papers, study, and prepare lesson plans, leaving you with only about 4-6 hours to rest if you’re lucky.
Come examinations, we turn in our papers. You spend more hours checking, trying to understand where our silly answers came from, when looking back you knew you tackled each item well. Whatever the reason, a part of you sometimes thinks that maybe you didn’t do enough.
You look forward to payday just like everyone else, but receive such small compensation for all the time, hard work, and heart you have put into your job.
Countless “what ifs” flood your mind.
You ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” You think to yourself, there must be better opportunities out there.
Yet in the public school classrooms where there’s hardly enough room to move around, you see eager faces of students at the back who try their best to hear you out. These kinds of students keep you going, no matter the challenges.
We’re sure that there are days you are trying to look for motivation. Know that you are good at what you do, even when sometimes, there are no telltale signs.
You start looking for support beyond words like, “you’re doing a great job,” or impressed reactions upon hearing that you are a teacher. There are Teacher’s Day and Teacher’s Month to celebrate you.
We know these things may not be enough but let us thank you. We may see only a small part of your daily struggles but know that we are grateful. Despite your doubts, you are highly valued. Especially today, when we need people like you to help our youth think and act responsibly. We ask you not to give up.
Ma’am, Sir, Madam, Miss, Teach – know that you inspire us always.
Happy Teachers’ Day.