by: Christine Villalobos-Go
Achieving excellence in our educational system is the loud cry of our entity. Seminars, workshops, conventions and the like have been slated to address this call as well as linkages are being established. Two decades ago we were the forefront in education in Asia but it seems that we’ve been in slumber and we need to catch up. We are so hooked in the idea of meeting the challenges that we have forgotten about the forerunners of this move- the teachers.
The need to look back and ponder on the plight of our teachers in the field is an existing scenario which needs to be addressed. John Ruskin once said “Education…is painful, continual and difficult work to be done in kindness, by watching, by warning…by praise, but above all, by example”. How do we expect our teachers to teach excellence and excellently if their morale is tarnished to the point of stagnating in their chosen profession? So much pressure has been placed on the task of teaching but not on uplifting the social status of these mentors. How do we expect them to deliver the goods in good state when the carrier is not conditioned do so? Further education for the educators has become a commodity so rare and costly as well as for the chosen few. Discrimination not only in the society as a whole but within the system as well is rampant. We’ve become victims of others misfits and illiteracy of congruity in education by some which led to the demoralization of teachers in the field. We talk much about latest technology, computer aided instructions and the like. And our society expects us to be abreast with all of these. Question is, are we ready? What percentage of our populace are well versed on these gadgets and how many haven’t seen or touched these? Can’t we use our so-called linkages to mirror the trend to the utmost? Will educational opportunity be widespread and discrimination among mentors be eradicated? Will the time ever arrive to look into the being of the teachers, to alleviate the status of the teachers befitting to the given task?
Teachers are human too, with needs to be satisfied. In as much as we want to be models of good integrity and person with high/balanced self-esteem, there is a need for re-education among us. Our own values system needs to be reviewed; self-enhancement should be practiced not solely for the purpose of having a high position in the system nor for self-gratification alone; a need for drafting that blueprint of excellence in education that includes the teachers as important carriers of the goods; and, for reaching that “well being” capable of delivering the goods in time and in good state must be brought to reality. The financial aspect of the profession too must be reviewed to be at par with other profession not only in social importance alone but on living standard too. Equating the salary with the life’s effort the profession brings must be advocated by our chosen leaders. To the politicians- Don’t leave us in the dark or in the peril of misfit for we have worked for your honest victory. Remember us in time of your glorifying presentation of mandates; let us be one of your protected subjects in your resolutions, decrees and bills. Not all of us are privileged as the one you see in the main city schools; some of us still need to cross rivers and mountains and to traverse rough roads to implement the constitutional rights of every citizen of this country. Have you forgotten about them? The scorching heat and the drenched body that some of us experience in order to fulfill our mission. Hear the small voice from the rural amidst the chaotic state of the urban. Let demoralization of teachers be stamped out slowly if not completely.
As what John Sensel, wrote in 2005, “As a child, the way of life is to learn. As an adult the way of life is to teach. And as a teacher the way of life is to make the student better than you”. I am a professional teacher; your children’s future is in my hands …