The Unsung Heroism of Teachers
By Apolinario Villalobos
Teachers become the second parents of children as they step inside the school campus. I do not want to dwell on their wage as everybody knows that despite the adjustment, still, it is not commensurate to their effort and time spent in school. Weekends sometimes see them in school sprucing up their rooms to make them conducive for the learning of their young wards. If they are lucky, they get support by way of budgeted “allowance” from their superiors for the aforementioned expense which oftentimes is not enough so that they are forced to shell out their scrimped savings.
I know of teachers who are supporting in their own affordable way, pupils who go to school without breakfast. They include these unfortunates in their packed lunch or sandwiches. Those assigned in far-off or remote schools, with some beyond several hills and swift rivers, had to spend for the fuel of their “single motorcycles”. Some viewers of my blogs are teachers and they told me that they are also spending for their own teaching materials…actually, a traditional practice that include even the purchase of floor wax, brooms and dust pans.
They may have been able to collect simple jewelries…hard-earned investments, but according to my teacher-friends, it took them several years to complete the payment made on installment basis. On school days, they have to wake up at dawn to prepare breakfast for their family, leave home for school before 6 or 7AM, stay in school till 5:00PM or beyond, tackle the flood during rainy months on the way home, immediately attend to their family upon arriving home, and work on their modules till late in the evening for the next day. Due to bad traffic, many would arrive home as late as 9:00PM.
Many teachers become spinsters and bachelors because of their dedication to their job. Some say, they have no time for the “loving-loving”. Worse, many also develop TB due to unhealthy condition in their workplace. The consolation that they get from their job, especially, if they are handling kids is the loyalty and devotion from them. These brought about common statements from their pupils, “….sabi ni Ma’am…”. “…ayaw ni Ma’am niyan…”. etc.
I remember my teachers in Tacurong Pilot Elementary School, such as, Mrs. Paradero, Mrs. Sucaldito, Mr. Jordan, Mr. Barber, Ms. Davala, Mrs. Amar, Mr. Palencia, Mrs. Ramos, Mrs. Domider. In NDTC Boys Department such as, Mr. Elmer Festin, Mr. Jamorabon, Ms. Uy, Mr. Cabiles, Ms. Hojilla, Ms. Palabrica, Mr. Gabertan. In NDTC college department, such as, Mrs. Lechonsito, Mr. Canzana, Ret. Judge Jacosalem Makilala…..and many more. (I hope viewing schoolmates and classmates can help me out recall names….please add.)
Alas! Without “Ma’am” and “Sir”, where would I be?