I was walking in the corridor of our school hallway. I made my pacing faster as students flashed their wide smiles and greeted me “a good morning”. I just beamed in response.
“Good morning class,” I greeted my advisory class. That was the time that the fight of my day really began. Even if I didn’t want to show off and look gracious I needed to pretend. I smiled pretentiously.
There it goes. I saw them again. I have to be a great actor. I looked at all the corners of our classroom. Once I noticed that all is well, I started to talk about the previous topics we have discussed but it always gets interrupted whenever I see in the eyes of my students their seemingly lack of motivation.
So what I did was to look into everyone’s eyes; trying to guess what they would like to happen during our class discussion. As I was doing it, my eyes seemed to penetrate their deepest desires and thoughts.
There it goes. I got stuck again in the story of their life. Apparently, every time I remember their stories the more I understand their behavior and it really gives also a mark to my heart.
I called one of my students. He is the top of the class. I was hoping that I could get an answer from him with regards to what could be a better approach in teaching our today’s lesson. Yeah, I got what I needed because aside from me this kid is the only person who knows his classmates very well. However, whenever I see him, I see hardwork, determination, and humility. I fell in love with his story; on how he still manage to sell fish ball after classes just to have some allowance for the next day.
I feel sad that everytime I see him I tend to overthink a lot for his future. What would happen to him after high school? Will he still be able to go to college? Sayang naman. In addition, he has still no birth certificate which is one of the requirements for graduation and in college admission. I tried to help him, but the story goes that he is not allowed to use his father’s surname because of some legal issues. So until now, it is still pending. If only I am rich, I’ll be helping him all the way to college.
I roamed my eyes again inside the classroom. For the two years that I’ve been with them, I already know if they are not interested in our topic. So I always change the flow of discussions and sometimes I don’t follow what I have prepared in my lesson plan.
Actually, I never had a day that I never think of my advisory class. Even if I am already done spending an hour for our subject. While I am in my other classes, in the midst of our discussion I would find myself thinking of them — if they are behaving properly in their other classes. They are the reasons why I am so excited to go to school; just to see them even if they do not appreciate me. For me, letting them go will create the deepest cuts in my heart. But I have to do so for them to grow and to become better individuals someday which is my greatest hope.
I continued to discuss the lesson. After discussion I allotted some minutes to talk with my troubled students. I really understand their behavior knowing what particular unrepressed pain provokes them to do punishable actions. I loved them so much and I really care for them. Their brokenness always made my day a whole and relevant because I am working with them to see their enthusiasm once again.
It pains me a lot as their teacher whenever the Guidance Office calls me for the violations that my students have committed. But with wide open arms, I always accept them and do not see them as bad kids for they are just not really properly guided.
And whenever I hear “Goodbye, Sir” I feel satisfaction, but at the same time, sadness. It just means that another day has been put into an end which means I only have few more days staying with my advisory class.
I closed my eyes.
For some, it’s always an ordinary day. Or a day that is a part of a boring routine. A cycle of what you will be doing for the rest of your life.
But for me, what I have now as a teacher is a gift. My students help me to go through every day’s battle. It is not “I” who helped them; it is “They” who brings me to light.
So I am always looking forward to the greetings in the hallways, seeing students’ smile, and spending time with my advisory class because they are my extended family.