I am a teacher. Or at least “was” a teacher. I quit. I felt so guilty, I quit.
There’s something wrong with the system, the Philippine education system. Will it change? Hope looks so bleak right now.
I graduated cum laude from my Education degree. I was so happy. Wasn’t hard to land a job, my credentials were good. I started with low pay, I didn’t mind, I was just happy.
I gave it my all. Some students listened, listened well. Some are… how can I say… “hard headed, pain in the butt brats.”Pardon me for lack of nicer words.
But they do make your day exciting though. If it were all just silent, dedicated, “A” students always, days becomes a bit boring. Pardon me again.
Everything started out nice. But as years went by, I became one of them. “Them” who’ve I’ve dreaded. “Them” who I never wanted to be. But talking to them, working with them, day in and day out, I felt like some part (maybe a lot) of them sniveled their way inside of me.
You know who I’m talking about. “Those” teachers. Those teachers who became numb human beings, never caring for students… those poor students. Teachers drunk with power, taking out life’s problems, life’s stresses, to the students… those poor students.
I became one of them.
I had excuses. It started with my “womanly hormones,” ; I felt the raging unbalanced hormones flipping out around my body and found myself being mean to some students. I was in denial. I told myself, “It’s okay, I’m sorry I was mean to some students, but what can I do? It’s the hormones.”
“Growing up, teachers did the same thing to me too. They have their own personal issues but found themselves taking it out to the students… It’s okay… It’s okay…”
So the cycle went on again. Just because my past teachers did that to me doesn’t mean I could do it to my students too. My beloved students.
Other teachers (my co-workers) were doing it all the time. They all have issues,
- Teachers’ wages were so low
- they couldn’t pay the bills
- so stressed out, yet couldn’t afford a vacation
- had a fight with spouse
Yet one thing in common, they all took out their stresses to the children… Those beloved, innocent children.
We all have problems in our lives. Yet it’s not an excuse to take it out on the students. That is just wrong on so many levels.
The problem with the education system.
I’m sorry for saying this, but students need to think for themselves, as early as possible. Only a few rebels exist, but fear always overcome courage in school.
Teachers found students to be “sucking up” to them. Always in fear. Fear of low grades, fear a teacher might flunk them or worst… send them to detention.
Do they even know what detention means? Detention means spending an hour inside the disciplinary room. Hey, it’s better than listening to boring old lectures for most times. Am I right?
Then comes the parents. They’re worse. Ever occupied with their busy lives, ever the “unquestioning mindless robots,” never stopped to reflect on things for a moment, ever loyal to the old, broken system… they spank their children, forcing them to “unquestionably” obey the teachers!
Parents, pay us (teachers) to teach, care and nurture their children. I repeat, teach, care and nurture. We (teachers) work FOR them, not the other way around. But now, look what happened… students became slaves! Slave to every teacher’s whim.
Clean this! Clean that! Write this! Hush! Be quiet!
It always end with “You better do as I say OR ELSE!”
Some teachers become drunk with power. They had it their way from the very beginning, why would they change?
Students became naive, “teacher-fearing” creatures. In other words, they lost the ability to think for themselves. And now, as they become adults, they spank, force, mold their kids to be “teacher-fearing creatures” too.
Note: it’s not entirely the teacher’s fault. They have problems, issues, they’re all stressed out with life (aren’t we all?), and they don’t even realize how they’re taking it out on the students from time to time.
I had a co-worker who was single, depressed, alone. He dedicated himself to his career and forgot about the “not-so-important” things in life… like family, friends, love. “Not so important,” right?
He found himself depressed all the time with no other forms of stress release that he became a power hungry terror teacher, just to cope up with life’s short comings.
He has issues.
It should not be the student’s fault. A lot of students became rebels for a reason. They couldn’t comprehend the full explanation for it… but they just had to rebel… at something.
“We” teachers keep it a secret. There’s a flaw in the education system, we take advantage of the young, naive students, and make them our own personal “stress relief” gadgets.
The day I quit.
I’ve been guilty for two years now. Two whole years of not caring (entirely) for the students’ futures. The school don’t pay us enough to care, why should we? I know, I know, it’s a bad disease, a sickening thought, but I’m guilty for it. Money shouldn’t matter (it does for the most part), but I was guilty for it.
So I quit.
I couldn’t live with myself any longer.
My plan? I plan to take a few months off. Take a break. Detoxify. Yeah, that’s the most important thing, detoxify. The flawed, broken education system had somehow sniveled their way inside my pores and I need to get them out. Detoxify.
When I am clean again, when I am fit again, I will find a new school. New beginnings. This time, I will have my walls up. I will not let the flawed teachers, nor the broken system get to me. This time, I will put the students’ growth as the only priority. I will teach them to think for themselves, know their rights (yes, they have rights too. Lots of it.), I will be the greatest teacher alive!