Saturday, September 5, 2009

My Learners, My Teachers

It's been a while since I opened my friendster account as I have been recently hooked up to facebook wherein communicating with my colleagues and keeping updates of them is faster and easier. My friendster has almost become a forgotten social network account when I decided to open it to explore my friends' latest updates. Looking at my network activity, I found my student who was under my advisory class back in the Philippines who just added his classmate during sophomore years.

Curious of their latest happenings as they have been part of my life as a teacher, I browsed the pictures in their album. And then, my eyes started to gloom as I saw them capturing life's memorable moments including their high school years. The faces I saw were the very students I left and cried for when I decided to leave for a teaching opportunity in Thailand. They were the very students I have exchanged with what I called 'greener pasture'. They have been a part of my life and looking at them taking bolder steps towards their dreams gave me a sense of happiness and a piece of regret for not being with them for the rest of the sophomore years.

I could still remember the first time I met those innocent faces in the classroom. Their frowns every time I release them late for a Mathematics enrichment class still leave a picture in my mind. Their complaints every time I ask them to speak English whenever they talk to me is nothing but memorable. We all had our moments shared inside the classroom as we learned and prepared for our future together.

Now, they're grown-up college students and they will soon have their own part in our community. I am happy for I was once a part of their lives and they also became a part of my existence. As always, I would express my heartfelt gratitude to my students for helping me realize the real meaning of my existence. I would not become a fulfilled teacher as I am without my students for every encounter that I had with them was both a learning experience and a moment of awakening. As a teacher, leaving my students in the Philippines for a teaching job abroad is like leaving my very own children. As I watched their pictures, I have seen that they're much better now than they were before.

Being a teacher, I have to be honest that I got most of my insights in life from the realizations brought by my students to me. Each day, I consider every learner not as empty tablets who impassively enter the classroom for they usually come with rich experiences, thoughts and feelings which need to be heard, appreciated, and learned from. They are more than just learners; they are teachers as well for oftentimes, as teachers, we get the best lesson in teaching from our learners.

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