In 1978, after a year into college, I decided to take leap of faith by drastically shifting courses from Dietetics to Education. A leap of faith indeed, for to venture into education was the farthest thing in my mind. But as fate would have it, then Dean of the College of Education in UST, Dean Lourdes J. Custodio (may she rest in peace), somehow saw potential in me, and encouraged me to take the path of a teacher. It was through Dean Custodio and Professor Nenita Caralipio, who became instrumental in my decision to pursue childhood education—and 30-plus years later, I have never turned back and have these two outstanding ladies to be thankful for.
The field of education is a very demanding and financially challenging profession. This is why it is not a profession for the faint-hearted. And this is so much truer for teachers of young children. It demands a lot of hard work, physical endurance, patience, diplomacy, budgeting expertise (believe me, when they say teachers are paid “peanuts”!), and more. It is a profession that demands total dedication to one’s craft and to the children under his/her care.
However, the fruits of a teacher’s labor are a hundredfold. There is nothing that can compare to the gratification of finally winning over the trust of a child after days of tears and tussles during the first days of weaning.
Or going down the aisle of a supermarket and from a distance, hearing a loud voice shout, “Look, mom, It’s Teacher Jo!”, even after he/she’s been out of preschool some five years or so.
Or finding out that two of your former preschoolers who were once classmates in the same preschool class ended up dating each other for their Junior-Senior Prom, and it all started with a casual conversation in a party where they found out that, “Hey! I went to CCE, too! Do you know Teacher Jo?”
Or having children visit you when they are high schoolers just to say, “Hi, Teacher Jo, this is my girlfriend.”
Or having a former student pass by just to proudly tell you, “Hi Teacher Jo, I am now a manager, and I work in [such and such a]company!”
Or when a young good- looking couple comes over holding the hands of their child in between them, and happily tell you, “Hi, Teacher Jo, this is my son/ daughter… And we would like to enroll him/her at CCE!”
These are the memories that tug at and remain imprinted in your heart, and despite the never ending urge to quit, all these outweigh the difficulties and hardships that a teacher endures each day.
This is my story, and I invite you to take a journey with me as I share with you lessons, articles, anecdotes, even education trivia which I have accumulated over the years as a child educator, that will make you laugh, or cry, or even inspire you in some way.
Meet me here next week at my desk, as I hope to help parents or simply help single people enjoy richer and more meaningful relationships with the children their lives are blessed.