What were our teachers like before they became teachers? What made them decide to pursue teaching? Who inspired them to go into teaching? Let’s find out!
Dr. Edgardo Gomez, National Scientist
Educator for 43 years
I was inspired by several of my teachers who were La Salle brothers and, you know how it is, hero worship and that sort of stuff. And so I taught myself, “Wouldn’t it be nice to be a Christian brother?” So I applied and was taken in and I started out and lasted, like I said, about 15 years.
My teachers, the La Salle brothers, were good people. You know, people who were sincere, people who were competent, and people who cared, people who were helpful. They were genuine sincere people, no airs about them. They cared for you. They understood, and they were helpful and when you needed help, they were ready. They were competent, they knew their subject and so you learn from them. And generally, they were very approachable and personable and friendly. So they sort of inspired confidence, good will and helpfulness. So they were, what you might call, good examples of mature people you could emulate.
I think one of the joys of teaching is inspiring young people to be intellectually curious, to want to accumulate knowledge, and, in some cases, they even, if I may use a term, they even idolize their teachers without purposely trying to achieve that objective. It happens that some of these students get inspired so it’s very rewarding to see young people want to improve themselves and to stock upon knowledge and skills and then learn to be proficient in the field that they’re following.
Dr. Esperanza Cabrera, 2017 Metrobank Outstanding Filipino
Educator for 38 years
My grade one teacher inspired me to teach. She was so dynamic, and she was so full of life as if she knew everybody in class, and ours was not a small group. You could see that every time she goes into class, she was so…alive and uh, she wanted to engage everybody, and it-it really made me enjoy my grade school. I think among my grade school teachers, she was the most dynamic and caring.
For me, every class, every period counts. Because of that, it tends to make you want to improve yourself more. You can adjust, use your old lecture notes. You have to update them, especially with technology now, and with so many references that you can consult. Because of that, now, I feel that I’m growing as a person everyday in my profession.
If you see a sign to be a teacher, there is no other choice, but to excel in your profession and when you talk about excelling in your profession, with the multiplier effect, you just have to excel.
Dr. Wilfredo Licuanan, 2018 DOST-NAST Environmental Award recipient
Educator for 20 years
The first things you learn as a teacher is that your expectations and the students’ expectations have to be leveled off. And so, for example, tomorrow’s my first day of class, one of the things I have to remind my students is it is their responsibility to get the grade they want. My responsibility is simply to give the grade they deserve.
I enjoy the challenge; I love the challenge of trying to simplify concepts that are difficult to learn from just reading. As I said, teaching is a process where you, you try and make it easier and more enjoyable for the students to read about the details. What you do in the classroom is essentially introduce what’s in the text or assigned readings and motivate the students to go into those readings.
One of the things I learned interacting with various mentors is that the best ones, the best mentors are the ones who seek to train their students to exceed them. I think everybody should aspire to be like that.
Dr. Tereso Tullao, DLSU University Fellow
Educator for 45 years
Grade 4 ako nung nagdesisyon akong magtuturo. Kasi nga nais kong maghiganti dahil yung mga teacher ko sa mababang paaralan ay ginawa akong utusan sa kanilang bahay. At sabi ko, “Ma’am, paano po ako matututo?”; ang sabi niya, “Marunong ka na. Linisin mo ang bahay namin.” So mula noon, sinabi ko sa aking sarili, “Magtuturo din ako para maghiganti sa kanilang mga apo.”
Gan’on pa man, matapos ‘yon, noong ako’y nasa kolehiyo, may ibang mga mahuhusay na propesor dito sa De La Salle na naging modelo ko at nawala na yung paghihiganti at yung pagiging mahusay na guro ang naging pamantayan sa aking pagtuturo.
Lahat sila ay eleganteng magturo. Si Dra. Quito kapag siya’y nagsalita sa wikang Ingles ay malalim na Ingles. Kapag siya’y nagsalita sa wikang Filipino, malalim at dalisay na Filipino ang kanyang ginagamit. Si Father Peron ay elegante rin ang kanyang paghahayag ng Mathematics. At si Bro. Vernon Pur ay gan’on din dahil isa siyang artist. So ito yung mga nagturo sa akin o nagbigay sa akin ng inspirasyon para magturo. Dalawa dito ang gumagamit ng wikang Filipino sa pagtuturo — si Father Peron at si Dra. Quito. Dalawa rito ay mahusay sa matematika. At dalawa dito ay tagasunod ng pilosopiya ni Plato.
Kasi nga ibig sabihin ng elegante ay masinop, malinis, maayos ang pagpapaliwanag. Si Dra. Quito ay hindi tumatawa. Pero lahat ay nakikinig sapagkat napakalinaw niyang magghayag ng iba’t ibang pilosopiya at iba’t ibang pilosopo. Si Father Peron naman, kahit na hindi mo maintindihan, ay ang kanyang mga lecture notes ay napakalinaw din. At si Bro. Vernon Pur, ang kanyang pagiging elegante ay yung pagiging kreatibo niya, okay? So siya ang kung anu-ano ang mga pinagagawa niya sa amin noon, okay? Ang natatandaan ko, freshman pa lang ako noon, ay “Ano sa inyo ang kaharian ng Diyos?”. “What is to you the kingdom of God”?
Kinakailangan maging malinaw ako sa aking pagtuturo. Hindi lang malinaw, kinakailangan na naiintindihan ko ang aking tinuturo; hindi lamang ako nagmememorya ng mga teorya. Samakatuwid, kaya nga sila nakapagturo sa wikang Filipino ay dahil alam nila ang kanilang disiplina sa wika ng ating puso, sa wika ng ating kaluluwa — ang wikang Filipino.
Dr. Gerardo Largoza, Director of Quality Assurance
Educator for 25 years
I was 22 when I started to teach so I think, like with most new academics, your concerns are really are self-centered concerns. I wanted to make sure that I had good classroom presence, I wanted to be sure that I know the material, I wanted to be sure that I gave clever exams, I wanted to be sure that I was liked, I wanted to be sure that I got good evaluations marks but, over time, those things changed. I realized very quickly that just because students give you high marks in your ITEO, it doesn’t mean that they can demonstrate the skills that you want for them.
I think anybody who has chosen a craft will appreciate how these things can take forever to master. So, it’s true what the other professors will say that it’s nice to be around students, it’s nice to be in an environment that values learning and all that stuff. All that stuff is true but, I think, what I like about it is the idea that I could be doing this ’til I’m 80 and won’t really be able to claim that you’ve mastered it. So the idea that you can always do something better next term is a good thing that could keep you going for a long time.
What can I share with students and what’s the value of education? Well, the cliché is true. Ignorance is costly. Ignorance can make you miserable. It can certainly make the people around you miserable. So, seek knowledge. Seek education.
Engr. Isidro Marfori III, Head of the Micro Hydro Project
Educator for 12 years
I wasn’t the best student. I could say I was average. My grades weren’t perfect. I failed some subjects, but of course, I had to recover them. Maybe, I could say that who I am now is completely different from when I was in college. I had long hair, I wore black t-shirts, you know, things like that. It was really different. Sometimes whenever I’d meet with my classmates, they would be surprised and ask, “How could you become a teacher now, someone respectable?”
Early on I already had my sense of practicality, my sense of imagining things and bringing them into real life. So, that what was innate for me. The good thing about that is, at least in the academic field, when I was already teaching engineering, is that I was able to still practice that ability and use my imagination and actually bring things to life.
I like teaching because I’m able to learn more about how the new generations think. I remember earlier this morning, in class, I asked my students which format for notes they preferred. “I’m going to create some materials for you guys”, so, sabi ko sa kanila, “I’m used to making documents, like something you can read”, then sabi ko, “Just a raise of hands, who prefers video, like something you can download from youtube, and versus a PDF document?” So, majority, sabi nila, they want it youtube video. Learning about these things is a good way to keep my teaching methods fresh.