WE BE­LONG TO A FAM­ILY

Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! -

RI­CARDO M. BALUYUT

It is al­ready 2:00 in the morn­ing and I am still awake, try­ing to fin­ish all the tasks I planned my­self to do for the day: check­ing my stu­dents’tests pa­pers, brows­ing through my ses­sion guides to pre­pare vis­ual aids, re­view­ing teach­ing tech­niques I jot­ted down dur­ing a sem­i­nar, and cy­ber-stalk­ing my ALS learn­ers’so­cial me­dia ac­counts.

Maybe you are won­der­ing why I do stalk my learn­ers in their vir­tual worlds. I do this not be­cause I am fish­ing for in­for­ma­tion about their pri­vate lives (I re­spect each per­son’s pri­vacy as much as I want them to re­spect mine), but be­cause I want to see if they have been putting the things they’ve learned into ap­pli­ca­tion. Be­ing an ALS co­or­di­na­tor, it is a re­lief to see my learn­ers from dif­fer­ent walks of life do­ing good at what­ever they choose to do. Some of them took short cour­ses on elec­tron­ics and now work fix­ing com­put­ers or in­stalling pro­grams; fol­low­ing their so­cial me­dia ac­counts, I knew that most of them landed on jobs af­ter get­ting cer­ti­fied on their cho­sen area of in­ter­est – who wouldn’t be proud?

These per­sons are not just my learn­ers, they are my chil­dren: all part of a big and ex­tended fam­ily whose goal is to make each other’s lives eas­ier and the fu­ture brighter. Shar­ing the same goal, my learn­ers and I know that the next years would be bet­ter if we work our hard­est and do our best. Even if we don’t al­ways ex­press our grat­i­tude to each other, the sim­ple act of call­ing me their Tatay and treat­ing me like one is enough to show that they some­how look up to me. In my heart, I know that I have some­how helped them, as they have ex­tended help to me in more ways than I could have imag­ined.

It is very im­por­tant that we don’t only just give lessons out of the ses­sion guides we pre­pare – some­times our learn­ers need is our heart where our abil­ity to show con­cern and un­der­stand­ing, our un­lim­ited tem­per­ance when their heads turn hard, our ex­tended pa­tience when they be­come such pain in our sched­ules, our never-end­ing sup­port for all their en­deav­ors.

To be their sec­ond par­ent, their Tatay, and not just their fa­cil­i­ta­tor is more than just joy – I can’t find words to ex­press how I feel.

— oOo—

The au­thor is Mas­ter Teacher I atDepEd-Sto. To­mas District

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