WE BELONG TO A FAMILY
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.
The author is Master Teacher I atDepEd-Sto. Tomas District