Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Thank you, Teach


Teacher Appreciation Week, which falls this week, must be an American celebration. It doesn't fall within the Philippine academic schoolyear because teachers and students are still on their summer break here (for university studes, it's one heck of a long summer).

Nevertheless, I want to share a short note from a former student (let's call him G) who was with me in the creative writing enrichment course offered by the Community of Learners Foundation in San Juan. He stayed in that one-hour, weekly class for four consecutive years (that's 16 quarters of a schoolyear).

He is a highly functioning special child. There usually is a separate rating system for kids in this category. But as time went on, I considered him among the regular students and evaluated him as one because he always turned in consistently good work, was prompt in doing so, and his absences could be counted with one hand. He may have sounded makulit sometimes, but I knew that he just wanted assurance that he got my writing instructions right. So neat was his penmanship you'd think it came from a sans serif family of fonts.

I will miss G, but I have this note to read and re-read when I feel tired and need refreshing from going through another batch of students' compositions in the coming schoolyear.

How often does a teacher hear a "thank you" from a student? We live for those rare moments.

"Good afternoon po, Teach. I read the message you sent me. I already graduated from COLF, and I applied at Kalayaan College. I'm also working out at the gym with my brother every morning and on weekends. I have gained my strength and confidence again, especially when I can lift the barbell. All my works in Creative Writing I typed them into my computer. The best and wonderful works I love and appreciate most, those are the ones I typed and saved. Teacher Ruth also felt so happy that I gave her a print-out of one of my Creative Writing works. She told me that I can type and save my other Creative Writing works so that I'll have a remembrance of what I've learned from COLF and especially from you. Thank you."
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