The Moments I Share with Them

I arrived at 11:25 at school, and I was surprised to see Kenli waiting for me at the gate. I asked him how he was and he just said, “Sana pala hindi ko na pinasa ang grade 3.”

“Bakit?” I asked.

“Kasi ang bait mo. Nakakamiss ka na, teacher.”

I felt a hole in my heart.

This year was so much better than last year. I only teach one subject, and I get to save more for some reason. Scores were better this year since I prepare for only one subject. Every time I end a lesson well, I would always say, ‘I wish I told them this last year’ and ‘My way of teaching now wouldn’t improve because of them’.

And then here. They would still go back and ask for a hug. They would still bring me those big sparkling eyes. They would still surprise me with anything they could.

It has been two months, and they still go back.

I never did that when I was in elementary. And even if I could only remember my shortcomings last year, what they remember was our happy moments.

One of my co-fellows asked me to be a substitute for an hour in the tutok basa class. The tutok basa class is composed of a percentage of the non readers who passed, and those who repeated grade 3. One of them was Reinier, the one who actually peed on a bottle in my class last year.

Surprisingly, he was okay with repeating grade 3. He even said, “Kailangan mas marami pa akong matutunan.”

I introduced “BUHOS student” in the classes where I teach, but not with the tutok basa class. It simply means “Bukas magbigay. Uhaw matuto. Handa at responsable. Ordinaryong gawain ay ginagalingan. Sumusunod at magalang.

Subconsciously, I said, “Okay ipakita sa akin ang BUHOS. student” when they were creating unproductive noise. Most were puzzled but not my Reinier. “BUHOS.. mabait at nag-aaral,” he then said to his classmate.

Mar Joy came running when I was about to go home. Two days ago, she mentioned that she was making a story about 3-Dela Cruz. I asked if she was already finished, and she nodded her head. She gave me a notebook containing an essay.

Yes, I came from a class wherein I almost wanted to threw their papers for not having the ability to write a sentence with the word ‘is’. And here she was, a product of my patience.

Thank god for patience.

III-Dela Cruz
ni Mar Joy Inding

          Ang 3-Dela Cruz ang aking pangalawang pamilya. Ito ang naging inspirasyon ko sa bawat araw na ako’y papasok. Sa kabila ng aking kulang-kulang na natatamo sa bawat araw, ako’y nagiging masaya dahil sa mga kaibigan ko.

          Isa na sa kanila si Jhon Carl. Siya ang aking matalik na kaibigan hanggang ngayon. Nandiyan siya sa tabi ko kapag binubully ako. Si Jhon Carl ang aking nagiging super hero. Dinadamayan, prinoprotektahan at tinuturing ko siyang kapatid. Kapag may problema ako, nariyan siya sa tabi ko at sinusuportahan nila ako.

          Si Teacher Jessa ang tumayong pangalawang ina ko. Siya ang dahilan kung bakit may ngiti ako sa pag-uwi sa bahay. Siya ay napakabait, masayahin, simple at maganda. Nariyan siya sa tabi ko, at ngayon ay napapasaya pa rin niya ako. Siya ang aking super hero ng buhay ko. Siya rin ang dahilan kung bakit ngayon ay marunong na akong mag salita ng English. Kahit makulit kami ay nariyan pa rin siya at pilit na nagtuturo sa amin. Napakasuwerte kong istudyante niya ako, at naging teacher ko siya.

          Napakasaya ko rin sa araw na pumunta kami sa UP Diliman, sa simbahan, sa Vargas Museum. Pumunta rin kami sa Jollibee at sa Mind Museum. Si Teacher Jessa ay binibisita niya ang mga bahay namin isa-isa. Siya ay pumunta sa aming bahay, at naging masaya siya sa kabila ng pagod. Matapos ng araw na iyon, binigyan niya ako ng colored pens, ngunit nasira at nawala ang iba.

          Noong summer, bakas sa aking mukha ang kalungkutan at pagka-miss ko kay Teacher Jessa. Natatakot ako, at may bumabagabag sa akin: ang pag-alis ni Teacher Jessa. Natatakot ako at baka hindi ko na siya makita o mabisita man lamang. Ngunit, siya ang bahala kung itutuloy niya [ang pagtuturo] o hindi.

          Ang 3-Dela Cruz ang naging tahanan ko at ito’y tumatak na sa aking puso lalo na si Teacher Jessa. Hindi ko siya malilimutan. Mahal 20x ko siya magpakailanman at habang buhay.

Some moments are to be cherished and kept. Though this one, I can’t help but share.

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