Friday, October 5, 2012

Memoirs of a Practice Teacher

An update since I last posted here (When was that? I can't remember...):

For the first half of this year's semester, we had our Practice Teaching subject. I was assigned together with six other classmates to teach in this school in Cubao, Quezon City.

I got to handle third year regular-section students under my cooperating teacher (right, beside our college supervisor). She has been one of the best teachers I've encountered in my life, and she's been so nice to me I can't thank God enough for her.

I never expected that I'd be able to perform well during my practicum, since I had only one teaching experience prior to the Practice Teaching period. I was overjoyed not merely because of the positive remarks and friendly criticisms of our college supervisor and my CT but because God has really helped me from my deployment to my Grand Demonstration teaching.

Back in high school, I thought of taking up an Education course not because I really wanted to teach but because I had to be practical. I wouldn't be able to earn much if I stuck to my original dream (and still I dream of this) of being a writer, so I thought of teaching other students to write (as well as read and speak) in English fluently. But as the rest of my high school years passed, I got to observe and love some of my teachers in different subjects, and so, I got inspired to become just like them.

Months before I became a college student, I had really decided to take up Secondary Education, English major--I felt that it was God's calling for me. I took entrance exams in two different colleges and I ended up passing the PNUAT, not to mention my eleventh spot in the Top 20 PNUAT Passers by God's grace. So college went on... and during my first three years, there had been times when I felt like shifting to another course or transferring to another school. I was questioning God: "Has it really been Your will or was it my illusion?"

In one of those depressing moments I happened to stumble upon the Facebook page of Saosin guitarist Justin Shekoski (who is also a guitar tutor) and I saw three words that struck me no matter how simple they were:

I love Teaching.

I wondered whether I'd love teaching the way he did...

But during our quarter-long practicum, I had this inexplicable joy in my heart every time I got home from school (not from studies, of course, but from work), no matter how stubborn the students had been or how hard all the teacher work was that day. When I told my mom about this, she told me, "It's really for you." My CT would confirm it weeks after my last practicum day.

On our Grand Demo day, I was real anxious because I felt like my dry run for my demo lesson had been literally dry--maybe because I hadn't been able to practice everything I had to practice at home those days because of paperwork and procrastination in my part. I was tempted to be discouraged about our upcoming demos. But at the moment I walked to the classroom where my demo would be held and prayed to God for help, a line from August Burns Red's "Redemption" came into my mind:

Be my strength, be my voice, my glory.

I had been kinda weak that time because of a weird sickness involving nausea/vomiting and appetite loss I had the previous night, so the line was... perfect for my situation. That line became my very prayer. And I couldn't thank God enough for his really being "my strength... my voice, my glory" not only for that day but also for all the practicum days... for all the days of my life.

And yeah, after four rough yet fun years in college (the next semester will be our last), including the three equally rough yet fun practicum months, I could say this with Justin now:

I love Teaching ;)

In speaking of teaching, I wish all teachers a Happy World Teachers' Day! May God bless you and continue to use you as vessels of wisdom and knowledge to all your students... and to everyone around.

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