I have a confession to make… If you had asked me when I was a child what I wanted to be when I grow up, I would have answered: to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer.
I honestly never thought or dreamed of becoming a teacher, but with God’s graces, here I am now, celebrating with all of you this momentous day in our lives.
To the Professional Regulatory Board for Professional Teachers, proud parents, families, and friends, good morning! To my fellow newly licensed professional teachers, a huge congratulations to all of us! I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my mother, kuya, titos, titas, and grandparents for without their unconditional love and unwavering support, I wouldn’t stand here in front of you. I am truly honored.
There’s a phrase that says, “those who can’t do, teach”. But I beg to differ. Teaching is not for those who just randomly decided or those who chose it as a last resort. In contrast, choosing to be a teacher involves conviction.
Because teaching is not just a profession, it is a calling, and definitely not for the faint of heart.
Teaching is the only profession that creates all other professions. Without teachers, there would be no doctors, lawyers, and engineers. It is a job filled with so many expectations and responsibilities.
Being a teacher is a bunch of occupation, such as a second parent, a counselor, a mentor, a friend, a disciplinarian, a leader, an expert, encompassed into one person. It is often stressful and taxing.
Being in the 21st century, we are blessed with countless techs and innovations that make our lives easier. But technology is a double-edged sword.
It is now very easy to transfer, access, and gain information through the internet. Answers to countless questions are just a few types and clicks away.
These may even pose a threat to our authority as experts in the classroom because what we say can easily be fact-checked in a second…well a few minutes, for some internet providers…However, these advancements in technology are also the means for distributing confusion and misinformation to the public.
I’m sure we are all aware of the term, “fake news.”
One way or another, we’ve encountered fake news through different types of media like mainstream news, but this is notably widespread in social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
The challenge for us as educators, in this day and age, is to train our students to be critical of what they read, see, or hear.
We must give them opportunities to exercise their decision-making skills. Let’s not impose our beliefs on them, but instead arm them with the tools they need for them to come up with their own.
As John Dewey, a great philosopher and educator said, “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”
As lifelong learners, we educators, must keep improving ourselves, model the behaviors of an outstanding moral citizen, while also challenging the status quo.
Let’s not be satisfied with “pwede na”, but go above and beyond the minimum requirement.
Let’s continue finding creative, innovative, and practical ways of teaching our students.
We must not just keep up with the times, but be ahead of it. So that we may equip, encourage, and inspire not just our students, but also the people around us, to be critical thinkers, innovators, and developers that would produce ideas and solutions for the betterment of our nation.
Tulad nga ng sabi ng aking mga coaches noong ako ay nagrereview, “yes I can, yes you can, yes we can!“.
Maraming salamat po, at mabuhay tayong mga bagong guro ng bayan!
Gem Angela Polines Tupaz
Top 4, Elementary Education, 2018 September LET, 88.80
University of the Philippines – Diliman