I Hated School and It is No Longer a Secret

Thursday, February 11, 2021

A few hours before our set schedule to embark on our journey to Mt. Secret, a feeling of inadequacy lingered in me. I felt so inadequate not as a person but more of as a teacher. I have taught for almost ten years now and I always felt so responsible whenever my students did not get promoted to the next year level or stop schooling somewhere in the middle of the school year, especially towards my advisory class. Though I tried to contact or home visited them and reason with them about the predicament we were in together, yet the endpoint for both of us was still not good. It hurt me more when the reason behind this is family or personal circumstances which I knew I was not allowed and limited to even cross the line. 

The feeling of being not enough as a teacher is more intense now during the pandemic when modular and online distance learning is being implemented where a face-to-face class is not recommended. I am an adviser again for the school year 2020 to 2021 after two or three years of having none. I have 53 students and the last time I counted them, there are 7 students who do not want to continue schooling. The decision came from the students themselves or from their parents via phone calls I made with them or through the Messenger application.

The desire not to push through with their studies is a saddening reality I can relate to. In my adolescent years when everything confused and overwhelmed me was a time in my life when I kept telling to my parents that I no longer wanted to go to school or I desired to get out of the educational system and felt like it was not helping me or even not good to my humanity and sanity. There were a lot of fears going on inside me. The fear of facing my classmates and teachers or in anyone in that place or more like I just wanted to stay at home, buried myself in front of our secondhand and defective television, and watched anime. Sitting in front of the telly was actually my sanctuary, it was from the anime I watched I got comfort and satisfaction.

I was an honor student during my elementary days and it was a shock of my life when I realized that I could no longer keep up with the performances of my classmates, they appeared more confident than I was. The way they answered in the recitation I just could not match them. They were multi-talented: dancing, acting, singing, name it they knew it. As for myself, I was just a girl who hid and suppressed feelings: the positive and negative, the anger and pain I struggled with. I was just too proud to show them all even at such a young age. Probably, because at home we were not properly encouraged to express our emotions.  I grew timider than I already was. I lost interest in my studies. 

I used to blame my parents for my difficulties in expressing my emotions, but it is no longer the situation now after 15 years. Instead, I feel thankful towards them, despite their own struggle and challenges faced during those times they were able to never let go of me, never got tired of my tantrums, never held back to provide my needs the best way they could. I am most thankful for them teaching me about and believing in God and also for saying 'no' firmly when I cried and begged them that I wanted to stop schooling and I no longer desire to pursue an education. 

Gratefulness is what I have towards my parents. They have never been perfect parents, but I am pretty sure that God gave them to me for they are the parents I need as I live my life here on earth. And as for my students, I still contact them from time to time. Aside from those 7 students, I think half of my class is not regularly submitting their outputs this second quarter, and it is such a letdown. Modules and tablets are provided, and I follow up on them from time to time, but I am positive that there are other reasons behind this situation. They may be having difficulties which are evident with the kind of setup we have right now. They maybe hating school, their teachers, classmates, parents, or even themselves, but I hope they do not give up on their education. It seems not easy right now, yet I know that their hard work will be rewarded. They may not receive the reward immediately, it may take years, decades, centuries, maybe even when we no longer dwell in the physical world. 

But I would like to tell them this: Please believe in this child, you are where you are supposed to be. So don't give up on your education. Time will pass and before you knew it you already graduated and reminiscing the silly things you did. I will always be praying for you, sweet child of God. 

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