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How it all started…

Nov 30, 2007

Today marks the third death anniversary of my former boss, Mr. Alexander Alix. I thought it would be appropriate to tell the story of how I began my career as a teacher, and how he helped me to become one.

When I was asked (when I was young) what I wanted to be when I grow up, being a teacher was not one of the choices. I hated the idea because my aunts would tell me lots of stories on how underpaid and yet overworked they are. And knowing that I have little patience, I know that being a teacher was not for me. I imagined myself working with a multinational company, making lots of money as my father would always say. In retrospect, I think he brainwashed me to think that way. He always does.

My college experience was not one of the best ones, so I was determined not to join the Math Department right after I graduated. In fact, I practically disappeared from the radar and tried to apply for jobs on my own. It was hard, and I find myself losing patience after two months of waiting for a job offer. To ease my depression, I visited my former teachers in Pisay and distracted all of them from their work. I also met Ma’am Flor Serrano, the school registrar, and she jokingly asked me why didn’t I apply for a teaching job in Pisay. I joked back, saying that it is for this very reason that I visited them. I happened to have a copy of my resume at hand, so I gave it to her.

Bottomline: My career as a teacher started with a joke. A joke that someone apparently took seriously.

I got a call from one of my former teachers, saying that the Math unit is in desperate need of a substitute teacher. Since I have nothing better to do, I said yes. The next day, I was interviewed by Sir Alix and the rest of the Math unit, and even by the Campus Director during that time, Dr. Saldana. And I must say, Dr. Saldana can be very convincing. And after my interview with the Director, I came out and went back to the Math unit, and I got the feeling that they are expecting me to start as soon as possible. Man, they really are desperate. I finally said yes, and the rest was history.

Sir Alix was the unit head at that time, and my table was right beside his. He showed me the ropes, especially how to deal with students and how to talk to parents. It was my baptism of fire, but Sir Alix helped me to cope. He always told me stories of the antics of his students, and how he handled them. Once in a while, we would go down memory lane and tell me stories of how crazy we were when we were his students, and how he handled us back then. Basically, he taught me three rules to remember when you are teaching.

1. Be considerate. Think of the circumstances, and try to understand the student. It is a class, not a dictatorial government. You are paid to teach the students, and not to torture them.
2. Be firm. Once the rules are set, they are meant to be implemented and students must follow them. If you don’t, the students will not take you seriously, since they think that they could get away with it.
3. Be fair. They will know if you are showing favoritism. The ‘pets’ will take advantage of it, without you noticing. Those who are not your ‘pets’ will either scoff or ignore you, if not both.

Maybe if my former self would see me now, I wouldn’t believe it. My friends would often say that I’ve mellowed down since I became a teacher. And even now, I remember how hot-tempered I was before, and how teaching changed all of that. Teaching is hard, I know. But it is very rewarding. I have to thank Sir Alix for that.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. polayn_jap permalink
    Dec 9, 2007 12:39 pm

    sayang talaga hindi ko naging teacher si sir alix. ang bait bait nya God bless his soul…


  1. Mathematics Education Blog » Blog Archive » How it all started…

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