The following Experiences entry was written by Mikko Ramos, one of the Leadership Development Officers (LDO) of the 2013 Cohort, as a Facebook status message this morning and was reposted here with his permission.
Yesterday, my former students surprised me as I made my way home from doing short observations in West Fairview Elementary School. As I stepped out of the tricycle, they started shouting, “Sir!” and gave me a big group hug. They were my students when they were in grade 6 and first year high school. They are now part of the graduating batch of Good Shepherd Cathedral School. It has been four years since I met most of them for the first time and for the most part, they are still the same kids — only taller than me!
I will never forget them because they were part of the most challenging classes I have handled.
During my first months of teaching:
They were the ones who made me cry out of anger and frustration.
They made me walk out of class.
They made me lose my voice.
They made me lose half the instruction time to sermons.
They challenged my authority.
They made me feel exhausted every day.
But in my three years of teaching:
They taught me how to trust.
They taught me how to be patient.
They gave me true confidence.
They told me to never give up.
They made me realize my potential.
They made me remember my why.
They pushed me to be a better person.
They showed me what dreams are really made of.
They taught me how to become a true teacher.
On top of it all, these students taught me how to love them. And change happened. I never thought my three years with them would have such an impact on their lives.
They recently gave me a framed picture of their class, all grown up and in their fourth year now. They wanted to make sure I would never forget them. And I never will because they are the reason why I do what I do in Teach for the Philippines and why I continue to leave my mark through education.
So to all the teachers out there, especially our Fellows, never give up! The first two months may be the most difficult, but the next two years will definitely be worth it.
Loreen Eslao, thank you for inspiring me to write this piece. And I will never give up because I know you guys won’t!
Chesko Guerra, this piece is for all of you guys! Feel free to share this with your classmates.
Michael David T. Ramos, or Mikko, 27, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Communication in 2008 from Ateneo de Manila University. As an LDO, Mikko acts as trainer, coach, and evaluator of 13 Fellows from the 2013 Cohort.