on Teaching

April 23rd, 2008

(This was written prior to my resignation in the academe not so long ago.)

Years in the academe has taught me so many life lessons that I will not trade with anything else, nor will I ever forget should I finally decide to bid CLSU goodbye. It has taught me to treasure every single moment I had inside this premiere university. Each session, whether good or bad, is an opportunity to learn. It is true that not all the time is a perfect time to teach. There will always be glitches, personal or otherwise.

Teaching is not unlike governing, says Conrado De Quiros. “The best teacher is not one who is so brilliant he is able to dazzle his students throughout his course. He is one who is so brilliant he is able to dispel his students’ awe at the end of it. The best teacher is not one who is able to keep his students in perpetual studenthood. He is one who is able to turn his students into their own teachers. The best teacher is not who makes himself as gratuitous as an act of grace.”

I believe that the best knowledge worker is not measured by the string of accomplishments he has in his CV, but one who uses such to benefit students in the best way possible. He is not one who sways his students’ opinion to affirm his very own views or beliefs but one who makes them think/decide on their own. Why, a good teacher is not one who creates a “clone” out of his students but one who makes them discover ways to assert themselves by allowing them to voice out their own perspectives. A good teacher is one who empowers. He teaches because he wants to demystify “learning” in its truest sense.

People may always have something to say about teachers and their different pedagogical approaches. One thing is for sure though. And it is that in everything, what matters is you think about students’ best interest. Oh you can be funny sometimes, strict, intellectual, or even techie – but all these must still depend on its appropriateness to the very needs of the learners. I also think that the best thing in this profession is getting to learn alongside students, not just in academic terms. Honestly, most of the realizations I had in the past five years were inspiration from my students. What I got from them is far too far compared to what I got in the office or even in the college. Maybe months from now – I will finally be working in a different setting. Be that as it may seem – all the values-slash-realizations-slash-experience-slash-lessons I have gotten from them – will always remain in my heart no matter what.

Finally, I must say how it is such a rewarding experience to become a knowledge worker who brings learning at the fore.  J

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