Archive for ‘Teaching’

16 July 2013

Moments Teachers Like Me Live For

by misslampa

In this particular video, it happens twice. Once at 1:57, and then again at 2:02.

It’s always fast, fleeting, and barely noticeable, but it’s the first thing I look out for every time I’m with my students.

Because without fail, the moment they realize that they’ve just learned something they themselves believe to be genuinely worth their while, their faces light up.

And teachers like me? We live for that moment. Even more so if the learning didn’t come easy.

Eyebrows shoot up, pupils dilate, lips part just a wee bit and form the top half of an oblong. And everything in just a little less than a second because after that, they become aware of what’s happening, stop themselves, and revert to sporting the I’m-playing-it-cool look.

Some students I’ve worked with take anywhere from a few minutes to several months to get there. But I bet a lot of teachers will agree that for most, it takes years or decades even – long after the teaching has stopped. It’s not the learning that takes long to come, it’s getting them to become completely sold on the idea that what they’ve learned inside your classroom is actually useful and will continue to be so even outside of it.

And If you’re lucky, they find a way back into your life to tell you all about it.

I know it’s hard to believe given how adorably cute the young boy in the video looks every time he gets excited at the thought that he can read now. But I tell you, seeing a fully-grown man’s face light up like that over something you’ve taught him back when he was still in high school?

Equally worth the wait.ÜüÜ

This one’s for all those who have come back to say thanks.♥

I first stumbled upon this video via this awesome link on

6 June 2009


by misslampa

If you knew me back when I was in high school and college, you’d know it’s quite ironic that I am now teaching. You see, I don’t like being smothered with attention. Now it’s impossible for a day to go by without anyone noticing me. I’ve had eyes follow me inside the classroom as well as along the corridors, and when I’m in one-on-one session with my tutees, they’re left with no other choice but to hang on to every word I say. After all, there’s no one else to listen to.

Oh, but don’t get me wrong. I rarely shun the limelight and I do admit basking in it once in a while. It’s just that I feel most at ease when I don’t have people watching me.

Introverts are like that. We like being left alone. We’d rather curl up in bed with a good book that go clubbing with friends. We take pleasure in sitting in a quiet corner and hearing ourselves think. You can’t count on us to make small talk with a complete stranger on the train or plane. We’re not comfortable sharing our private selves, so we’d rather be stereotyped as snobs than have to deal with people we don’t actually care much about.

I am a self-professed introvert, and I have been misunderstood because of that. I tread the roads of my life silently, calling as little attention to myself as possible. I don’t speak up every time I have something to say, and quite recently, I’ve discovered the joy in just keeping mum when I know I really won’t be able to make things better. Most of my acquaintances dismiss me as a so-so person with nothing to say and nothing to share, and I allow them that delusion so they’d let me have my solitude and my privacy

I will keep ostracizing myself from most of the world – until I happen to meet the handful of people whose wit, sincerity and no-fuss personality can get me to open up. They could take the form of closest girlfriends from way back, surprisingly interesting block mates, kindred spirits from nowhere and everywhere, unassumingly brilliant students or the sweetest colleagues in the world. Whatever the case, the craziness that’s to come after that is anyone’s guess.

But for the most part, I swear I’d still be an introvert ü.


This piece goes our to all those I’ve been very fortunate to call my friends. I know I’m not easy to love at times, and I’m thankful that you’ve stubbornly, stupidly remained by my side.

16 March 2009

Once more, from ‘cher

by misslampa

It’s been years since they last crossed my mind, the questions I thought I already knew the answers to. But when an orgmate from UP wrote about taking up law because he lacks the guts to live the hard and fast life of a journalist, I suddenly find myself staring at the ceiling, the thoughts which had me restless back then creeping into my head once more.

When I chose to forget my dream of being an investigative journalist several years ago, I did so with a certainty which I thought won’t be shaken. The three weeks I spent as an editorial assistant for the Inquirer only strengthened my realization that that life wasn’t for me. I could sleep soundly even if I don’t know exactly how the decades-long conflict in Mindanao started. I could forgive myself for not knowing which publicly listed companies are making money for their stockholders. I didn’t want to interview the movers and shakers of this country and quote the PR-fed lines which get their names on the front page.

I got sad when I realized it, especially because the four years I spent obtaining my degree is time I’m never gonna get back. But it turns out that I didn’t want to make a living out of chronicling that which is important for everyone to know.

But five years down the road, do I still think I do not want that life? I fell in love with teaching and English before I gave working for the press a fighting chance, didn’t I? Sure, the life of an educator is just as selfless, but do I not regret giving up prestige and adventure for the sparkle in my students’ eyes and a more quiet existence? Once more, I dare ask myself: Did I really know what I was doing?

I try my hardest to rattle myself, really, but I can’t seem to shake my resolve – not exactly to stand my ground and continue teaching, but to live in the here and the now. I may end up changing my mind in the future, who knows? But in the mean time, I allow myself to be happy with who I am and where I’m at because I teach. Because if you’re the type who does everything in his or her power to make life and this world work, then you’ll agree with me when I say that the right choice is always the one we make.

And I choose to watch my students struggle and soar and laugh and lie and do just about anything to get an extension for a project or have a green slip* revoked even if they are guilty as hell. I choose to take part in the friendly banter and the overtime sessions with colleagues who are an honor to work with. And I choose to remember the stories which will never matter to the world – but which will always be newsworthy for me.

As the batch which fate compels me to hold dearest to my heart graduates on the 25th, I toast to the life they’ve had in Xavier and the fact that I’m privileged to have been a part of it. I remember the moments which assure me that yes, I’d still choose to be an overworked ‘cher than a renowned journalist. And as they move on to where life would take them next, I repeat the prayer I said for them three years ago, when I bid them goodbye for the first time.

“May the road rise up to meet you and the wind be ever at your back. May the sun rays gently stroke your face and the raindrops fall softly on your fields. Until we meet again, may God gently hold you in the palm of His hand.”

* a piece of paper given to students who violate school rules and regulations, and is more often than not equivalent to several hours in detention


16 Mar ’09, 5:04 a.m.

photo taken from