When the teachers become the bullies


01:46 AM August 3rd, 2012

By: Roy Steven Eriga, August 3rd, 2012 01:46 AM

ILLUSTRATION by Nicoll Earl Bustamante

Once I saw one of my former teachers  in church. I really could not believe she still remembered my face. I smiled, but on second thought I was not sure if a smile was what I really wanted to give her.

In all honesty, I never really liked her when I was in high school. She never inspired me to do anything; she made me wish for a teacher better than she was. I found it silly that I could not just go up to her and tell her what she was to me.

Then again, I thought maybe there was something about my teachers—even those I disliked—that turned me into who I am today.

After graduating from high school, I kept in touch with a few friends from the lower batches. I was surprised at how sometimes they would tell me stories about certain teachers who treated them like they were the same age. It was like the teachers were the bullies.

Since when did teachers (who are supposed to be our guides and role models) suddenly decide to insult the younger generation, when in the first place they are being paid to “educate” those who are immature?

It makes me sick to my stomach how some of the teachers today look at their job as just a meal ticket. Have the values gone out with the salaries?

I still remember one of the best teachers I ever had in high school. She was notorious for shouting a lot, scaring her students—she was that strict. From my freshman to junior years, I always hoped I would not land in her science class. It came as a huge shock to me at the start of my senior year that she was my teacher in physics—and she was also my prefect for that whole year.

Like my grandmothers

However, it did not take long before I changed my view of her. To begin with, she would discuss the lessons more than the usual terror professor. She was very specific with what she wanted  from us, but on the side she would talk about her life and how she ended up in that classroom lecturing a bunch of teenagers.

She reminded me more of my grandmothers, loving, wanting us to succeed, expecting  more than what we expected of ourselves.

Tell me, what happened to such kind of educators? People who actually love to teach?

I just hope that not all teachers today go power-tripping. There must have been a point in our lives when we were all bullied.

I know a group of students who pushed to have a pep rally in support of their cheerleaders, but one teacher called that effort “paporma” or “pasikat,” and even posted an indirect message to them on a group page in Facebook.

It must feel so bad when your teacher is not on your side—or is very adversarial toward  you.

If I was an administrator of that school, I would consider something like that as basis  for a teacher’s termination. What gave that person the right to tell off students? I would have understood the situation if the students did something horrible like vandalizing a comfort room. The ironic part  is, the  students actually wanted to support the school, but the school did not show support for them.

Education brings many great things for the youth;  no matter how cliché  it may sound, “the children are our future” still holds true. But how can the youth build a better future if our elders have ceased to inspire to keep them going? Will we let this pessimism affect how the younger ones look at the world?

What we students are looking for in teachers is simple—patience.

When we dislike the way some people younger than us act, we like to remember how patient our favorite teachers were with us before. They all wanted us to be successful. I know someday, even if I do not get to say thank you to the teachers who were patient with me, our gratitude will be shown in the work we do in our more mature years. Then they can be really proud of us.

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