When the teachers become the bullies


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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  • proudtobepinoy

    what you failed to make mention of is what about those times when the STUDENTS BULLY THE TEACHERS? Before you even bother to react, let me ask you if you’ve ever been a teacher. Frankly, I don’t think you are. Your article makes it sound like there is a big problem with teachers’ behavior toward students. Well then, what about those students (and their parents) who think like they practically “own” the teachers, and expect everyone to be at their beck and call, which happens after the students have already destroyed whatever little respect the teacher had worked for, and rightly deserves. Tell you what, next time do a better job. This is disgusting.

    • Steven Eriga

      let me answer most of your concerns for this article

      regarding your first complaint about students becoming the bullies: i did not say it doesn’t happen, its just that this article is of a different perspective which you failed to comprehend. i have had teachers who were bullied by the students and it was very depressing how it happened but they are the ones who are more mature, and they should know better than degrading kids.

      yes, i’ve been teaching high school students although not in an academic subject, i know what it feels like to sacrifice time and effort and yet end up with disrespect. Trust me, it is not the best feeling in the world but the love for teaching and seeing these people is what kept me going during those times.

      YES, there is a problem with how SOME teachers act towards their students, i am not saying ALL of them have this problem hence, that is why i mentioned my old Physics teacher. The fact that some students along with their parents think they own teachers is very unfortunate and yet i did not say it doesn’t happen.

      I appreciate every one of my teachers, even the ones i did not like. Your very fallacious comment shows how you are quick to judge and how to failed to appreciate a certain perspective. I appreciate your comment and i thank you, but this is to clear something up that i myself give RESPECT to teachers out there this article is to simply show a smaller story that someone can learn something about.

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