An Open Letter to our Teachers: Inspiring hope and rekindling passion for transforming lives positively

Just last week, the Department of Education declared October 5 as the new date of the start of classes (at least among all public schools). It occurred right after concerned citizens expressed their apprehensions and doubts over the department’s readiness to go full blast on blended/distance learning. Though the announcement came barely two weeks before the 24th, it was a breather for many- especially parents and students (and teachers, to boot)- who have noticed policies and actions that leave much to be desired and who fervently hope and pray for all educational stakeholders to make well-informed decisions and well-planned actions.

Though private schools have the right to begin classes much earlier, teachers and administrators also feel the effects of the recent actions and missteps related to producing, pilot-testing, and refining modules for final approval, delivery, and implementation. The educational specialists and experts who have expended blood, sweat, and tears and set aside their doubts and fears must be recognized duly (I doff my hat to you, my fellow educators!) for their efforts and dedication in reforming the entire educational landscape through research, pedagogy, administration, and mentorship.

I hope that through my letter to my fellow educators like you, I would somehow make a difference in your lives and in your vocations just by recognizing what you do (no matter how small or big your actions are). Though we teachers tend to be underrated and underappreciated at times, let me make the first move by extolling all your virtues that you make real.

Dear fellow teachers (tyro or seasoned, active or retired):

I have been watching the latest about the state of education today and nothing inspires me more than your unbridled enthusiasm and your firm resolve to teach minds, inspire loves, and mould future achievers of the nation. Despite the hardships that you go through every day of our lives, you are like valiant knights ready to see action in the battle called real life.

Armed to the teeth with our books, lesson plans, class records, and yourselves, you stimulate your students’ curiosities through your lectures, stir steely resolve to rise to the occasion through your tasks and other activities, and command respect by admonishing them for their faults with genuine gentleness and parental concern.

You may at times miss important life and familial milestones, forget your material needs, or forego hunger just because you have to accomplish work even outside of school. You may also feel weary and worried numerous times over your students’ grades towards the end of every semester as well as your students’ misgivings and mischief. There are some sleepless nights that you have to endure, all in the name of nobility of duty and responsibility. Though there are some who do not notice it, I totally understand with you and commiserate with you.

In preparation for the forthcoming academic year, you have been creating modules, attending online training sessions, and collaborating with your fellow teachers. You really do step your game up and empower yourselves to become more well-equipped and steadfast in your vocation. You have also been attuning yourselves to the educational landscape of the future by immersing yourselves in simulated (and real, for those whose classes have begun weeks before) classes. Notwithstanding the limits of internet connections and health protocols, you are still faithfully doing what you do best and what you love the most: teaching. In this regard, we doff our hats to you!

You may not know this and feel this palpably, but we (your fellow educators, your students, their parents, and others) appreciate you for teaching us and mentoring us all the way, unceasingly and unfailingly. Though there are others who may not express their emotions openly, their successes and victories are clear, visible manifestations of your selfless love and wise counsel.

Hold on, hang on, and have the fortitude to withstand the obstacles that you face in your vocation. No amount of rumors, brickbats, or opprobrium can pin you down because you make so much difference in the lives of the students you have taught.

For this coming new normal in teaching and learning, continue to thrive because you are relevant and important. Without teachers like you, this world would become a cesspool of ignorance, indifference, and desolation. You are the hope of every nation and the boon of every community, so hold your head up and soldier on!

Why am I helping you to rekindle your passion for making a positive impact on the lives of our youth? And why am I inspiring hope and appreciation in you all?

The answer is simple: I am also a teacher, and that is why I am writing this letter for you.

I love you all and I am always one with you in your quest for better quality of education! #