Teachers who give more than expected: a spirit of volunteerism (First of two parts)

It is better to give than to receive.

The Universe will give us more than what we give to others.

Giving with your right hand without your left hand knowing it and teaching one how to fish are the greatest acts of charity.

The above-mentioned aphorisms apply to humankind for we of the human race, the highest and most sentient of beings ever created by God, have a compassionate heart by nature. We are wired and born to make a difference in our world and to create opportunities not only for ourselves but, above all, for others.

We all have been under a state of pandemic for more than a year now. Because the pandemic was utterly unexpected, we were all caught unawares. As a result, we all did not know what to do and how to grapple with the then-newly discovered COVID-19. The pandemic brought about a tremendous domino effect on all sectors of society, most especially the sectors of business, public health, media, government, and education.

What has happened to our teachers and our learners?
In a flash, many of our teachers (especially in private schools) were laid off and thus were rendered part of the unemployment statistics. Some of our teachers (including yours truly) have felt the brunt of the sudden change in employment status.

As for our learners, many have found the new modalities of distance learning akin to swimming in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific Ocean. I have heard of learners who have decided to forego enrolling due to the costs accrued by distance learning as well as the rigors of coping with academic requirements.

Despite the prevalence of personal depression and job insecurity among everyone, there are some teachers, whether employed or laid off, who have decided to share their time, talent, and treasure by volunteering for worthy causes or by using media to advocate for teachers’ and learners’ rights. These fellow teachers of ours are worthy of emulation and adulation for they sacrifice their quality time (at times) at home by being with those who are in need.

And who are these people in need?
We do not limit people in need to just those who are financially challenged. Included in the list of people who are in need are those who are critically ill, those who are orphaned, those who have not attended school, those who suffer from emotional and mental challenges, and other people who are desperately in need.

How do teachers who give more than what they actually have stand out and shine like diamonds on a bed of ore and other minerals?
First, such teachers are those who have pure hearts and a compassionate nature. These teachers are a rare breed because nowadays, there are teachers who think only of their own personal interests and self-promotion, as well as self-preservation. They have a heart chock-full of love for other people and do not expect rewards in return. In short, they do not subscribe to a quid pro quo mentality.

Second, teachers who are selfless are guided by God. Regardless of their creed, race, social standing, or academic credentials, they see to it that they share their knowledge and expertise in the name of helping others. Teachers who give more than expected may go unrecognized, but those who truly appreciate them would see not a veneer of respectability but a true façade of humanity.

Third, teachers who give more than what they receive have a genuine sense of community and responsibility. Despite criticisms, setbacks, and scoffing from others (whether loved ones or strangers), they soldier on without fail and even teach others how to be selfless through example.

Volunteerism among teachers is now on the rise, so it is high time that we be part of it. The pandemic is no excuse for us to think only of ourselves because there is a bevy of ways- including the internet- on how we can help others.

For starters, in the next issue, let us highlight examples of teachers who continually volunteer their time, talents, and even treasures to embody a sense of community and to make the world a more worthwhile place to be.

(to be continued)

If you have suggestions in terms of the education-related topics that you want me to feature, please feel free to send me an email to edteo.ramos@yahoo.com or to coachjet.inspirations@gmail.com and I will reply to you as soon as I receive your email.