You know what I like about teaching? It’s that part where you sometimes get stunned by the unexpected things that students do. Those “wow’ moments. I had a lot of those moments this school year. That is why even though I keep telling my students I wouldn’t miss them and I’m glad to send them off to intermediate, there is still that part of me that is just a bit wistful, a bit sad actually, for I will truly truly miss their craziness.
No matter what they say, there will always be one or two students who will take those soft spots in every teacher’s heart. In my case, there were actually two. One is a toughie who was at the start a bit wary of me. She didn’t trust me right away like the other girls, instead I had to win her trust. She was a bully in the making and the self-appointed class leader. She was not afraid to challenge authority. She was and still is quite a handful. But I discovered that underneath the toughness is a kid who often needs reassurance and a boost in her confidence. The kind of relationship that we had is one that I will never forget. She is my toughie who is actually a softie. The other one is the classic problem kid, she was somebody who had been marked and branded as the hard headed one since first grade. She came to my class a spitfire. She was so damned honest she often leaves her classmates bleeding with her sharp tongue. She always sends someone crying to me often last year. I guess my patience and blind faith in her paid off, because when classes resumed after Christmas break, she was a totally different kid. She is my stone who is actually a jewel.
For the last quarter we were talking about rights, citizen’s roles and government. For my student’s last project, they had to come up with a law based on a problem that they observed happening in school. One of the reminders was not to make the obvious ones like no-littering or anti-noise pollution laws anymore. While I was checking their project, I can’t help but laugh at a few. Here are some…Anti-Gossip Law (no blackmailing, no back stabbing and no teasing, those who will violate this law will clean the bathrooms for several weeks)… Anti-Rumor Law (you should not make someone look bad, you should not believe in rumors, you should not mind rumors, you should not make rumors that no one will enjoy-hahahaha, all rumor makers will take the place of auxiliaries (cleaning ladies) for one week). ..No Showing Off Law (no bringing of fancy stuffs, no bragging, no flipping of hair—where did that come from,hahaha, those who will violate these law will have to donate the fancy stuffs to Gawad Kalinga)…No breaking of Promises Law (this law prohibits students from breaking their promises, students should not ditch, curse or forget their best friends at all times–there’s bitterness somewhere here-hahaha)…Sitting Properly Law (all should obey this law, no crossing of legs, putting feet up, slouching, sitting on top of the table and removing of shoes inside the classroom, those who will violate this law will sit in an electric chair)…Well, we can definitely learn a thing or two from kids.
My students fulfilled some of my wishes this year, that is for me to see clearly the good change I made in them and for them to change something in me for the better…I remember, the other day while I was checking the diary, my attention was caught by a small brass lamp that one of my student was holding, it was a prop for their role play in Language. While I was admiring it, I jokingly said, “Do you think a genie will come out of this thing?” They said ‘Yes miss, try it” and so I made a show of rubbing it and was surprised when suddenly my students laughed uncontrollably and pointed at my side. When I looked up, true enough there standing beside me was a genie… my student Jeannie Shin saying “Miss, your wish is my command” With these kids around you really don’t need a fairy tale genie, they will make your wishes come true if you just believe in them.:)