I started working on this website and YouTube channel during a time when everything was relatively slow. The pandemic has forced people to stay home and detach from other people, and work. Being stuck at home, with pretty much nothing to do, is ideal for a starting blogger like me. But I knew it wasn’t going to stay that way. I knew a time will come when life will slowly creep in, and make it difficult for me to keep shooting and editing videos, writing articles, and doing stuff for work. I knew it won’t be easy, but I did it anyway. I was determined to keep doing all these because it’s something I like to do and keep doing.
This week’s just the first week that I’m “officially” back to work. I’ve started working on learning materials last month. But now that we’re expected to return to work, with meetings every day, and outputs to submit, I can finally sense exactly how difficult this is going to be, especially when I need to go to school and have seven hours of actual teaching a day. To be honest, just on the first day back, I already thought about whether I can make it all work or not.
Everyone who knows me well knows that my main love language is “Words of Affirmation.” I express and feel love best with words. Within the past couple of days, I received three important messages with words that are enough to tell me to keep going.
from a student
When I uploaded my last vlog, my intention was just to let others know what it’s like to be in my class. I didn’t expect that such a fun video would bring me to tears. I got a comment on that video from a student I had on my first year of teaching five years ago.
The student thanked me for being the kind of teacher that I am and told me how I was able to inspire him to be better. He also said that he was able to bring with him the “cute principles” I used to try to instill in them. He even told me that “in a world full of darkness, you glowed and shared wisdom to everyone.” Teachers don’t earn much, and some of the things we do are often thankless. But words like this from a student makes it all worth it.
I used to say that my ultimate goal as a teacher is to inspire at least one student in my lifetime to be a better version of himself. And I can’t believe that, at just five years in the profession, I’ve already reached that goal.
from a teacher
When I was in second-year high school, we had a project in Creative Writing. We were supposed to come up with a notebook containing things that are special to us. One of the things I did for that project was to give small pieces of colored paper to my friends and teachers in Makati Science where they would write their short messages to me. I would always thank the Lord that He gave me that idea because it gave birth to one of the biggest reasons why I decided to be a teacher.
We had a new English language teacher that year, and she easily became my favorite teacher. She had a unique way of teaching that made me look forward to her class always. I looked up to her which is why I was shy to give my piece of paper to her. To my surprise, she rejected my piece of paper! She told me it was too small and she needed a bigger one. After some time, I received a full-pledged two-page letter written on a lovely brown stationary!
I can’t say exactly everything in that letter. What I can only say is that for someone who had little self-esteem and confidence, that letter meant the world to me. She believed in me more than I believed in myself. She made me feel like I am capable of doing greater things than I let myself believe. I let her know that she is one of my greatest influences in teaching.
And when I posted on Facebook the comment I got from my student, this teacher saw it and sent me a message that made me cry when I opened that message the moment I woke up. She told me she’s proud of the teacher I’ve become. She told me that seeing that message from my student makes her thankful that she became an influence in my life, and that it makes her feel that at least once in her life, she was an effective and excellent teacher. Her past student being thanked by her past student is the true reward for her. And most of all, she told me to continue to pay it forward, as our influence as teachers will never stop.
from The Father
During this pandemic, I tried my best to make sure that daily devotion is part of my morning routine. I found that it helps me become more focused on my day, and it gives me a kind of energy to get me through the day. And during this time when I was doubting that I’d be able to make all these things work, God talked to me through my morning devotions.
Psalms 59:17 says, “You are my strength, I sing praises to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God whom I can rely upon.” I dreaded the amount of work, thinking that my time will not be enough, that my strength will not be enough, that I will not be enough. I was right, those things are not enough. I wasn’t going to make it, not without God as my strength.
All these messages, I know, were sent to me not by accident. I know I received them when I needed to receive them. May I always be reminded of these three messages whenever things get tough. And if you, who are reading this, also need a message to inspire you to keep moving, maybe this is your message.