A Question For Everyone

I realize that I’ve been angry lately. Impatient could be more accurate. Indignant too.

I only feel this way with my work, or to be more accurate — when I am at work. I’ve been in this school for over four years now. Not long, but long enough. There is no doubt that there are things that can be done better — should be done better. Somehow, the scale of our task — educating the gifted — doesn’t measure up with the scale of our ambitions. I don’t want to be someone who simply resigns into the way things are. I am just not built that way. And yet I know that it is only through working with things the way they are that I can get anything done. This can be so frustrating.

There are days when I need to remind myself of why I do this. My father has it right — if I am to endure a job with all this unnecessary stress, I might as well choose one that pays better. I easily could (or maybe not considering these tough economic times). But rely on my sense of mission or duty to keep me stubborn. Day in and day out, I remain here for something all of us teachers came here for. There is no doubt that all of us teachers only wish the best for our students. We may not agree on how to go about it, but we can all do ourselves a favor by remembering why we are here.

My core concern is that the world is changing quickly, our students with it, but we are not moving at the same clip. Increasingly, I see that their schooling is getting in the way of their education. I am concerned with the amount of work that seems to just increase year after year. I am bothered by the lack of varsity sports and the feeble support for clubs and extracurricular activities. I am troubled that all the government red tape will turn us into bureaucratic mummies, fit not for the classroom but for subterranean tombs. I feel we need to look hard into how we define and measure achievement. And I think we need to have an honest discussion of what values and virtues we really want our students to embody.

Times are changing, and yet our gym remains unfinished. Even with all the incremental upgrades in our IT department, that fact remains glaring — that building forever a marker of our missed opportunities and misplaced priorities. “Things haven’t changed” can be at once the most comforting and most frightening thing a future alumni could say. So when they say that let it be for the right reasons — that despite all our limitations, we are a community who continues to do our best. That is how it has always been. But at this point, I just dare to ask — are we being the best we can be?

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6 thoughts on “A Question For Everyone

  1. “I see that their schooling is getting in the way of their education.”

    Sir, first, I will have to tell a story.

    Today, a Saturday, I went to school in the morning to take pictures for a Filipino project. We were done by lunchtime, and I had this nagging feeling which was prompting me to go home. I had to study for an English long test, an Algebra test, Bio, Physics……..

    Most of my classmates–who were there as well–were going to proceed to the National Museum Of The Filipino People to start on the project you gave us. They were inviting me. I have decided even before not to do this option; I was going to read Night.

    The prospect of going to the museum excited me though. I learn and remember more from trips like these compared to the usual array of classes. I wanted to go, but I cannot. The shackles of requirements are holding me down.

    Then and there, I was forced to make an important decision, at least from my perspective. Should I spend time for something that I know will be of benefit to me because I will actually learn? Or something that will be of benefit to me because it has to do with the most dreaded numbers in the world aside from bill amounts: grades?

    Well, I went to the Museum. I saw the ruins of the San Diego, Filipino artifacts, and even preserved animals endemic to the Philippines. I learned about the traders before the Spanish era in the Philippines and what they sold. I learned about Philippine musical instruments. I even learned that the government MUST allot more funds for public museums. (Their museum brochures were black and white, for instance. They were just photocopies.)

    I learned for life, at the end of the day. I didn’t learn just for a couple of long tests.

  2. Blathery blathery blah Blah BLAH!

    In the good old days before your–what you call it? GOOGLE and CELLPHONES, Pisay scholars only needed to learn by rote and familiarize themselves with the motions of solving mathematics; none of this horsecrap about moving with the times or holistic schmolistic education you spew out!

    SPORTS? Who needs ’em: we need ENGINEERS and SCIENTISTS and MARINE BIOLOGISTS and SCHOLARSHIP DOCTORS, not friggin’ BASKETBALL PLAYERS, and varsities are a DISTRACTION and NOTHING ELSE. Values and virtues? Let the Church handle that! School is for LEARNING, not MORALIZING or indoctrination in your disgusting idealism.

    Also, if it was good enough for Aristotle and JESUS CHRIST to teach out in the open, you young good for nothin’ brats oughta be HAPPY that you have ROOMS and chairs to put your ungrateful ASSES at least! The system has been good for its perpetuation since its establishment, and we don’t fix what ain’t broke!

    BLATHERY BLATHERY BLAH BLAH BLAH!

  3. Sure, chicken. Btw, I have a book to recommend you. “The War of the World” by Niall Ferguson. It’s about military conflict in the 20th century, written about by one of the world’s top historians.

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