A friend’s late night SMS reminded me that yesterday was Teachers’ Day in the Philippines:
After a whole day at work, I check my phone, email, and online messages to find that I am bombarded with overwhelming greetings of love and blessings for Teacher’s Day. Kahit na di n q teacher… Aww… A great way to end the day. Happy Teacher’s day everyone!
According to Wikipedia, Teachers’ Day in the Philippines is officially on October 5, although Filipino-Chinese schools typically celebrate Teachers’ Day on September 28 to coincide with the birthday of Confucius.
Public school teachers in this country have it tough: they endure small wages and very limited resources, work well beyond the hours spent in the classrooms, and have to handle at least 50 students for their homeroom class (and more for other subject classes). During elections, teachers are also the local elections officers, which is not an easy job in a country that is still prone to various election-related violence. Private school teachers aren’t that much better. People may say that teaching is the noblest profession, but it’s surely not the most lucrative nor the most glamorous.
John F. Kennedy was quoted saying, “Modern cynics and skeptics… see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing.”
That teachers probably earn more than plumbers in this country is not proof that we value teachers more; it’s just that our plumbers get paid much, much less. Last month, a local teachers’ group declared a “National Chalk Holiday” to protest the meager allowance they get for writing chalk.
And yet where would we all be without our teachers? The fact that there are still these selfless men and women imparting knowledge to students is a very underappreciated miracle in this country.
I’m at least a day late, but I would like to greet all teachers and educators a happy Teachers’ Day.