Thursday, September 8, 2011

How I Became A Teacher For A Day

The door that says it all. Welcome to my class!

I remember how I wanted to become a teacher when I was a kid. But since my mother's an education graduate who didn't had the patience for teaching, she discouraged me right away saying that I myself had no patience for little children and that with such career, I'd end up  a spinster. More than two decades later, after finishing Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, I still had that desire to teach kids. And honestly, with the way things are going in the so-called "love department", I might really end up a spinster. But like I've always said, I don't really mind if  I had a zero love life, as long as I am happy, I know I'm going to be fine. 

Anyway, I recently fulfilled my dream on becoming a teacher, even just for a day. Kyle's teacher and my good friend, Ms. Dolly Grace Yambao of Teodora Alonzo Elementary School in Project 4, Quezon City had invited me thru email to become a speaker for their journalism workshop. It had actually taken quite sometime before I agreed, not because I didn't want to, but simply because I had not been online as much as I wanted to. The moment I found out about it, I became excited and I had looked forward to that day. 

The author explains what feature story is all about.

I immediately researched for topics to be discussed, I needed to find my old college textbooks and other compilation as well as my very reliable book, Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, it is indeed a must-read for all writers. It's really just a small pocketbook, but a timeless one--a daily companion for all writers. I knew I had hidden it somewhere and I was glad to be given barely two weeks to find it and to prepare. 

Of course, I had to make sure also that what I'll be sharing throughout my lecture will be easy to understand by elementary pupils. And since it's going to be my first time to speak in front of grade school students, I am somewhat excited and at the same time I felt some jitters as well. I wanted to connect to my students well and hopefully gain some respect in return. 

The author reads a sample of a good lead.

The day eventually came. It was held last September 7, 2011 at 15th Avenue Elementary School in Cubao, Quezon City. It was actually a day after my birthday. I feel blessed and honored with the opportunity that was given to me. I wanted to mentor these kids more than anything. I really enjoyed interacting with all of them. Most of them knew all about the latest gadgets and some were techie enough to bring it to school (they were allowed I think because there's a photojournalism and program later during the day). They knew all about Facebook, Skype, Emails, Wi-Fi etc. 

The students are busy copying from the board.

 Kids will always be kids. My students were from grades 4 to 6. I even had a girl student (you know who you are, sweetie!) who kept asking me questions. I thought I was getting her bored with my lecture, but I later found out she was really in the mood to write. (I seem to understand her as most writers will agree, that once our "momentum" comes, there's a certain urge that you wanted to write right away.) Call it an inspiration, it is some sort of a different high, that only writers can understand. 

The author explains the difference of news writing and feature writing. 

I taught them how to properly make a good lead that has to grab the reader's attention, body context to sustain the reader's interest and how to end up the article with a good conclusion as well. My class were pretty good as they were eager to answer my questions. And since what we had was only a crash course, they needed to grasp more and polish their potentials. Some of them had problems with content, others with spelling, others with grammar, and some with English comprehension. But I believe if they're given the right training, these kids will someday shine on their own. 

The certificate of appreciation given to the author.

Before the day ended, I was surprised to receive a certificate of appreciation from Ms. Yambao and those people responsible for this affair. I had not expected anything. All I had in mind was to just have fun and to be able to share whatever knowledge I could impart with those kids. I am really grateful for all of these. I do hope the kids enjoyed the training I had given them and somehow learned from my lecture a thing or two about feature writing. 

I wish I could teach more. I really enjoyed the experience. I love these kids as if they were really my students. I was even touched that even after the lecture was over, a boy came to me a hugged me tight as if he were my nephew. A girl approached me and asked for a photograph with me and her friends. I later found out she had this picture as her primary photo for her Facebook account. Little things like these warms my heart.  I even gave the class my email address so they could also add me up on Facebook and we can all become friends and stay-in-touch with each other.

While the other guest speakers had left, I stayed behind because I wanted to see these amazing kids go up the stage and be recognized for a job well done. If only i could make them all winners, I would've done it. But since I was only allowed to pick five winners from English division and another five for Lathalain (Filipino).  And before we ended our lecture, I told them that they were all winners in their own rights because they had represented their schools in inter-school competitions such as these, and not everyone's given that opportunity. Even if some of them had not won, they could still win some other time, the important thing is that they should always do their best. 

As I clapped my hands each time a name's called and another child recognized for his or her achievement, I couldn't help but smile and be proud. It may seem a small feat, but I knew these kids strived their best and exerted their effort in representing their own schools. I wish that someday some of these kids will become popular writers/future columnists. 

As the ten winners prepare for the next bout, another challenge beckons. I wish them good luck and may they never cease to pray to God for guidance. And to Ma'am Yambao and Ms. Venus Gloria, my sincerest thanks for making one of my childhood dreams come true. I wish I could be invited again next time. It was a great birthday present. Thank you for making my birthday truly special and a memorable one. 

The entire feature writing class smiled before the camera.



  1. Congrats! Great job, I remember when I was schooling then I always picked Journalism as my elective. I'm so proud of you sistah, you nailed it girl! It's just the start of something new for you. Would this mean you'll be busy accepting speaking engagement? :P

    You should have taken Education then, yep there still chance, an Education unit wouldn't hurt and it will lead you into something your heart call for. :)

  2. A very meaningful day in the lives of those kids! So you turned out to be a teacher anyway, of future writers and bloggers...Good job!

  3. wow! after reading your blog ma'am vance i must say that ma'am dolly chose the very deserving speaker. congratulations ma'am vance! and happy happy birthday!!! :)

  4. i'm happy for you! the kids was listening attentively. i used to be a cathecist during high school days =)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...