Fulfillment at its best


I’ve been out of touch for the past week. I have been in Tagaytay, teaching level-A Korean fifth graders.

I’ve also been getting up earlier than I have ever been in a year (4:45 am!!!) and traveling for over four hours everyday (to and from Manila).

Yes, i’m tired, but at the same time, I’m also extremely happy.

For the first time in my life, I’m not whining and complaining. For the first time in my life, i’m actually thinking of people other than my self (I think that’s me admitting that sometimes, I can be selfish) on a different level.

It’s only been a week since I met these kids and I already fell in love with each and everyone of them just because they’re all so smart and they work so hard. Imagine, it’s their winter holidays and they’re studying everyday for more than six hours– that’s saying something, we filipinos are too spoiled.

I’m blessed with my students because they listen. They obey. They “respect teacher” and they try twice as hard on every seatwork, excercise and quiz.

This pushes me to try harder every single time, to give them a few trinkets every now and then and give them new lessons (Pete, the boy with glasses often says “teacher TOO EASY!”) that would challenge them. I’m happy to note that my students can now read pre-teen books and comprehend more words than when they arrived.

After this week, I’d only be having two weeks left with them and it just breaks my heart because I have fallen with each and everyone of them, quirks and all. Maybe it’s because each of them reminds me of myself and the people closest to my heart.

It’s also funny to note that fifth-graders would always be fifth-graders, no matter what thier nationality is. There’s always one who daydreams in class (was that kid me? haha!), one who’s extremely competitive, one who always wants to try harder on every quiz, the class clown and the shy one who hardly speaks up in class.

My students and I played several games yesterday and I realized that I missed being a kid like that. I missed playing in the rain, I missed running with my classmates and getting kilig over the latest boybands.

I think I needed this winter camp even if I didn’t really want it at the beginning (not because of the kids, but because I was too scared that I didn’t have enough to share with them).

When I woke up with this morning, something in me changed. My perspectives are realigned and I think this signals a good 2009 for me, its because i’ve learned to rearrange my priorities and let go of things that obviously were not working for me.

Week one was good and I’m looking forward to week two. I bet its going to be filled with quirky surprises and lessons again.

I wonder though: who’s teaching who? =)


A quick footnote (names have been omitted to protect people from all the drama!):

I sent this message to a really good friend:

“And thing is, I’ll keep talking because you always make sense and this time, it’s not because I have a highschool crush on you but it’s because you’re my friend now, a really good friend with no gushy-mushy feelings that never suited us anyway. You’re my friend now and you’re just so sensible. I met this boy and he made me find myself again. After eight months, it’s like i’m me again– only better. I’m no longer insecure, no longer afraid of whatever strong emotion I feel. I don’t second guess, I don’t find excuses anymore. I see the good in people. I’m happy and secured. I hope you find the same thing.”

And you, dear faithful reader, I hope you find the same thing too.