Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Memo to My Former School Chlidren

This idea came up when four of my former school children, of Batch 1998, namely Icy, Shayne, Cristina, and Jeffrey paid me a surprise visit at home last Christmas. According to them, by word of mouth, they learned that I was ill. They were around to spend the holidays at their respective homes. Their meetings became seldom because they are now based in Manila in their various work places. That was their chance to pay me that visit after years of non-communication, 12 years to be exact. Isn't that heart-warming? I was moved!

Over lunch (which they brought) we exchanged notes like we used to do when they were young and we were in better terms. Hahaha! In just a few hours, I learned a lot from them. Shayne was married 1 year ago but with no child yet. Icy is now a secondary school teacher. When I asked why she pursued education, she told me, I was her idol! She was my first honors (valedictorian). Cristina, is now a nurse. Joel was supposed to join them after the repair of his car, but wasn't able to make it. Clarissa couldn't leave her 2 children at Bugallon. Jeffrey arrived after lunch with ice cream for our dessert. He apologized when he learned I am diabetic. I was overwhelmed, I forgot I just came out from the hospital. I was happy to hear from those respectable young adults who were once my children in the elementary school. I was once a part of their early childhood education.

Oh, we had so little time together with so much exchange of how they fared in their pursuit of college education and ended with their chosen careers. They are 24-25 years old. Am I not proud of them? Soooooo proud! When it was time for them to go, we had our pictures taken. Before they went out, I kissed them all goodbye. Jeffrey was teary-eyed. They promised to keep in touch. Shayne is an IT graduate, trying her hand in blogging, so I introduced them to my blog right away. As of this writing, I have already accessed their Facebook and hope the communication goes on. Those children gave me the idea to dedicate something for them, hence the memo in the later part of this blog.

I retired from active service at a time when the public schools were suffering from teacher-shortage problem. So, my retirement was another minus. I was an unwilling retiree but decided I had to go because of my diabetes. Since I belonged to the first batch of master teachers or the so-called, "highest-paid-cream-of-the-crop" of teachers, my early retirement evoked many reactions from my co-teachers and the parents in the community. They lamented over my expertise in teaching that would be lost, stagnate in me, become idle for non-use in the passing of time.

I was not an old doddering teacher who wasted away my time while I was in active service and I refused to allow time ticking away in my retirement. So I searched and I searched until I found blogging. Blogging is a healthy way to keep myself posted in the knowledge society and be continually connected to my human investments to society- no other than my former school children. I taught the grade six "cream-of-the-crop" in Pangapisan Elementary School, Lingayen. I had a grand time, in fairness, teaching those bright pupils.

And I have thought of writing this memo to all my former elementary school pupils in all schools where I taught who were once a part of me.

My children, You, who are now on your own, busy and eager to establish your foothold in society, with your new family, with old and new friends, work associates, are lucky to have pursued your dreams. Your patience, your commitment to self improvement has been paid. I may have forgotten your faces because you have grown into young adults now, but your names still ring a bell, a familiar tone in my ears. I will never forget your childhood days under me. The bitter-sweet memories of your foundation education with my strict tutorials.

This memo will hopefully bring back yesteryears lived in the way we all played our parts.
Sorry if I was very strict with you all. But you knew I never played favorites. You were all treated equal, although you performed differently. Remember my favorite expression Icy? "If I couldn't make you cry, you are a loser!" Hahaha! How you made me tremble when you poured out your feelings in that memorable declamation piece. It was a landslide win! Because you bore it all, you didn't freak out when I trained you that hard.

Do you still remember your children's activities in school? Were you members of our Drum and Lyre? the school Dance Troupe, the choir? Well, if you were a candidate in our pupil government elections, how did it feel to win a slot? I saw you in a different dimension in your extra- curricular activities. You were happy, carefree, and very eager to perform during those programs in school. Those activities bring back nostalgic memories of your hardships which you unselfishly gave in support to our projects. Thank you for that.

During our annual pupil government elections, can you now see how useful to you those experiences of a young member of the society? You now belong to a bigger community, apply those learnings we, your teachers, painstakingly taught you. You can now polish your talents for a better you. I know you will never forget our recitation days. Do you think you had enough skills in English after our brow-burning lessons? Do you realize why I made you read, read, and read those stories in our reading class? I want you to know that I tried my best to instill good study habits in you. How's your reading comprehension now? I strongly believe you are doing good in the many skills you learned in school.

I will now end my reminiscing of our times together because it would be endless if I don't. I have to make way for my important message to all of you. You are lucky because you are now involved in the affairs of society and our country, whether in your own great or small ways.
Don't forget your parents and guardians who stayed by you all the way and who were with you when you started your difficult climb. Love them especially in their old age. If you love me, I have no doubt that you can give the most affection to them.

Don't forget all your other teachers who were part of your personal growth and development from your childhood education to college. They, too, had sacrificed a lot to mold your character. They were your second parents when you were in school. They only thought of your welfare. They are now satisfied that you have successfully acquired for yourselves a better chance to make a difference wheresoever fate brings you.

You belong to my high-level human investment to society. Use your 3 T's- talent, time, and treasure to improve your lot. Be an asset to the society, not a burden. Live a frugal life. Don't flaunt your assets, save for the rainy days. Keep your body strong and healthy. Do you still remember that oft-quoted slogan in our room, "Health is wealth"? Maintain a clean, moral life. Put God in the center of your life. Be grateful to the Lord and never leave His side.

One day, when I open my Facebook and a familiar name pops out of my screen, just to say, "Hello Ma'am, how are you today?" I know that my effort as a teacher was not in vain. You are my contribution to our mutual dream- to become productive members in a highly-competitive society. You are the pride of your Alma Mater. Congratulations! Carry on!


  1. hi ma'am,i was overwhelmed and touched and suddenly i felt that my tears were dripping on my cheeks... that you still remember those memories...that was my unforgettable memories that made me strong and keep on joining declamation contests until when i was in college, i forgot to told u during our visit that i won champion in declamation with my piece CASABLANCA during our Psychology week in Philippine Normal University.while i'm practicing that piece you're my inspiration.

  2. Icy, you have a world of opportunities in your hands as a teacher now. Polish your talents, share them to your students as I did to you. Education is a life-time process. Continue your search for knowledge. I'll be glad as ever whenever I learn more about your successes in the near future. Just remember this, every success is fueled by honest toil. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. Lita,
    What a beautiful precious gift you bestowed those children and the children they pass your lessons on to. This is wonderful to read and admire.
    I am sure Facebook will open a whole wealth of memories as they seek you out.
    God Bless you and all the work you put into teaching. It is a TOUGH job.

  4. Angelia, my dear, I may have my hands full of doing wall to wall job in Facebook, now that I have signed in there, but like you said, I do tough jobs. After my teaching job, life continues to be a tough one but it is also fun. We are enjoying what we are doing here, don't we? Thanks for the comment again.

  5. dont wori ma'am, I will polish and share my talent what you have taught me..I'm starting coaching in speech choirs and quiz bee competition which my students love to join and unleashing their talents.Will be going to visit you everytime we spend our vacation there.Promise!
    Take care always ma'am and God Bless...keep in touch..mwah

  6. hi...

    just dropping by to say happy new year...

  7. hi, chuwie, my pleasure. Happy New Year, too.

  8. I am so touched by the post and comments!
    Madam, are you ok now?

  9. Alvin, thank you for leaving your comment here. Yes, I'm all right now, back to blogging. Thanks!

  10. I love it! it feels good to be part of your once "kids".we will forever be.:)Take care and hoping to see you real soon ma'am!

  11. rea, you are one among the few of my shining legacy to the knowledge society and I'm proud of you "kid"! You have proven yourself a long time ago, carry on and take care, too. Keep my memo in your heart.

  12. how comforting to read pieces like this Maam. i realized how much i owe my teachers for moulding me into what i am right now. =)

    i hope you are feeling well now. My prayers for you always =)

  13. lemO'green,
    With this memo, I'm representing all teachers who touch children's lives and mold their characters. I'm glad to hear that you realize this, although you were not one of my former pupils. Thank you and I must pray that more success may come your way.

    Many wonderful things are happening to me this days, and yes, I'm well off to recovery. I just had my monthly check up yesterday and I have normal blood pressure and blood glucose. God is good, He listens to all our prayers. Thanks for your prayers.



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