Posted in Teacher's Life

Dear Teacher (What Students Want to Say)

We have just finished reading and discussing King’s Decree (Utos ng Hari), a story written by Jun Cruz-Reyes in my Philippine Literature class last week. The story features a high school student named Jojo who questions/criticizes how some of his teachers treat students like him. The story shows that no matter how great the shortcomings of teachers are, students will still remain voiceless, deprived of the chance to air their sentiments. Most of my students said that they can relate to the story’s main character for they once had the same sentiments the character had, asked the same questions the character asked and have questioned some of their teachers’ decisions and actions the way Jojo did.

After the short class discussion, I gave my students a simple activity that would enable them to voice out whatever opinion or sentiments they still have about their teachers. I asked them to prepare a simple card that would contain the things they would tell their teachers if they would be given a chance.

These are some of the things they wrote on their cards:

I just want you to know that…we are not perfect. We can’t do everything you want us to do. Please be more patient. – Renzel Aquino

we just need to be understood and you are the one who should understand us because before you became teachers, you were once students, so we also expect you to know what we feel. – Sameera Cruz

Please teach us with all your heart and we should feel that you’re teaching us because you love to and you want to, not because you need to. – Michael Nastor

I respect you as my teacher and all I want is for you to respect us too. But sometimes your advices and the way you discipline us can hurt us. – Dianne Marron

Just because we fail in exams doesn’t mean we are not studying our lessons. – Priscila Gotgotao

Please respect us the way we respect you. Don’t judge our actions. We are also humans. We have feelings too. – Jonalyn Salinas

Tao lang din kami. Nahihirapan, napapagod. Hindi lang kayo. – Rhonna Vinluan

You are a good teacher and I know you will understand me. Please be fair to your students. We may sometimes be incompetent but you must help us. Train us. Mold us. Let’s help each other. – Israel Embuido

Teachers and students are humans alike. Both have feelings that should be respected and taken into consideration. – Lilibeth Calacsan

It is your duty to inspire and encourage us, not to pull us down. Mentors are to guide, not to let us abide. – Kurt dela Torre

As our teachers, your duty is to guide us and bring out the best in us. – Mary Edilyn Urbano

Alam po namin na kayo po ay may kapangyarihan sa loob ng silid aralan Ngunit masama din naman po ang pag-abuso sa kapanyarihan. Bigyan niyo po sana kami ng karapatang ipaglaban ang aming mga sarili lalo na kung kami ay nasatama. – Lara Jane de Guzman

I know that you just want us to learn but I think there are better ways to do that than being harsh to us. – Princess Castro

Wala akong tatay na doktor o magulang na may mataas na pinag-aralan. Pero sana po patas ang pagtrato niyo sa amin. – Casey Abarabar

I don’t have the qualities of a perfect teacher’s pet but what I have is the determination to study. But you have already taken that away from me. – Richelle Almaida

(I wrote and published this on Tumblr in 2013. It was my first time to teach Philippine Literature and it was the most exciting and humbling experience I have ever had.)

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Senior High School Teacher from the Philippines.

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