October 5 is World Teachers’ Day! Since it started in 1994, the day has been serving as a way for us to appreciate the teachers who guided and mentored us throughout our lives and to address issues and conditions that they deal with.
Taken from submissions from CHiNOY TV’s Spotlight and I Am Chinoy segments, here are a few inspiring stories and quotes from Chinese-Filipino teachers who have blessed several batches of students with their knowledge, experiences, and heartfelt advice.
Ulysses Yu, St. Stephen’s High School
“I’ve been teaching Art for decades already. For me, to teach Art is to inspire. When I see how motivated my students are, the more I’m inspired to be a better teacher. I’m more concerned about the skills imparted than the outcome. As the saying goes, ‘Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.’
You don’t have to be the best before you can start to do anything great. Your first may not always be the best, but it’s far better than having none at all. Go and grab every opportunity that comes your way. Learn from every experience and be better than your best. ‘Life is not always about being the best but better by the seeds that we plant.’ So, why fit in when you were born to stand out? Be YOUnique, for the best things come when you dare to take the leap.”
Jobie Kaneesha Ko, Dance Teacher
“Pursuing a profession in the line of arts is not so common and easy in a Chinese family…My knowledge of Chinese dance is partially self-taught and I slowly worked my way forward, trying my best to not doubt myself in what I can do. People may be looking down on my profession and what I do as it’s not in line with business which is probably the most expected profession to pursue as a Chinese-Filipino. It’s very hard and challenging but I learn more as I grow further into my passion, embracing my talent and skills both as a person and as a professional and there’s just no way for me to stop growing as a dancer, a singer, and a teacher to the younger generation.
It’s never wrong to pursue what you love doing. Just have faith in yourself and believe that you can do it, you can accomplish anything without feeling that you’re working a day in your life,” she advised, continuing, “Always enjoy what you do and never stop learning. Embrace your passion because, in the end, self-fulfillment is one thing money cannot buy.”
Anneli Sy & Fanny Wong, Hello Munchkins Play Café
“Chinoys are resilient and have very creative minds. In whatever path we may be, we may feel down or even truly fall down, but we always rise up again for our loved ones. I believe we have so many things to learn from our parents, grandparents, ancestors, relatives, and fellow Chinoys. we just need to be inspired and apply all these things we have inherited from them.”
“Always think of your strength, it will make you more confident in what you love to do. It will bloom more talent and can contribute to many. Your strength is your success. Do not hesitate to give it a try!”
Sophia Lim, Philippine Cultural College
“I was offered by my teacher to study Bachelor in Chinese Education in China…At first, I hesitated to study abroad because it was my first time leaving my family and my comfort zone but I still decided to study there in China to achieve my goal as a Chinese teacher. I graduated from Jinan University, and now I am working as a Chinese teacher at my alma mater, Philippine Cultural College. After all, I didn’t regret that I studied abroad and left my comfort zone for four years because I gained a lot more than just knowledge. It’s in times of discomfort that we grow and find the chance to give something back to the community that we grew up in!”
Jamiessonn Lao, Xavier School San Juan Senior High School
“This school year has been challenging for teachers in two main aspects: content and connections. Juggling between ‘only keeping the important content and lessons to lessen stress for students’ and ‘preparing our senior high school students for college’ has been difficult, especially considering that we are all transitioning together. Apart from that, the online classroom set-up has made it more difficult for teachers to connect with students, since random chit-chats along the corridors and inside the classroom can no longer happen. This is why it’s important for me to take a few minutes out of lesson time to check up on my students’ workloads and figure out how to make everyone’s schedules work.
Life will never run out of obstacles to throw at you. We, on the other hand, have a limited amount of resources and energy. We need to accept that there are things out of our control, and act on the problems that we can resolve. All we need to know is the difference between the two.”
Wayne Uyseco, Far Eastern University
“I became a teacher because I wanted to inspire, educate, and learn from younger [students] and help the next generation build a better country. I was only held back by me lacking a master’s degree, thereby making me a part-timer at work. I literally had to teach in order for me to be able to study, and study in order to teach…I had to juggle the heavy teaching workload, as well as finish my MA. I used to have a 7:30am to 9pm teach-study schedule so I often leave and come home without the sun out. It took me a lot of patience, dedication, hard work, and different coping strategies for me to finally graduate last year.
Learn to enjoy your strengths, improve on your weaknesses, and love yourself. Life is not easy nor is the world going to adjust for you, but you have to continue pushing anyway.”
Steve Christopher Wong, Philippine Chen Kuang High School
“In the Chinese-Filipino community, it is hard to gain support – especially for a male teacher – to pursue this field because they perceive teaching as a low-paying job. With a meager salary, people believe that there is no future in teaching. I just focus on myself, work hard, and don’t let other people influence my decision. My passion is to teach and to share the knowledge I have. In my thirty years of working in Education, I believe in the importance of developing a global citizen.
Just follow your heart and passion to fulfill your dream. Don’t give up easily. When you hear criticism from other people, reflect on yourself and accept the criticism constructively, and when you hear praises from them, be thankful and always stay humble.”
To all the teachers who inspired, sacrificed, and loved us, we thank you! Have a happy World Teachers’ Day!