Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Terror Teachers

I dedicate this post to all my teachers who terrorized me in school. I can say that fondly now, but back then my teachers used to make me cry.

When I was in first grade I remember trying to skip school every time I had English classes. My teacher was really strict and I was messing up pretty bad because I was scared of her. My English communication skills was in the gutter even though my first language was English. I was behind until I was in fifth grade and I don't know what happened but I was assigned to a special section when I was in sixth grade. They said that we had talent for communicating. Well, to this day I'm still not sure why I was assigned to that class haha.

In high school I realized I had to improve my English writing skills so I joined the writing club and attended a couple of the workshops. I became a voracious reader and devoured tons of books (that's where my allowance usually went). I thought I was okay already until I encountered my Filipino teacher. There was a lot of talk about the terror Filipino teacher. And whatever we heard from higher batches was real.

I was seated on the front row (alphabetical order) and that kinda made things worse because she'd see any movement you do. Looking back the class felt like it was an hour long military drill. You're not allowed to talk. Don't make any extra movements. Cheating was definitely not allowed and you had to roll down your paper during the test (bilutin ang papel!). And your not allowed to share anything with your seatmate, so if you don't have paper you're not allowed to take the test.

When I get together with my high school buddies we always talk about that class and all our misdemeanors. My highest grade for that class was 81 and I think that was the average for everybody. It was hard, but looking back I realize that I carried the discipline that our teacher instilled in us. It taught me how to be independent and how to be prepared. And I carry that to this day.

I eventually bumped into my English teacher a couple of years ago and I was happy to tell her being strict pushed me to improve myself. I told her that I became editor-in-chief of our university's literary publication. I was one of her many students so I'm sure she didn't really remember me, but I just wanted to let her know that she made a huge impact in my life. As for my Filipino teacher, I haven't seen her since high school and I heard she already retired and lives in Canada. The daily terror drills we had with her definitely disciplined me and it's been key to who and what I am today.

Thank you Mrs. Parcon and Ginang de Vera for being great teachers :)