I made these confessions to help myself to have clearer view over things in my life. And I thank you all for sharing with my sentiments. Sparing a fracture of your time in reading these confessions and giving your valuable comments mean a lot to me. May the Lord will bless you.
Before being a teacher, I am a human being first. This means that I have my own share of burdens and confusions in life. I am not a superhero. Even vampires have emotions. I may appear as a funny person, easy-to-go-with buddy, emotionally stable since I was patient enough to handle students, able to give support and advices (that’s according to your comments), but I have my own struggles to fight within myself. I started to face my greatest enemy: myself. Once you’re affected with internal issues it would be so difficult for you to become an effective individual. (I will not elaborate everything here because it is too personal. I decided to keep it to myself and to my closest friends). To give you a hint how serious it is, well, I went to a psychiatrist and asked some help about it.
Another serious matter which disturbs me a lot is my faith. I am not an atheist. I believe in God. I strongly believe in Him and I can really feel His presence in my life. It’s just that, there some practices of believers in Christ which I started to question and doubt its validity. (This is a very delicate issue so again, I won’t elaborate everything here. It will take more than one blog to discuss it all and it’s not good to young readers).
Having these kinds of confusions undermines my effectiveness as a teacher in a Christian school. And I have great respect with that institution. So which is which? Unsa man gyud ang reasons behind why I left Davao Christian High School? Is it because I need to fix the things within myself which are bothering me? Is it because I find it too hard anymore to handle the behaviors of high schoolers? Or is it because I have to start making bold actions to realize my dream to become an economics professor? I think you know the answer. All of the above.
Yes, it is so complicated. I need answers. I just want the truth. I decided to give myself time to contemplate over these conflicting issues in my life. Sometimes we have to distance ourselves from a conflicting situation because at times, seeing things from a distance makes us see the reality. So I need to move out. (Call me crazy but I asked my students if I can work in their resorts for the mean time. Don’t worry I used to do odd jobs. Remember that I came from a poor family. Not only that, I even applied in a resort which we visited recently in Siquijor.) Weird isn’t it? Well, I just need a place away from distractions and time for myself to figure out everything.
And God gave me that opportunity. I even consider it as a luxury. With millions of unemployed in this country, I can still afford to leave my job and look for another one. I have no plans in working with DOST (My plans are to work at National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) or at Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA)). But just few days after I submitted my resignation letter at DCHS, I gave it try and I didn’t expect that I will be the one who will be hired for the position as a Science Aide. As I mentioned in my previous post, working here in DOST is already a good stepping stone in achieving my dreams. The pace of life here in ComVal and the place itself is perfect for me to contemplate on the things which disturb me.
“You’re in the right track Joel, just go on.” they would say. But it’s just so difficult go on when your heart is left behind. It would be just so easy to do it(moving on) if I am numb. If I just think of work and work. But I think of the people whom I left. One way or another, I was able to build relationships with them. Good relationship. Our friendship, for me, is special. We have countless of good moments being shared; whether it could be with my fellow teachers or with my students. It’s just so difficult to leave behind the people who made great contributions in your life.
In Davao Christian, I had chances to have personal encounters with inspiring people who made my perspective in life even better. People like Francis Kong, Illac Diaz, Queena Cua, Anthony Pangilinan. World class educators like Mr. Meyers (I missed to meet the Bernidos). More importantly, people within my reach who influenced me to become a better individual. I am fortunate enough to have teacher friends like Desi Magnaye and Jocy So and several others. It’s a privileged that you mingle everyday with these highly intellectual people endowed with golden hearts. Your generosity to me will be treasured for the rest of my life. You don’t stop believing in me.
How can you totally leave when you know that in that place people are grateful with what you do? How can you totally leave when students will thank you for what they have learned from you? How can you totally leave when even parents will approach you and thank you for the guidance and support you extend to their children? I am deeply honored to all these things. I didn’t expect that trust and respect you have given me.
I didn’t just teach in Davao Christian, I learn a lot also. I learn to set aside my own struggles to become a father or brother figure for them to feel secure and offer myself to be someone they can depend. I learn to believe in myself and appreciate more my potentials and stretch them in order to teach them better. I am awed and inspired by their brilliance and kindness. I enjoyed lots of things which I didn’t enjoy when I was still young.
It’s not easy to move on because as I simply sit here and stare at the green foliage outside the office, I am thinking of my students. Do they learn well and have fun in economics? Do they learn to appreciate the Philippines now? As I spend my days idly sometimes, I am thinking of the people out there wishing for my presence and eager to learn from me. (Don’t call me “pamati” because I still receive text messages, PMs and wall posts from them asking me to go back and teach. It’s heartwarming guys). Despite the hardships of handling their behaviors, I still miss their company. Despite of all my confusions, somehow I find my place under the sun there. I can feel the worth of my existence. And I think if you find your purpose, no amount of money can equal that gratitude.
Am I going to move on and reach my own dreams or am I going to help others reach their dreams?
Because I am caught in between.
“Lord God, today I commit to you my present location and situation. May you guide throughout this life to just be where You want me to be, as I seek to do Your will. You are my dwelling place and I rest under the shadow of Your wings.”
Psalms 37:5; Deuteronomy 1:33
Salamat sa lahat-lahat DCHS people. True enough "I spent the best years in my life here."