When teachers fail to motivate


Two years have passed, but I can still remember that moment when I was crying together with my two classmates in front of our teacher because we are at the brink of not graduating all because of a crappy thesis.

I do admit our chosen topic is not that perfect. It has a lot of loopholes and the resources are not that easy to get. The focus of our study, by the way is nudity in underwear billboard ads. We were really excited and very confident with our study. However, everything turned out unexpectedly worse, when the teachers who are supposed to support and motivate us, slap us in the face by saying that our paper is no good.

Hearing this from a teacher, is enough to crush every hope and confidence we have. To make the story short, we end up doing exactly the things that those teachers (whom we consulted) tell us to do. This means, scrapping our original plan and sticking with a mediocre alternative study just for them to pass us, and for us to get our diploma.

I thought I had moved on from this bitter past. But I guess not. As much as I want to forget that awful day, I can’t help but remember it right now, especially when Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has decided to remove all billboard ads containing explicit content in EDSA (one of the busiest roads in the country). This move was triggered by the increasing number of vehicle accidents and traffic in the area.

From here, all the memories and hopes that we had in the past during our research days, came rushing back. And right now, I want to go back to that faculty room, the place where they crushed us with their demoralizing words of so called wisdom, and tell each teacher that we were doing at that time is right and they are all wrong.

However, this is just my own wishful thinking. In reality, I can’t really go there and tell them in their face about all our past issues with them. It is no use. It is already the past. What we have right now is regrets.

No one can undo the past.

In the first place, we are also at fault. We should have worked really hard just to prove to them our point. We should have not just surrendered and submit ourselves to the alternatives that they are giving us. But we are just so afraid.

I know that there is no perfect teacher or student. We all make mistakes. We all have weaknesses despite our determination to be strong. However, I don’t think it is right for a teacher to tell her students about things that will crush their hopes and dreams, worst behind their back.

I know a lot of terror and rude teachers. But these are teachers who will challenge you to perform well and will push you to your limit and not those who will spread rumors or bad things about their students.

Giving corporal punishments to students is as worse as telling rude things to them behind their back. I know there are students who say bad things to their teachers. I know it is not right and being a student is not an excuse to say bad things to anyone much more to his/her teacher. But the responsibility that the teacher has is much bigger. They should be a good model to their students. If they don’t want their students to say bad things to them, then they should set a good example.

Teaching gives us a sense of power. However, it should be used properly. It entails understanding. You need authority for students to respect you and follow you, but you should understand the need of your students.

I have forgiven that teacher who has spread the rumor that we are no good. But I have not forgotten everything that she has done. And whenever I think of it, I just feel pity.

Up until now, I also have regrets over our research paper. Have we continued our original plan, we may have helped the local authorities with the current issue, at some point. We might have given recommendations on how to improve billboard ads. We might have helped other students who would want to do the same research.

However, all I can do right now is watch tv and heave a deep sigh.


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