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Honoring teachers

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THE VIEW FROM RIZAL

By DR. JUN YNARES

Dr. Jun Ynares

Dr. Jun Ynares

Isn’t it interesting?

Among the many professions in the world, only teachers have a day dedicated to their vocation – World Teachers Day.

I do not recall celebrating “World Doctors Day” or “World Engineers Day.” I don’t remember marking a “World Lawyers Day.”

But for teachers, there’s “World Teachers Day” which is marked on the 5th of October every year. The celebration was initiated in 1994 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

There are only two other groups of people who have been gifted with a day of their own: mothers and fathers. There’s a yearly celebration of Mother’s Day and Fathers Day. I guess this means the world recognizes our teachers more as mothers and fathers rather than just mere professionals.

Through this column, I join the rest of the nation in greeting in advance our teachers and wishing them all the best as the international community marks World Teachers Day.

When I remember my days as a student, I recall the dreaded graded oral recitations. I feared this standard feature of our days in class because I felt then like one can never really be fully prepared to face it. You may have studied an assigned lesson the whole evening before going to class the following day. Still, you know that the question which may be asked of you may not have anything to do with what you studied the night before.

The fear is triggered by three things: first, the reaction of the teacher once she senses that you do not know the answer; second, the muted giggles of your classmates once they sense that you had started to face an ordeal; third, your own clumsy handling of the embarrassing situation – the usual options were inventing answers, or putting on that I-am-about-to-cry look which you hoped would bring about pity on the part of your teacher.

There are two types of questions which I was more comfortable answering.

The first was the “True or False” test.

The other was the “Multiple Choice” test.

I believe those were the better questions which my teachers had used to help me understand and deal with life later as an adult. They taught us how to distinguish between what is true and what is not. They taught us how to select the best options when faced with life’s many, many… multiple choices.

And so, today, I join the rest of the world in saying, “Dear teachers, thank you for those important lessons.”

In my view, those are among the most important purpose of education: to teach our children how to recognize the truth and to know when they are being peddled with lies; to teach our children how to go for the choices that are better and right among the many options facing them.

I believe that if a person can distinguish between what is false and what is true; if a person can choose what is right and what is best in the face of multiple choices… then, that person can be called… “educated.”

That is exactly what our teachers have done for us. Congratulations for a job well done.

Thanks to my teachers, I believe there are two very good and right choices I have made in my life.

First, I chose to make Antipolo, Rizal, my home and home to my young family.

Second, I chose to serve the people of our city.

Today, just like the 90 percent of the residents of our city, I have become an Antipoleño-by-choice.

In multiple choice exams, I remember that my teachers made it clear to us that erasures are not allowed. The first answer which you underline or encircle is supposed to be your final answer. Right or wrong, that is it.

This was how my teachers taught me this rare value called “paninindigan.”

“‘Pag pinili mo, panindigan mo,” I recall my teacher saying.

They taught me “paninindigan” not just by their words but also by the example of their lives.

You see, becoming a teacher is one difficult choice. It is not an easy job. Sure, it is rewarding, but the price they paid for it is huge. The physical and emotional investment on their part to educate our children is way beyond what is required of other professions.

Thank you for the lesson. Thank you for the inspiration.

*For feedback, please email it to antipolocitygov@gmail.com or send it to #4 Horse Shoe Drive, Beverly Hills Subdivision, Bgy. Beverly Hills, Antipolo City, Rizal.

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