I have always dreamed of becoming a teacher ever since time immemorial. During my elementary, high school and even the early stage of my university life, I thought becoming a teacher – a public school teacher to be exact – would be as easy as enrolling at a prominent university, taking and passing the licensure examination and applying for the desired position. But it was way more than that. I never thought it would be hard and exhausting, infuriating at times even.
So how do you become a public school teacher? Here’s how (based on personal experience).
Get a degree in Education or take18 units in Ed. à Graduate. à Review for the LET. à Pray that you will pass. à If you pass, praise God and congratulations. Continue to the next phase. If you do not pass, you can either teach in a private school or apply at a call center, take the Civil Service Eligibility Exam to apply for other jobs, be bitter, review again for the next LET or you can be all of that. à Process your license and pay for the oath taking ceremony. à Attend the oath taking ceremony. àClaim license after two to three weeks or until one month of waiting. à Apply for teacher 1 position in your district or in your division during the given application dates (only). à Undergo the ranking phase. Comply all requirements for ranking (Prepare all necessary photocopies, be interviewed, present a class demonstration, etc.) This usually takes one month, depending upon the speed of the ranking committee in working out their applicants. à Get results. It usually takes two to three weeks or one month before the results come out. à The division or the district divides the applicants into four categories according to their rate from the recent ranking. If you belong to category A, you have a very high possibility of getting an item immediately (and by immediately, I mean you have to wait for another three or four months). If you belong to category B, uh, perhaps there’s a chance, depending upon the availability of items. If you belong to the C and D categories, uhm, maybe you can come back again next year? Thank you! Or you can volunteer and be unpaid for all your services. Thank you again! àThe advice for teaching finally arrives! You party to the highest level (although it does not literally imply). à Go to the division office or district office to get your assignment advice. It is a piece of paper declaring where you will teach and that you are a Teacher 1 already. à Comply all requirements enumerated on the paper. Usually, you are given 7 days to complete it. à File and pass the documents to the district or division office. The district supervisor usually does this but if he/she gives a lot of reasons for not going to the division office, then you have to do it yourself (of course with his/her permission). à Wait for the appointment from the higher office. The appointment is another piece of paper which contains where you will teach, what grade level you will be assigned, and perhaps your salary for an annum. Once you receive it, you can already start teaching because the computation for your salary starts at that date. Recently, I just knew from an old classmate in college that the appointment arrives three to four months after the advise has been given. à CONGRATULATIONS! YOU ARE A TEACHER NOW! You can claim your salary three to four months from now, with deductions already mam/sir. (And the martyrdom begins. Oh no! The martyrdom does not begin here. It just continues, and continues, and continues, ‘til the day you retire. Oh no! Not until the day of your retirement but ‘til the day you finally die.)
*insert Gollum face here*
Maybe you find the process easy. Yeah, it looks easy when you read it, but when you get to experience all of it – the looooooooong wait between each interval (which takes months and even years), the false hopes, the frustrations, the pressure from people who had such high expectations from you, the corrupt officials, the delays from the higher office, the procrastination of personnel, and the overly meticulous checking of documents – you will surely feel like you have wasted a lot of your time and effort, and you begin to question if your patience is even worth extending.
But I salute the teachers who continue to do service even without pay (volunteerism, as what it’s called in Education jargons). I salute the teachers who endure the sweltering heat of the sun and the anger of the monsoons just to get to their schools located 8 to 17 to 30 kilometers away from their comfort zones. Talking about dusty roads, big boulders, and even insurgents at times. I salute the teachers who teach the lesson to their classes and extend their patience every day at their pupils/students who either day dream, flirt with their crushes or learn slow. The only consolation there is to see them bloom into beautiful flowers and achieve their dreams in the future. I salute the teachers who prefer to suffer with the poor and hungry children for the sake of education rather than giving up on humanity and deciding to resign to seek for a greener pasture at neighboring first- or second-world countries with higher regard and respect to teachers. I salute the philanthropic nature of teachers and their undying concern for OTHER people. I salute them all. They are my heroes since day 1 of my schooling.
It is my prayer now that God extend my patience more and that He will give me the right attitude while waiting for the last phase of this whole “waiting” stage. I have always looked up to my teachers (although not all of them shared a pleasant memory with me) as heroes. Now, I pray I will also become a hero to my future pupils, not that I want to be famous or be lofty. I don’t want any of that. I want them to find an inspiration, a model, a person whom they can hold on to. I hope that dream isn’t bad. I used to do that (making people as inspirations), and look where I am now. By the grace of God primarily, yes, and then my teachers’ belief in me, too.
I pray that before I die, people will say I have served humanity well, and when I die, when I see my Master, He would say, “You have glorified me, my child. Well done!”