TEACHER CORNER | My Mentors Before, My Mentees Now

By Ryan A. Bradecina
Buhatan Elementary School
Rapu-Rapu West District
Rapu-Rapu, Albay
Schools Division of Albay

Growing up as a student and seeing my teachers in our classroom, I was constantly curious about how they were able to manage their time, keep their patience, and on top of it all, teach us a wide range of concepts and skills, not to mention valuable life lessons.

I remember, for example, Mrs. Nanette B. Alamil, my teacher in Grade 3; Mrs. Ada A. Ipanag, my teacher in Grade 2; and Mrs. Eva L. Dayson, my teacher in Grade 3.

For me, they were always my beacons of hope. They cheered me on in my successes, and guided me to tread the right path when I faltered. When times got too bleak, they would always light up my life with a radiant smile, and give me a nudge whenever I doubted myself.

Thanks to their holistic upbringing, I grew up to be a responsible and productive member of society.

Moved by their efforts, I chose education as my career path and profession. I did this for several reasons. I wanted to pass on what knowledge and skills I learned to the younger generation. I desired to fulfill my personal crusade to improve education in the ways I know how, especially in underprivileged areas. Lastly, like them, I wanted to serve as an inspiration not only to my students, but also to the rest of the community.

I was assigned to be the Teacher-in-Charge of Buhatan Elementary School, where my beloved mentors from grade school also teach, in what can only be called a twist of fate.

In school today, we share the best practices in education that we learned in books and actual teaching. We give tips on how one may improve classroom management. We share resources, especially when they can be used to enhance the learning experience of the pupils. We continuously teach each other, and learn from each other, as mentors and mentees, colleagues, and most importantly as true friends.

We have successfully created a loving and nurturing environment at Buhatan Elementary School. We accept that no one is perfect, and that everyone can learn something from each other, if only we are all willing to humble ourselves. This means that even in my young age, I can share what I learned to them, in the same way that they taught me years ago. In the same manner, they can continue teaching me today, even if they no longer hold my report card.

I am genuinely thankful for my mentors, now my mentees. I hope that through my sincere efforts, I will be able to pay it forward to the Filipino youth, and inspire them the way I was inspired by my teachers when I was a starry-eyed grade school pupil.