That alliteration in the title is not enough to give justice to one of the most unforgettable moments in every teacher’s life – Teachers’ Day.
I’ve witnessed a lot of Teachers’ Day celebrations, and of course, many of those tributes remain in my memory up to this day. Those special days make us realize that every effort is not in vain.
For the past three school years that I’ve been teaching in public school, October 5, 2016 has been the first time where classes were not suspended since the World Teachers’ Day celebration of all public school teachers in our city was held in October 3.
And I expected that it would be like all the other ordinary days until I realized that I was totally wrong.
I tried to hide my gloominess in the past few days. I can’t totally blame the Teachers’ Month for feeling so low, but I think I had to admit that I felt terribly exhausted. There were many activities lined up for teachers while official workloads remained as usual. After finishing my teaching and other related tasks in my first half of the day, I had to race to my thesis assignments, which made me work until late in the afternoon (the latest was 6:45 P.M). I still couldn’t imagine, but I guess it’s by God’s grace that I survived those three tiring days.
Going back last weekend, our classes were shortened to give way for teachers’ sports fest. That day made me feel extremely exhausted because I was forced to dance. I never had physical activities since summer and I haven’t danced for a long time, and I admit that I am a terrible dancer. To cut this long epic, I was dogtired, and that made me even feel so down. That might have triggered the thought that it was supposed to be Teachers’ Month, but I couldn’t sense much thoughtfulness besides the initiative of our Teachers’ coop and the student government and a simple note from my class president. When the month of September ended that way, I accepted that this year’s Teachers’ Day would just simply pass by.
I only received a letter and a gift on the eve of Teacher’s Day, so I told myself, “That’s it.” While other teachers in other grade levels and other schools paraded their students’ tributes to them on social media every now and then, my life as a teacher just went as usual until October 5.
“Happy Teachers’ Day, Mr. Coco”
As I strolled to school, I whispered my daily prayer. When I saw my two students, I walked as fast as I could so I could come to our room early. After I logged in the office, I saw another set of students. It was weird that I found five students from my advisory class to walk with me to our room without their bags at their back. Well, that was a hint; but I never expected. I had expected enough.
As we hiked the seemingly endless stairway to heaven, few students drew near me and gave me balloons. I was clueless who these students were until I realized that they were students beside our room. I wondered why they did that, but I assumed that they had an extraordinary way of celebrating Teachers’ Day for honoring other teachers.
When we got closer to our room, I noticed that our room was totally dark – in a ghostly terrifying way. I told myself I couldn’t enter the room that way, so I plotted the other student and made him enter first. The lights turned on, and a commotion followed. Fail. I was still outside. The lights turned off again while some giggles were already audible. There were students inside – No Doubt! For the second time, I let another student entered the room, and the same thing happened. With too much frustration, the students inside the room did not turn off the lights anymore and demanded my entrance instead. I was pushed or dragged (I can’t remember anymore which one actually occurred), and as I entered the room, a crown was forced on my head. Oh, that was indeed a surprise. A surprise usually comes with hints and clues and that make a surprise surprising (I guess that’s always true).
That moment, I had to say goodbye with my lesson plan, my visual aids that I wrote for an hour, and the enthusiasm that I saved for myself to teach about newswriting. Sitting comfortably, I listened to different special numbers: song, dance, and audio-visual presentations. I took some photos while others took a lot of photos. I was totally lost in bizarre, and I couldn’t believe that everything was happening just in an instant on an occasion I least expected on a way I’ve never imagined.
Along with my excitement was my slight embarrassment while some of my hidden photos were unearthed and publicly shown in the room. The joy that my class advisory radiated that morning electrified and hit me big time. When I thought I was already forgotten, I couldn’t help but feel amazed how things unfold in front of my gaze one thing after another. Gifts, greetings, and messages (which I read when I came home) flooded, and sweetness overloaded literally and figuratively. The tribute ended, and it made me believe and witness that the tiger is, indeed, alive.
My advisory class (Gabriela Silang warriors) made me feel loved and valued on a day that I will treasure for life.
An Invitation, An Impromptu, and Another Well-Planned Tribute
My three other classes did not fail to surprise me as well… (But since I am dogtired and still not recovered with too much exhaustion, I am reserving another day to write what transpired on those special hours. )
As a whole, I am happy that there’s such a day as Teachers’ Day. I respect all other professions and I wish that they had their special days as well as tribute to their dedication to their jobs, but for now, I am blessed and thankful that we have this particular day to celebrate with the very reasons why we are here – are beloved students.
To my students, thank you for making that day memorable. For my fellow teachers and my teachers, Happy Teachers’ Day! Keep the fire burning!
Remember our destiny – ignite the fire among our students!