While it is true that teaching in far-flung and mountainous places are very challenging and critical in some ways, some teachers consider it fun and enjoyable especially in summer. Many reasons are to be mentioned.
In the northern part of Buguias in the province of Benguet, teachers are fueled with painstaking but rewarding experiences with how they manage to empower and touch the lives of the young people to become productive Filipino citizens.
Walking to and from for about 2 to 3 hours or more serves as an exercise for the teachers. They need not go to the gym to burn fats. Their everyday exploration serves as their exercise for the mind and body while viewing the terraced gardens of highland vegetables.
Along the way are berries and other wild fruits ready for picking. Fresh and clean air pervades. Yes! These are abundantly available despite the kaingin. Beautiful sceneries are free for viewing. Vegetables and fruits are sometimes delivered by either pupils or community for free. Watercress and other green leafy vegetables are found around the school.
During rainy days, these teachers opt to stay in their stations. Some stay in cottages. Some in rented houses near the school. Some even stay in their classrooms. In the afternoon, when the pupils go home, teachers fix the chairs and tables and make it comfortable like home. They will go home to their families on weekends.
If one takes only the teaching moments, a teaching career would not necessarily bring teachers a happy life – reports, lesson plans, visual aids and other teaching-related activities, especially of monitoring and evaluation of school come or reports are being asked to be submitted as soon as possible. Teachers need to prepare and rush everything before the due time. These activities would really be stressful if one does not know how to manage them. In most instances, teachers’ performances would really be affected.
There are also some issues a teacher has to deal with like pupil performance, parents who do not attend to their child’s needs but most of the time complain and puts the blame on teachers and superiors.
A school with harmony and unity, especially among teachers, would really be of great help in managing stress in the teaching industry. Sharing one’s story, jokes, experiences, and advice are some of the many, though small, things that bring comfort. One more thing is refreshing one’s mind with nature. Climb the mountain to pick berries for jam or swim the river to get watercress for viand.
By Marilou A. Lambino