Shaking off the Teacher’s Midyear Distress

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Gone now are the sweet smiles of the modern heroes; silent are the lips of encouragers as the laughter of celebrated pride faded, not because Teachers’ Month ended nor  Typhoon Lawin’s fatal damage, but because of the blatant result of the mid-year revisit on Individual Performance Commitment Review (IPCR).

Thankful, we are as a family, having witnessed God’s mercy over Tabuk City which withstood the rage of Signal Number 5 Typhoon Lawin. In unity, like a colony of ants, about 165 faculty and staff of Tabuk City National High School pulled broken branches and cleaned fallen debris; washed clean and repaired our classrooms; fixed all the clutter as we chit-chatted as a form of debriefing ourselves from the experienced catastrophe. On the 27th of October, six days after Lawin left, we, the teachers, are up on our knees again, genuinely manifesting the Filipino values of resilience.

Resilience… yes, we were almost perfectly resilient until the school head announced the start of the midyear departmental Individual Performance Commitment Review. As I glanced through the pages of my IPCR Form, my joints loosened and the same knees that stood up before Lawin shuddered disbelief over the crystal clear Zero accomplishment on my SY 2016-2017 IPCRF indicators, specifically on Conduct of Action Research; Implementation of In Service Training (INSET); publication of at least 2 articles; Initiating community service/project.

The sound of silence was deafening that a needle would be heard if it were to drop that moment. I dared gaze on my fellow teachers’ faces who were seated beside me. The blank stares on their eyes perplexed me and I dragged my head to turn and look around, only to find the same reflections on a seemingly kaleidoscopic mirror.  I didn’t know what to feel then. Should I feel better realizing that more than half of us were in the same boat as I am, or feel heavy about the effect of our collective non-accomplishment to the overall School’s Office Performance Commitment Review (OPCR)?

That instant brought me to the 4th dimension of my consciousness where introspection flowed automatically. “What have you done in the past 5 long months of the school year?” was the high-pitched probing which reverberated through my innermost being. Though I could have reasoned out enumerating the paper works, new subject load and all its needed preparation, and the screaming need to attend to daily house chores and the children,   I have decided to listen to the silent subtle voice of my conscience. Right there and then, the slideshow which I often use during my lectures on the topic Goal Setting slowly unveiled in my mind’s flashback, with my soul seated at the very front audience row. The slides unfold one after the other. My memory was speaking to me… “Set your long-term goal; chop it into chapters; set your time frames; identify your strategies; enumerate your resources and ways to secure them; set your success indicators; sign the work commitment with a friend, and celebrate every stage of victory.”

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and consciously got in touch with reality. I stood up and sighed, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13. True enough, God’s mercy is overflowing, as I approach now the last period, one article for publication is solved as an offshoot of writing down my introspection. I pray that inspiration would find its way to my colleagues’ hearts this time.

By Doddie Marie L. Duclan

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