The Best Prize of Being a Teacher

This morning, I received a Facebook message from my former grade 8 student- Maryjay Sapo (circa 2014-2015). The message (see above featured image) was translated in English like this:

“Ma’am, I’m going to graduate from Senior High soon. Thank you for teaching us, you have been a part of our journey, you served as our ladder so we can reach our dreams. It is a new chapter of our life that will open in college. I miss you ma’am, thank you very much for teaching and taking care of us even we were naughty, you did not leave us. I love you ma’am, take care always.”

I was having a bad morning (as always for the past few days now), but when I saw this touching message from Marjay, my mood suddenly changed. Actually, my Facebook feed has been flooded by graduation-related activities from my former students in Commonwealth High School. Although I did not expect to be thanked by my former students, since most of them actually forget their previous teachers, reading Marjay’s message was totally heartwarming because after all these years, he has not forgotten me. Marjay was in my advisory class and it was so touching that at least, out of my 60 students in my homeroom class, there was a single student who took an effort to inform me that he has finished the senior high school and thanking me for teaching them.

Later in the evening, I received another notification from Facebook:

The caption said: “our subject teacher in grade 8, one of my inspirations (sic) … ma’am Geraldine Roxas.”

The caption was an answer to the question “fave English Teacher?”

Sophia Buce was also my former students in grade 8 from the same 2014-2015 school year, but she was not in my advisory class. Wayback in 2017, when she moved up to the Senior High School, she told me that I was her favorite English teacher and that I have inspired her. Today, seeing her post make me happy and thankful to God that at least, out of a hundred students I have taught, there is one student whom I have inspired.

Marjay and Sophia’s messages gave me the strength to keep fighting for my dreams, to never stop believing in myself and to continue inspiring others. Receiving a gift from students on special occasions is an ordinary thing, but getting a heartfelt message from them is something. Heartwarming messages from students, specially the former ones, are the best gift that a teacher could ever received from having this profession.

So to Marjay and Sophia, thank you. Thank you for believing in me and for always remembering me. Teaching a student like the both of you is such an honor and the best prize of being a teacher.

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