Mel M. Garcia

They say that character is a million folds better than skills and intelligence. When a teacher is welcomed to the DepEd Family, his immediate superiors instantly give him a crash course on how to thrive with success in this chosen field.

 In my honest opinion, INTEGRITY is the key to achieving greater heights in this most demanding discipline of work and relationship. If you exude an outstanding breath of intelligence that is coupled with humanity’s treasured virtues, then you may be on the expressway to making it here with flying colors.

There are observable traits that teachers are desired to show and manifest in the execution of their daily duty in the school. Though it may be like Utopia in the beginning of things, where you try to become impeccable and infallible, these values will really help you out climb the ladder of your dreams, if you aspire to be more than the plain and ordinary classroom teacher that others resolved to be.

As your odyssey (to become the ideal teacher) unfolds, you will find out that the below-mentioned stereotypical merits may have acquired refurbished renderings.

Do not be a teacher if it is not in your heart to teach and mold the hope of our mother land. PASSION is to hold on to your duties even when things do not go your way. When you are passionate with what you do, you never lose the desire to continue with this noble job even when things come in a way you do not expect them to happen.

Keep calm and just teach. You need to be cool in dealing with the pressure of your work. You may be giving all you have but you will still fail to please others. And in the course of your plan to be promoted, you suddenly lose yourself in the process due to unexpected turn of events. We never rush things. All shall fall into place when they are aligned at the right moment. PATIENCE is waiting even when there is nothing left for you and you still manage to wait a decade more for your time to shine.

In your job, you need to be like a boy scout who is always ready in the call of duty. You will be given special assignments which may not be your cup of tea, yet you need to obey because after all, these assignments may have been given to test your skills. OBEDIENCE is following orders and doing errands without muttering and complaining. Soon you will be a leader but before it happens, you need to be a follower.

It is necessary to be responsible in accomplishing everything. In your bread and butter, RESPONSIBILITY is doing your assigned task on time without sacrificing the veracity of your work and the quality of your performance.

As a neophyte in the world of teaching, you will need to be tough and on point. You must set your priorities and realize them by strictly following a time frame. DISCIPLINE is setting your dignified goals on target and accomplishing them without trampling on others’ path. This way, you will earn the respect of your colleagues – hard earned respect which you will later learn to give away to everyone else. Then, you will just realize that RESPECT is more of giving it to others rather than demanding it for yourself.

In your way up, remember to suit up your wings with being true to yourself and to everyone else. Cling to DepEd’s most famous mantra, “Honesty is the best policy.” even when others will not. So HONESTY is doing things the way they should be done even when no one is watching.

Always remember that you are hired in this profession to serve the children in your community. Treat them fair and square. Teach them well and let them lead the way as the song reminds you why you are taken in as their second parent in school.

Never choose the class that you will handle. If you are deployed in far-fetched school community, then embrace the challenge. Serve with a purpose. Lift them up and be a source of inspiration to them. Teaching is also community service. ALTRUISM is serving the underprivileged and deprived without thinking about personal gain and vesting personal interests.

Because of your dedication to your job, you will soon get noticed for your commendable contributions in actualizing the vision and mission of the department. DILIGENCE is exerting the right effort and concentrating your energy not just towards self-aggrandizement but also for the realization of a collective aspiration – that is the success of the institution as a whole. Then, you express your COMMITMENT which is working beyond what is expected of you and staying true to your sworn duty all the time.

In your quest to greatness, you may inflate your head with so much air that you tend to forget to be kind and humble. Never put your victories in your coconut shell, rather instil the lessons you learned on your way up there, inside your heart.

When you get promoted, cement your feet on the ground. Yes, you read it right, because it doesn’t just end with one promotion. You can still dream bigger and higher. HUMILITY is doing things the same way you have done them but still exerting the same effort even though you are an accomplished teacher already.

Never forget the people who helped you reach your status. GRATITUDE is being able to show appreciation even to the least significant things done for you by anyone regardless of its impact in your life – big or small, no difference at all. You have been assisted. Be grateful. Look back and say THANK YOU!

         In your race to the top, you may stumble and fall. No one said that the journey would be easy. People and circumstances will put you to a test.

You will hear offensive words thrown at you. You will deal an ordeal of experiences that you do not even fancy in our wildest dreams. But you should not sow anger; it is just natural to be disappointed. You would even want to be bold and pick a fight with them. But that is not BRAVERY.  Be wise and discerning. Instead, have the COURAGE to say and do things at the right place and in the right time.

An act of brutality will only magnetize negativity and you do not want that to eat up your beautiful soul. Be nice. KINDNESS is something you can give away despite the bitterness and untoward behavior you may receive from people who always devaluate and ignore your worth. Be kind. After all, nobody goes wrong with kindness.

Forgive those who hurt you. You cannot proceed to your next destination if you carry huge loads of misfortunes and heartaches with you. Love them instead. LOVE is purest and sweetest when you learn to forgive despite the enormous pain you received from people who in the first place should have lifted you up but have failed to give you the much needed understanding and support.

Move on. Forget your past but not the lessons you learned from it. RESILIENCE is to incessantly and steadfastly move forward despite all the hurdles and obstacles that twisted the fate of your career. Note that you are not alone. Everyone has to go through tough times. Have FAITH and keep on rising from your own ashes after an awful burning day. Be still and believe that things will be good in God’s perfect timing.

Just like in a race, you will finally reach the finish line where your dream position awaits you. This position is the fruit of your labor, your hard work and your prayers. You may be promoted as a principal, supervisor or superintendent or even to a higher rank. Once you are there, you get the power to effect changes. You can actually change somebody’s world.

You have at last become a strong pillar of education to those around you, especially to those teachers who are starting at level one. Remember where you came from.

You now have the STRENGTH to capacitate others who have fallen short, failed in their run or simply got lost along the way. At their weakest, do not be a judge to them; be a source of inspiration for them to start anew.

Everyone looks up to you now. You have become an accomplished person. You have all the reasons to be proud and happy. Should you dream more? Definitely, it is possible. But can you still push yourself to shoot for something even higher?

CONTENTMENT is being happy about where you have come and gone even when others have come and gone farther than you have reached. It is also being happy for others’ achievements. You can settle down if you have achieved the purpose which you have set from the very beginning of your life as a teacher. But never stop inventing and reinventing yourself. Always persevere to be the best version of yourself for yourself and for others.