Teacher, sister

12:00:00 AM

Back in college, I was part of an organization that advocated education - Alay Ni Ignacio, or ANI. As a volunteer teacher, I handled a class of about 30 public high school students. Because of this experience, I wanted to be a teacher straight out of college (those closest to me know this). But I couldn't ignore the reality that teaching was a dream I couldn't afford at the time, so I pursued another path, which I'm just as passionate about.

Seeing my students do well really gives me the best feeling in the world - it's as if their achievements are mine, too.  A lot of my former students are my Facebook friends, and it makes me incredibly happy to see them living the lives they didn't even dare dream of when they were still in public high schools, struggling to make the grade while helping keep their families afloat. I couldn't be prouder.

It's not easy being a teacher, but man, it's definitely one of the most rewarding things that I've done in my lifetime. I like to think that at a certain point, I became more than just a teacher - a part of me hopes that I've become their friend, too.

There are some days when I find myself still thinking about the former dream teaching. I guess the Universe can hear my desire, no matter how faint its voice is, because now I'm a teacher! Well, sort of - I don't handle an entire class. In fact, I only have one student - my friends' daughter, Summer, a brilliant and quirky 10-year-old girl. I know it's not the same as standing in front of 30 pupils, but teaching is teaching, and I'll take it.
Glad to be this girl's teacher / Ate
Summer couldn't have come into my life at a better time than now. I was a bit hesitant to accept her parents' invitation to have me as her full-time tutor because I've never really handled kids before. My ANI students were incoming high school juniors and seniors; Summer is only ten. I have absolutely no training in elementary education, so I don't know if I were actually going to be any good.

But Summer is a wonderful kid, and being her teacher has been a breeze. She reminds me of my younger self, actually, and I think that's why I like spending time with her - she takes me back to my own childhood (and in doing so, she's keeping me young, haha!). In this regard, she's teaching me more than I am teaching her.

At 10, Summer is at the stage of her life where she's transitioning from being a child to being a young adult, and like everyone her age, she's struggling a little. I've never had younger siblings (my mother had a miscarriage when I was 11), and I guess Summer is my chance to be a big sister - to hold her hand through the process the same way my older brother held mine. I really hope I'm a good enough example for her.


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