March 2, 2024

Twelve years had passed since I graduated in college and this is also my 12th year of teaching, yet the things I learned from this professor seem still so fresh every time I start to do my examinations for my students and provide rubrics for their class performances. Indeed, she was my epitome of being an excellent teacher who impacts the lives of her students, and I am a living proof of this.
Before she became our professor on that Education subject, I heard negative comments about her. The lines, “Strikto siya at mababa magbigay ng grade,” were repeatedly said by other students even before we met her. They said she was one of the most feared professors in our college during that time because she is so strict and inconsiderate, yet when I got to know her through our subject, those I heard were completely the opposite.
I can clearly recall the first day she entered the class. She stood tall, with a smile, a positive aura, and warm greeting despite our cold response. She had a simple introduction of herself and gave us an option if we wanted to transfer to the other class with the other professor, yet we answered with a deafening quietness and no one dared to say any word. No one decided to transfer to the other class.
Every time she enters the class, no one speaks. We’re all ready to listen to her every word but so nervous for graded recitations. There seemed to be a horse race in our chest while waiting for our names to be called to speak. The moment I was called, I felt that my knees were shaking. I answered her question having doubts but I tried to gain confidence while sharing my idea with a modulated voice. After answering, she smiled and added her opinions. That reaction calmed me and had the feeling of the positive response to my answers.
As we proceeded with our discussions for that semester, I slowly witnessed how great she was in influencing her students. She gives practical classroom examples and hands-on activities which until now, I also apply in my classes. She is single yet she spoke like a mother to us giving us fruitful pieces of advice. After each class reports, she gave corrections gently and compassionately together with her useful suggestions on how to improve our explanations which eventually helped me in teaching more effectively.
This professor we feared to ask for helpful tips for our concerns was actually a very considerate and generous professor in sharing her ideas. It made me note down every word she uttered during our consultation time with her.
In the classroom, I never heard harsh words from her, contrary to what the others said. She is also assertive in her words. She is firm with her yes and no. When she noticed that someone rumbles in her words, she gives encouraging words and directs this student to the right response. She does not laugh on our mistakes; rather, she allowed us to identify it and be corrected immediately. I will never forget her appreciations to simple good things we do.
One semester with her seemed like a year because of the very insightful learning experiences and memorable classroom interactions.
I may not be able to get a high grade in her class, yet the lessons learned from her are more than enough. Indeed, the lifetime impact of a teacher is not only evident in giving high grades but on how the teacher manages her classroom and would help the students live with the phrase “lifelong learning.”