Dead dreams

Have you ever wanted something so badly you’d do anything just to have it only to realize that it wasn’t what you always thought it would be?

That was how it was like with my DepEd and wanting-to-change-the-public-school-system dream. Was.

I use “was” because I finally laid it to rest after a year of teaching non-readers.  No “changing the world” dream will actually work if it is not grounded on solid ground, love and Love Himself, Christ Jesus.  All other foundations will crumble if it is not based on love because the dream will sap you of your strength.

I just got back from our annual School Retreat before classes start.  God had answered my prayer in the most unexpected way.  This whole summer, my constant prayer had been “Lord, refresh me.  Renew my passion to see a transformation in my nation and stir up that fire to touch young lives again.”.

I had been so burned out after ten months that I was just so tired coming back from the field. 

But God.  God used our speaker this year, pastor Macky Sabayle, to remind me of the heart of teaching.  And that is to touch the lives of this young generation and lead them to Jesus.  My life as a teacher is meant to be an arrow that points others to Jesus.

For the last year, I had lost focus of why I was teaching and instead focused on getting the content into my students, wanting them to learn how to read and forgetting that love is the ultimate reason and very foundation for teaching. 

That is why I got eaten up by frustration.  I focused on content instead of loving my students first and teaching them content afterwards.

We teach because God wants us to share His love to our students through our excellene in teaching, our kindness, our words and our deeds.  God brought me back to all these.

And today I realized that if I would continue to work for change in society, the very core of everything that I do must be God. An inner spiritual transformation will always make an impact in my community.

Here are some of the things I took home with me from Pastor Macky’s preaching:
1.  Look at your students with eyes of compassion.
2.  Be available. Share your time and listening ear and even words of wisdom.
3.  Be kind.  Random acts of kindness always work.  A Christian who is filled with God’s love will be kind.
4.  Go the extra mile. 

I am excited for the coming school year.  I look back to the past year with gratitude and fondness because it taught me a lot.  It especially taught me about going the extra mile with my kids.

Teaching is a privilege and a MINISTRY.  Fr. Flor Lagura, my former boss at USC and former Dean, once told me “Yen, I’m afraid you’ve confused teaching as a career instead of seeing it as a vocation.”

I’m nowhere close to my policymaking in education dream but the joy that I have today is deeper and greater than anything I have known after laying down my decade-long dream.