How much of a parent is the teacher?

Elementary and high school teachers, confined in their classrooms, grow old over time while the age of the students placed under their wings remains the same. A Grade 6 teacher, for example, welcomes classes with 12-year-old boys and girls every year, with each batch’s personality becoming more and more challenging, if not complex, to deal with than the previous years. This is a manifestation of the increasing gap between the X Generation and the Generation X.

June Luna books

I reflected on this scenario and wrote my thoughts about parenting the child and childing the parent as part of the art of bridging this gap. My thoughts were published in the second chapter of my book, XPRNZ. While I specifically tackled the role and responsibilities of the parents themselves, as far as their own children are concerned, I have wondered about how much of a parent a teacher should be. This thinking resulted from the long-accepted fact that schools are extended homes of the children where they spend at least seven hours a day.

To me, teachers are secondary parents. They have the responsibility to embrace and guide the children to become better and greater versions than they were yesterday. Still, day in, day out, these teachers are challenged to be doubly patient, understanding and loving as their students are influenced by forces beyond their control. I can just imagine how difficult it is for both students and teachers to adapt to each other—students to the oftentimes inflexible textbook classroom teaching styles and teachers to the way the thinking and behaviour of the students are largely influenced by the technological babies of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.

Because of the extended parenting role and responsibility of teachers, I find it sad and alarming to hear news of teachers scaring their students into learning by throwing big blocks of board erasers or several pieces of chalk or spanking them or even hitting their heads with a book. This is where I would like to emphasize that obedience out of fear overshadows respect, and suppression of feelings sometimes becomes an alternative that children take rather than self-expression. Instead of helping the students grow, teachers with frightening methods are pushing the young ones into becoming persons with low confidence and self-esteem.

Loving and responsible teachers can turn things around for the better. How? By changing their styles and using methods that children will appreciate and enjoy. These include Thoughts of Love, Words of Wisdom, Eyes of Trust, Ears of Tolerance, Hands of Gentleness, Elbows of Jest and Lightness, Finger of Discipline, Legs of Patience, Feet of Empathy, Belt of Protection, Stick of Flexibility, and Broom of Humility.

Every October 5 in the Philippines is National Teachers’ Day. If you are a teacher reading this, I hope my words of advice will renew your passion in your profession. If you are a student reading this, take the time to thank your teachers for their hard work, compassion, patience, and understanding. Don’t wait for October 5 to do so. // June Luna

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Are The Newly Elected Leaders Being Holi-politicians?

Politicians, old or new, are faced with diverse challenges that somehow baffled their innate intention in ruling a nation. Remember that these politicians are not different from us, from any ordinary individual. They have pure and good intentions although somehow they are also attractive baits of materialism and greed.

holi-politics

Before they achieved their positions, some of them were once faithful, loyal, hardworking and sincere servants who passed our moral standards leading to their promotion from our votes. This is a reality in Philippine politics. The newly elected leaders are former government officials who were then incumbent vice-mayors or councilors who made remarkable efforts in leading a city, a town or a barangay. They have carved their own names in order to make a difference for their fellowmen. These are our leaders, the ones we chose. We are the ones who gave them permission to either lead us or corrupt us. It’s our choice.

Should we allow them to do the latter?

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Let Our Spiritual Thoughts Overrule Our Mind and Body

As humans, we are diligently designed with parts functioning together to make us whole.  Two of our major parts are our body and mind. Our body is the physical manifestation of our existence while our mind is the powerhouse of our reasoning and thoughts.

When we start gaining consciousness in this world, our senses are exposed to different perceptions, memory, thinking, consciousness and judgment that are processed by our minds. The mental ability of our minds includes, but does not limit, the function of our cognitive faculties. It includes how we imagine, recognize, appreciate and process our feelings and emotions to end up with our attitudes and actions.

spirituality

The body enacts our actions and represents our attitudes. It is understood that our thoughts reflect through our actions and our thoughts are the influence we adopt from our exposures. So thoughts that are pure and good lead to pure actions and good attitude. Thoughts that are polluted with anger and jealousy result to ill-mannered attitude and negative actions.  

As spiritual beings, the neatness of our thoughts plays a crucial influence to the cleanliness of our human actions. It is important that we have clean thoughts before becoming physically and environmentally clean. This notion of mental peace clashes to different philosophical principles of earthly success and happiness.

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Reflecting On Karma This All Souls Day

compassionIt has been a tradition for me and my family to visit the cemetery and spend time with our beloved departed souls, praying for their heavenly rest every All Souls Day. When I was at the age of curiosity, I remembered asking my mother, “How will I go to heaven?”

She hesitantly replied, “The only way to heaven is through our own death.” She added, “In heaven, we are judged so while we are on earth we have to do good.”

I live by her answers trying to search for the qualities of being good and to do goodness while my time is ticking on earth.

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