Our unsung heroes/heroines
A LAW EACH DAY (KEEPS TROUBLE AWAY) - Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star) - October 4, 2019 - 12:00am

Tomorrow, Oct. 5, and the fifth day of Oct. every year is National Teachers’ Day as declared by Republic Act 10743. It is really fitting and proper that we should dedicate a special day each year to honor our teachers who have played a very important role in rearing and educating us. In fact they can indeed be considered as our second parents who have shaped our character aside from helping us improve our intellectual capacity. Our teachers from grade school to college are truly the unsung heroes/heroines of every generation.

It is worthy to note in this connection that here in the Philippines there is an institution which has been devoting its efforts and even finances in recognizing the significant role of teachers in our society and promoting a culture of gratitude to the Filipino teacher. This is the Metrobank Foundation (MBF) headed by Aniceto M. Sobrepeña, president. MBF has set aside Sept. 5 to Oct. 5 every year as National Teachers Month (NTM).

The NTM started in 2008 to pay tribute to the heroism and sacrifices of the Filipino teacher through the simple act of saying thank you to what they have done for us. It was conceived with the theme “Teacher Ko Idol Ko” Then in 2009, the Teachers’ month campaign was re-launched with the official tagline “My Teacher, My Hero”.

NTM has since evolved into a movement honoring the teaching profession. Its logo features a student and a teacher reading together to form a Heart on a golden yellow background emblazoned with the words “My Teacher, My Hero”. This logo has become the face of the advocacy campaign launched by MBF since 2008.

On its third year in 2011, the NTM was officially recognized with the issuance of Presidential Proclamation No. 242 “declaring the period from Sept. 5 to Oct. 5 of every year as “National Teachers’ Month” followed by the enactment of RA 1974 in 2016 declaring the fifth (5th) day of Oct. of every year as the “National Teachers’ Day”. Such official endorsements are affirmations of the NTM’s success in rallying all sectors of society to thank and honor the Filipino teachers’ contribution to national development and progress. Indeed last year 2018,  the NTM movement reached a decade of celebrating and honoring Filipinos teachers with the theme “Gratitude In10sified” with a total of 110 organizations participating in the unified advocacy.

Personally I am really very grateful to all my teachers for their dedication, patience and hard work in performing their jobs. Hence I really appreciate MBF’s initiative in setting aside the 5th day of Oct. every year as the National Teachers’ Day, so that we can remember them and honor them. All their acts and deeds serve as my ideals in growing up and becoming a useful member of our society. In commemorating the National Teachers’ Month and the National Teachers’ day, I specially remember my mother Natalia C. Sison who was my teacher in Grade 5 at the UST Elementary School, as well as my father, Bienvenido A. Sison Sr. who serve as the general principal of the UST High School where I studied. Truly they acted not only as my parents but also as my teachers. Thank God for giving them to me as my parents and my teachers. Of course, I would likewise thank and praise my professors in the UST College of Liberal Arts and, in the Ateneo de Manila University College of Law who imparted to me the tenet of “mens sana en corpore sano”; a sound mind in a sound body.

And so as we celebrate teachers month from Sept. 5 to Oct. 5 and Teachers day on Oct. 5, let us focus on the four A’s of gratitude to our teachers as formulated by the MBF: Appreciation, Admiration, Approval and Attention.

Appreciation is expressing our gratitude to our teachers and the extraordinary work that they carry out for the purpose of making our teachers feel rightfully esteemed and appreciated. They really deserve our appreciation for the many lessons and nuggets of wisdom they gave us which we carry up to the present.

Admiration, or giving praise to our teachers we admire and look up to, because they greatly touched our lives. We should admire them in order to show them that we hold them in high esteem and great respect like what we accord to our own parents.

Approval is giving due recognition to our teachers for their admirable practices while performing their duties, and even above and beyond them. The purpose here is to affirm their role as teachers, in nation-building.

Attention is taking careful consideration of the plight of teachers for the purpose of helping them meet their needs and concerns which they oftentimes forget due to their dedication in the performance of their role as teachers. Giving them this kind of attention will enable them to live better and become more effective as teachers. It is about time therefore that we should work for and help in the move to increase their salaries.

Let us also include our teachers in our prayers and ask the “Lord our God, the Greatest of all Teachers to look upon our teachers with love, to grant them the resolve to nurture our eager minds and to never give up on us who fall behind, to continue endowing them with gentle  patience for the path of learning is never easy, to enkindle in them a spirit of passion which serve as the flame that ignites the love of learning in us, to bless them for their works, to endure to this day,  to let the light of your example shine upon all of them so that they can build up with their words, love with their minds and share with their hearts.”

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Email: attyjosesison@gmail.com

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