Why do people teach? It cannot be because the money as teachers across the world, particularly in developing countries, do not get the highest salaries. Why do they stay in the profession, especially when the kids they teach are unruly? Why, why, why?
Most teachers teach because of the challenge they face day in, day out. They don’t see naughty, dumb kids. They see potential. They see young people who need their help to succeed in life. They see rooms full of future lawyers, doctors, athletes, artists and academics. Everyday, they see opportunities to help make this world a better place. They reap their rewards when they see these children blossom and become well-rounded people.
In the video below, teacher Sabsy Ongkiko discusses the struggles and triumphs she had experienced through her journey from attending a high-profile university to teaching in a very low-paying public school in the Philippines. Since she graduated from a high-ranking university, her parents expected her to get a well paid job after university. Since public elementary and high schools in the Philippines are known (unfortunately) as the last resort schools for poor people, which produces graduates with very little chance of succeeding, Sabsy was criticised for her decision to teach in one. Her father, an economist, has often asked her what the return of investment will be, since he paid a lot of money for her education?
Nevertheless, she carried on. She challenged the negative stereotypes surrounding public schools, their teachers and students. As with every other teacher, she saw potential and hope in the eyes of her students. She has helped a lot of her students reach their potentials. She is one of those teachers who genuinely believes in her students’ abilities. And as for the return in her investment of working in a low-paying public school, she constantly refers to the success of her students as the best return of any investments.
She is a true inspiration!