I could feel hundreds of eyes glued at me. I started talking but my voice sounded like a screech on the microphone. My eyes darted around the room. I found her. With proud eyes, my teacher gave me a wink and smile. My stage fright instantly dissipated and I heard my voice slicing through the auditorium with confidence.

In many key moments of my past, the figure of a teacher has always been a constant fixture. My Math teacher taught me how to count. Now, I know how to count my blessings. My English teacher taught me how to tell stories. Today, I always tell my truths no matter how hard it is. My Art teacher taught me the concept of beauty. Now, I realized that life can be hard but can still be beautiful. My History teacher taught me the past. It taught me how to learn from my mistakes. My Science teacher taught me different kinds of life forms. She taught me that all things count no matter how small. My Philosophy teacher taught me ethics. He told me to do the right thing at all times.

A teacher may come in different shapes and sizes. They may come from different places, wear different clothes, or speak different languages. But they are practically the same. A teacher has discerning eyes to know when a student is struggling with the lessons. Keen ears to filter a good talent. Deft hands to mold the students. A strong heart to brave the changes of the times.

So if someone asks if you are a teacher. Say, yes. Wear it with pride. Like a badge of honor.


-By Joanna S. Cabredo