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What Is a Teacher?




Between the innocence of infancy and the dignity of maturity, our children fall under the influence of a group of people called teachers.

Teachers come in assorted sizes, weights and colors. They have various interests, hobbies, religious beliefs; but they share one creed: to help each child reach the highest possible degree of personal development.

The teacher is a composite. A teacher must have the energy of a harnessed volcano, the efficiency of an adding machine, the memory of an elephant, the understanding of a psychiatrist, the wisdom of Solomon, the tenacity of a spider, the patience of a turtle trying to cross the free way in a rush-hour traffic, the decisiveness of a general, the diplomacy of an ambassador, and the financial acumen of a wall street wizard. She must remember always that she teaches by word but mostly by precept and example.




The teacher may possess beauty or grace or skill, but most certainly she must possess love – a deep abiding love of, and respect for children individually and en masse. She must love your little girl who has the song of a bird, the squeal of a pig, the stubbornness of a mule, the antics of a monkey, the spryness of a grasshopper, the curiosity of a cat, the shyness of a fox and the mysterious mind of a woman.

She must also cherish your little boy, who is inconsiderate, bothersome, an intruding bundle of noise, with the appetite of a horse, the digestion of a sword swallower, the energy of an atom bomb, the lungs of a dictator, the shyness of a violet, the audacity of a steel trap, and the enthusiasm of a firecracker.




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A teacher must teach many things; reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling, geography, history, music, health, etc. She must also manage in her class hours to teach manners and morals to children whom parents have despaired of the task during their 17 1/2 hours with them.

A teacher is truth with chalk dust in its hair, beauty with an aching back, wisdom searching for bubble gum, and hope of the future with papers to grade.

A teacher must possess many abilities. She must not mind explaining for the tenth time the intricacies of two – place multiplication to the whole class, then explaining it again to the one child who wasn’t listening.




She must learn to judge between encouraging and pushing a child. She must sense what decision to make and which must be made by the child. She must be steadfast without being inflexible; sympathetic without being maudlin; loving without possessing. She must lived in childhood without being childish, to enjoy its great joy, satisfaction, its genuine delight; while understanding its grief, irritation, embarrassment and harassment. A teacher must, each year, send thirty to forty or more children to another teacher proudly, lovingly, sadly and await forty more with ready wit, love and eagerness.

She must do all this while worrying about how to pay the light and water bills, what to have for supper, whether her baby has the chickenpox, if her lesson plans will meet the supervisor’s requirements, what to put on her bulletin board for the next units, where to get an amount for overdue tuition fees of children in school for transportation, and etc.

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For this the teacher is expected to receive more than the garage man, but less than the garage mechanic, more than the grocery clerk, but less than the postman, more than the ditch digger but less than the truck driver. The most amazing thing about the teacher is that she wouldn’t trade jobs with any one she knows. She likes to teach.

Featured Images:

Students and Faculty of Don Antonio de Zuzuarregui, Sr. Memorial Academy
Formerly Joseph Marello Academy
Brgy. Inarawan, Antipolo City

Photo Courtesy: Roselyn Mae Lanuzo

3 thoughts on “What Is a Teacher?”

  1. Dear teacher… thanks for making our time at school tolerable, making Math and Science likable, helping us to set goals that are achievable, which made our lives more livable. Thank you.

  2. We may not say it out to you aloud, but you make a beautiful impact on our lives without a doubt. We may sometimes behave annoyingly, but deep down in our hearts we know that you care for us lovingly. Thank you Teachers! <3

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