I have always loved to share what I knew since I was small.
I remember how I used to show how I solved mathematics and science problems to my classmates since elementary days and on through college. Indeed, I also enjoyed sharing my knowledge in photography, chess, writing, swimming, table tennis and so on. I felt alive and exhilarated sharing what I knew to others. I always warmed up to anyone who came and started a conversation with me but my eyes lit up whenever someone came and started asking something that started with “How do you...?”
Perhaps, this joy in sharing my knowledge must have been a family trait. My uncles, aunties and other relatives shared what they knew to us: chess, table tennis, reading materials and so on. My mother delighted in sharing recipes to her friends. My grandfather was sought out for advice on community service. Most of all, my father was selfless in teaching our relatives how to sew clothes. You see, my father was a master tailor and owed a tailoring shop that was number one in our province and known also in the neighboring provinces. He taught my uncles and aunties to sew and even paid them for their jobs while they were still learning how to sew even though he knew that someone someday would put up a competing tailoring shop. In a way, this selfless sharing of knowledge among our relatives must have been very influential in my passion for teaching.
I was in third grade when I first looked at my teacher with admiration for her selflessness. I was enrolled in a private catholic school then and my teacher was Sister Trinidad. She was always smiling at us, greeted us jovially and showed real concern for us. She also pulled out one of my baby teeth when it got loose and was pushed out of line by my permanent teeth. She read to us stories in class with real enthusiasm, as though the story itself delighted her too. It might have been just my imagination then, but I felt I was one of her favorites in school. Perhaps, all of us her pupils then felt the same way. She made teaching seem an enjoyable thing to do by enjoying teaching kids like us. Perhaps, Sister Trinidad who enjoyed reading stories to us must have rubbed on that enthusiasm and love for teaching to me during those early days when my mind was still very impressionable.
I always knew I was good in mathematics and sciences. Although I was always the first to finish the tests that my teachers gave to us, I was especially faster than the others in mathematics and science. Sometimes, it took me just ten to fifteen minutes to finish a fifty minute test in those subjects. It was my teacher in geometry however who first publicly announced that I had a gift and took special interest in my work. My teacher in algebra and physics also took especial interest in my work but it was my geometry teacher, Mr. Naui, who pointed out to me that I was gifted in mathematics and encouraged me to proceed to college and specialize in mathematics. In retrospect, I think now that it was through his influence that my other teachers took notice of my aptitude in mathematics and the sciences and also started to encourage me by recommending books on physics and other sciences.
However, I knew how my classmates felt then as they struggled with mathematics and physics. And, this knowledge always prodded me to extend my help to them. I became a favorite peer tutor even then.
I teach high school math and physics now. I understand how my students struggle to learn math and physics while grappling with their own personal issues as well. My heart goes out to them and I want to share whatever I have if only to help them get better grades and succeed in their endeavors.
It is this knowledge too that prompts me to go on and seek out those who need help in the knowledge areas that I can help them.
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