A Sudden Change Of Shoes

By Paul Victor • July 14, 2014

I previously work as a pre-school teacher few years ago after I graduated in college. I went to the usual dilemma of newly grads, being so positively hopeful of life when the graduation is getting near only to find out that after that, it will be a tougher journey. And looking for an appropriate paying job is one of the challenge.

So I end up teaching in a pioneering pre school with a little population. I remember that times are getting tough for all of us down there. Bills were all pass due, what I am earning was not even enough to sustain my transportation expenses and debts were soaring. It is difficult to gain focus in teaching at that point and patience for these kids that I am teaching were corroding. I concluded that the pay I am having was not measuring the daily tasks that I am painstakingly doing.

I was questioning the rationality of life. It was better wayback when I was a student when all that you need to do is to pass every exams and comply with manageable requirements.

Then there is this a "change of shoe" moment that I will always remember which accentuated that complain-phase of my life. I was refreshing my students with their daily phonetic subjects. One of them repeatedly interrupting the course of my lecture with his noise, and as I have said, it was not a good moment to test my patience. I tried to pacify him by telling him that if he never quiet himself, I will have him stand at the front and have him carry thick piles of textbooks. But it seems the boy went to school that day with excessive and uncontrolled energy that challenged and surmounted my control over my patience. My anger bursted, the boy end up to what I cautioned him. Then I went to the usual litany of teachers that they need to follow orders, to keep themselves behaved and so and so for. It was such a day spoiler.

I left him there to suffer. I felt that again I am in control. I thought that it will make him stop but he even had this chance to make his classmates laugh since he occupy the front and can be seen by all. It irritated me more. I piled more books in his straightened hand enough to cover his face.

When i felt that the punishment was enough to have his realization i called him at the back to talk to him the reason why I did that and alao to be assured that I didnt went beyond. I was surprised that he even approached me with a big smile in his face. This is a very hard one - i tought. I talked, the smile didnt faded, i never know if he is understanding what i am saying or did he even listen to it?.

Then when I ordered him to go back to his seat, the boy hesitantly turned his back and suddenly faced me again ang gave me a hug. I was surprised and wasnt able to speak and digest whats got into him. He looked at me straight to the face wearing the unfaded go with the flow smile and with an enthusiastic tone he said "thank you teacher!". Then I asked "for what?", "for teaching us" he answered in a matter of fact tone while walking his way toward his seat.

At first I was a bit aghast. Did he ever knew what he had today?. For a normal child it will be a nightmare to remember. I felt an honest pangs of envy. At the recess he even gave me a portion of his merienda which i declined. Then came the illumination; He was the teacher today and I was the ever hard headed student. He taught me to continually smile even when things are so heavy and hard, to take things lightly when it seems everything is in chaos, that it is our choice to laugh at our troubles or get carried away by the overwhelming pain and confusion, that a hard heart and a weary soul can lush into freedom with just a single hug and a big smile. THAT WE ALSO NEED TO BE THANKFUL OF THE TOUGH TIMES BECAUSE IT MAKES US A TOUGHER PERSON AS TIME GOES BY, that it is much more noble to give free food in exchange to hurt that other people gave you, that we need to look past a persons actions. At that moment, i took pride of the underpaid yet indispensable job. It is something money cant measure. I went home that day unshackled and ready to face anything life will throw upon me. Thanks for that innocent boy who taught me the real value of living.


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