She entered the room.

Walked straight in front of the class.

Started the lecture.

I cannot take my eyes off of her – her neatly fixed hair, fair skin, and of course the much awaited outfit of the day. Who wouldn’t recognize her?

Way back in college when my classmates and I were struggling to wear our all white uniform, we had no other avenue to unleash our frustrations but to talk about our professors’ outfits. Some of them would wear an all-purple get up – purple blouse, purple pants, purple shoes. Others would like to showcase their body by wearing a see through top. And of course, many still like the typical professor’s outfit – loose floral blouse and skirt with old-fashioned colors.

However, one professor stood above the rest.

She is popularly known as Ma’am Ilao, a young and intelligent professor at Philippine Normal University.

She was not aware that we were always surprised by the way she carries herself by the clothes she wear. Never did I see her without her straight neatly fixed hair. She dresses simple but smart.

In fact, we have crazy stories to tell. My colleagues and I would try to peek at the tiny brand tag stitched at the side of her blouse. After which, we would visit the brand store and try to look for clothes similar to what she wore in class. There are also times when we try to imitate her style and would say “Uy, parang Mam Ilao ahh..”

During my internship days, I tried to look like her. I started pulling up my hair and put gel to look neat. One of the teachers whom I helped in a public school admired me for that which she always describes as “neat and presentable”.

Her influence on me is still visible up to this day. I always make sure that whenever I enter the classroom, I must be dressed well.

Imagine the depth of influence a teacher can create only by wearing appropriate attire whenever he or she faces the class. We must always be reminded that we are always on the spotlight. Our students can recognize even the smallest details of how we present ourselves to them.

We are surrounded by criticizing eyes whether we like it or not.

As Henry Brooks Adams puts it, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell when his influence stops.

My professor doesn’t know up to this day the weight of influence she had on me. She may be surprised after reading this article.

How about you? What influence have you made on your students lately? At one time of your life, you may be overwhelmed to hear them telling stories about you and the way you changed their lives.

If you have stories to share, don’t hesitate to write them here. We would like to hear from you.