Note from founder:
This is a special guest post from unpocoderojo 🙂
Dedicated to my awesome college professors Sirs Irwin Cruz, Dave Lozada, Ambeth Ocampo, Herman Rochester, Jo-Ed Tirol, Victor Venida, and Fernando Zialcita.
Throughout my life as a student, I’ve had my fair share of educators who only taught — but never lived out their passions and sought to vent out their frustrations to students — and educators who teach their subject as if their lessons were a way of life for them.
The latter, the passionate educator, is not a mythological creature, but a living, breathing, wonderful human being. What he breathes out, it becomes the word, and his lessons dwell within us and among us.
The passionate educator is a light in the darkness; it is he who casts out ignorance with his own experience.
I had professors like that, though I think they won’t admit it. But they definitely live out what they taught me, and I’m prepared to do the same.
But there was actually one who continues to teach me and give me sound advice with regard to my career. I didn’t know that his class would be a pivoting chapter in my life, and he would be one of the people constantly helping me out afterwards.
Back in university, I had a class called Cross-Cultural Communication, where I and my other classmates learned how to act and speak in different business environments and cultures across the world. Think of it like finishing school or etiquette class for budding business executives and foreign service workers.
Our class for that semester was taught by Irwin Cruz.
In that class, Irwin taught us lessons on how perceptions can make or break a culture, and that culture shock, though normal, shouldn’t hamper one’s experience of a different worldview. He used his language skills, the non-verbal signals he knows, and his work experience outside the country to share to us how the real world is like, and how we should take initiative to learn about different ways of life before making any assumptions (this I learned through the entire subject, indirectly).
A little bit after the semester, he gave me a gentle nudge towards arts and cultural management, four words that later defined my life. Through him, I slowly realized my real passions, and where I see myself headed for; after being Irwin’s beadle in class, we became good friends after the semester, and even after college, he continues to help me and remind me that I’m worth something in this world.
What some professors failed to do, Irwin succeeded in teaching: He taught me how to care, and to take care of my passions.
There are many teachers like Irwin, but only a few can harness their teaching potential and lead their students to care. Most teachers try their best to do that, I’m sure, but sometimes the message doesn’t always get across.
One good tip is to extensively know your subject. It’s as important to know the ‘WHY’ of the ‘WHAT’ and ‘HOW.’ It’s equally important to keep students interested, and you can do this by telling your own story and see how it relates to the lesson at hand, and how your students are part of that big pie.
You have to make the connection as clear as possible for them to realize that they are part of something bigger, and that they can make a difference.
I’ve seen some classroom discussions with passionate teachers who use storytelling, and the class wasn’t a normal class: it was a dialog about a Shakespearean play.
That’s how my professors were to me — lively and engaging storytellers who inspired me to be a better person.
It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. – Albert Einstein
Visit the author at unpocoderojo.