Understanding Filipino teachers

Understanding Filipino teachers

Having been born, raised and educated in the Philippines, I feel that the education system is at par with, if not better than, other countries.

I am currently teaching Math and I know for a fact that there are only two teachers in my school (myself included) who can actually teach the material since the other teachers are not Math majors. Now, whether or not I am a competent teacher is another story, All I know is that I began my teaching career in Los Angeles and continued in Canada, and so far, my colleagues and students have been happy with how I teach (some of my Caucasian colleagues even ask me to explain concepts to them from time to time).

Why am I saying all of this? I think the Filipino is capable of becoming a good teacher, just like anybody else. However, let's accept the fact that there are also those Filipino teachers who are crappy, just like anybody else. Having said that, let's be more objective and resist the urge to hit authors of articles simply because they point out something that hurts, albeit true.

I am not an English teacher and I do not wish to become one. Why? Because I myself know that I will not be able to teach it competently.

That is not to say that no Filipino can teach English properly. But then, I have read articles written by Filipino English teachers whose grammar is just sad and I also have heard them speak English really badly (and I am not talking about the accent because I also have a thick accent although people have told me that my accent is barely noticeable, probably because I have been in North America for 15 years and maybe, just maybe, I have improved my speaking quite a bit?).

All I am saying is that especially for those who aspire to receive higher salaries (presumably from private schools preferred by the wealthy), if you cannot speak the language really well, i.e. you stammer, you mispronounce, you misuse the grammar, you should not be surprised if schools would not take you in simply because the parents who pay the tuition would normally expect better.

Sit back for a second and picture this: You are a parent of a student and you pay a substantial amount for tuition. Would you not want your child to be taught properly. Do not let your emotions get the better of you. Try not to be overly-sensitive ( a common trait among us Filipinos, is it not?).

I agree that if teachers accept low wages, it will drive down the pay scale. I would not be surprised if Filipino teachers are guilty of this. However, please bear in mind that having a low wage is better than having no wage, get it? You see, the Filipino OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) is, often times, the sole breadwinner.

When the OFW goes abroad, there is no other source of income but bills continue to come in. The OFW, for the most part, does not have the luxury of time to wait for a better offer because any time soon, a call from the family back home would put enormous stress on the OFW to send money quickly. As such, I wish folks would be more mindful of the reason why they accept low wages.

I am just sharing my view, as a Filipino myself. Thanks everyone and mabuhay ang gurong Pilipino!

A Pinoy Teacher


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