By: Cynthia G. Oplenaria
Sumpong Elementary School,
Malaybalay City North District
As classroom teacher I have been in the government service for almost 23 years. This time of my life is like a journey for me. It’s a journey of mixed emotions: happiness and sadness or in simpler terms, joys and pains. Teachers are happy when they could see the improvement of the pupils in the academics as well as in other co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. Undeniably however, teachers are sad when pupils performed less than what they expect. It pains for a teacher to see that some of her pupils cannot read.
When this instance is being observed, teachers could not help but feels the pain of being a failure in her part. This feeling is aggravated by the mere thought of subsequent throes of shortcomings as it will normally have a systemic effect. It is so in the sense that the pupil’s inability to read will lead to inability to comprehend a written text, and the inability to comprehend will lead to no learning at all. Teachers at this time could feel that pain which is so patent and undeniable and even so excruciating to the conscience as the feeling of pain will sometimes linger for quiet sometime.
The challenge of a teacher then is how to help the pupils learn taking into account the psychological consideration. Per experience, non-reader pupils developed negative attitude toward learning further how to read when they are exposed to their classmates who instead of being expected to sympathize in their struggle to read, ridiculed them oftentimes. If the situation is left unchecked by the teacher, chances are the pupil will drop out of school forfeiting the opportunity to learn. Oh it’s heartache!
Lately, I have tried to use a reading kit. This kit is a self-learning kit designed for the non-reader pupils to learn to read not needing the constant watchful eye of the teacher. I have observed that pupils learned faster to read when they are left alone and no classmates are watching. It seems they have confidence in their struggle to produce the sounds of the letters and the combinations of sounds to read a whole word into sentences, so on and so forth when they have nothing to be conscious of, like the unwanted laughter and comments from apathetic classmates.
The material is truly worth trying and for me, it has given the chance to experience the joys and pains of teaching.