Recognizing the teachers’ contribution needs no physical stage and fancy celebrations. Paying tribute, thanking them and appreciating all their efforts in making education works are simple yet grand gestures to make them feel valued and special.

This year’s World Teachers Day (WTD) celebration, which was conducted virtually on October 3 and hosted by Education Program Supervisors Mr. Glen O. Ducta and Dr. Arlyn Brigola, seemed to be far from the usual gathering; yet, the reason is just as timely as teachers have been playing significant and crucial roles during these unprecedented times in education where learning must be delivered remotely.

Carrying the theme: “Gurong Filipino para sa Batang Filipino”, the virtual celebration did not only pay tribute to all the teachers of the Schools Division of Parañaque City but also highlighted the significant contributions of the loyalty awardees as well as teacher-retirees. Based on the evaluation made by the Screening Committee headed by WTD division focal person, Dr. Ma. Dolora M. Zaragoza, 16 teachers rendered 30 years and four teachers rendered 35 years in service. On the other hand, 15 teacher-retirees also comprised the list. Their contributions were commemorated through an audio-visual presentation prepared by the Technical and Video Production Committee.

In return, Mrs. Dalisay I. Lacambra, Master Teacher II from Fourth Estate Elementary School and Mrs. Clementina R. Goyo, Master Teacher I from San Antonio Elementary School, delivered their gratitude speeches on behalf of the honorees. They expressed their utmost appreciation to SDO Parañaque officials in their efforts to hone them to be the best possible teachers. They also thanked their individual schoolheads, past and present, for providing them the nurturing environment, their colleagues for the inspiration and support, and their students who have been the reasons behind their stay in the teaching profession as well as their inspiration to teach to the best of their abilities. 

The occasion was graced by the City Mayor of Parañaque Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez, who clearly articulated his profound gratitude to all the teachers for their hard work and sacrifices. He regarded the loyalty awardees as “heroes” when he said, “Such loyalty not only to the school system but to our children and their future is a shining example of your heroism.” And to the teacher-retirees, he acknowledged their long years of guiding and enlightening the past and future leaders. He also assured all the teachers of the support from the city government.

Schools Division Superintendent Evangeline P. Ladines acknowledged in her speech the most important contributions of teachers as mentors of Parañaquenos and the youth. She even described the years in service rendered by the honorees as their “best prime years.” She remarked, “Our loyalty awardees and retirees spent years in delivering basic education to a great number of learners who have also grown to be their best self in their chosen journey or career”. She ended her message by challenging the young teachers to emulate the honorees’ commitment, dedication and sacrifices to the teaching profession, and also reminded the retirees that there is life after retirement, and that they must enjoy it.

The virtual celebration was participated in by the SDO Parañaque officials, schoolheads and teachers. It was wrapped up by the announcement of winners in the raffles draws where cellphone loads, hard drive, appliances and android phones were given as prizes. Thanks to the generous sponsors who made the occasion more special for the teachers.   

Teachers are not just sources of knowledge but also builders of future leaders. Their steadfastness inspires and motivates the learners to go beyond their horizons. Their commitment to the pursuit of educating a child paves a way in realizing lasting educational outcomes. They do not only open a world of knowledge for the child; they make doors of opportunities wide open. And in this crisis, no one can underestimate the heart of a teacher- resilient yet compassionate to maneuver a child’s future despite and in spite of the many challenges. (by Ritche G. Beloy, HT-III, PNHS-Main)