"Oh Danny boy.."
Yesterday was completely different from what i've expected. I feared yesterday.
It's like, "oh it's time.. recharge your batteries". "This could not be happening.", I told myself. It's been two years. I have been seeing these young people, no less than my pupils for 22 and a half months. Now, I just would like to understand how come it has become burdensome (it seems :s) these past few months. Have i changed? For sure, yes!
So what was i saying? Yes about yesterday, it was different. God, my faithful Encourager never fails no matter how many times i have disobeyed. Amazingly, it wasn't bad and frustrating. It was rather cool and happy. I struggled with chest pain and hoarse voice in these classes -------> 4, 5, and 6 though;). I came to see and check the pulse.. whether or not the 2nd year class is still interested in choral singing (hmm.. maybe? hehe) Even if i haven't figured that out successfully yet(i mean during that time), i think it's plain and simple as saying, okay.. curiousity-driven? nyay! I used to take evaluation from the students in the middle of the semester, but it seemed useless yesterday. hehe, just kidding.
"How come it has become tiring?" is an anxiety. It still occupies a huge space in my left brain. At an instant, i was speechless. I thought about this: IQ vs EQ. So what about that? I am planning to leave teaching because I have felt so very incompetent. Therefore, i plan to take units and go onto further studies. On the other hand, I think about this student, Danny. I have always admired his simple ways to cheer the class up. It is so unique. Perhaps i am wrong because he is not happy. How will I explain this.. happy with going to school, doing arts, solving math problems, telling history, so many others.. yes he is i think happy to do these things. However, what made me think about "he being unhappy" was this:
A week ago in Art class, I had this idea of asking the students to participate in grading their art works, particulary Crafts-making. So I announced it ahead. It seemed cool. They were in fact hyper-excited hehehe! so i kept their works until yesterday, which is the Big Day! It's time to grade! Some were proud. Others crouched in shame. I grouped them into three. Each group has to give a grade for every big envelope (personalized craft). In other words, they would grade individually. So when i thought it's somewhat different yet fair because i still have my percentage in balance with it, i saw Danny. His face was not at all blank. It's as if he was trying to explain something to me but only through our minds. And then I heard a couple of "nyaaaa...waaaa, that's Danny's? hahahah!" It was like the class was having a votation... I did not notice it at first. All I thought was the class was just being noisy and restless, until the grading was over. It's good to know everyone participated even Danny. All of a sudden, he stood up. Well others did too so I thought it was nothing. He stood up and behind the curtains. I realised he wasn't standing to ask something, he was hiding. I can see he was sad.
I called him and asked why.. He said these words, " 'cher(short for teacher), just clearing my mind.." In my entire life and for two years in classroom teaching, maybe 4 years in Choral teaching, i have been speaking in front of many people of different age levels, this was the first time that I heard a boy (10 years of age) speaking about 'clearing his mind'. What was that supposed to mean? Did it make me curious? Yes it did. I asked why.. what do you mean, Danny? While others were conferring with each other, I had a brief talk with Danny. He said, "teacher, ever since we were grade 1, they were like that to me. 'pag po naglalaro kame tapos aku ang taya..burot palagi.. Si Arvin po nagsisimula.." And then one student (maybe he was eavesdropping) butted in, "teacher, palagi nilang ginaganun si Danny". I knew this was something. Danny, who is in fact a very smart kid, very good at writing as well as reasoning, is struggling with feelings of being denied or rejected or being laughed at always. That moment i was broken.
I could not focus so i wrote a note to Danny. It was a short letter of encouragement. I told him that "clearing his mind" is good but being able to communicate/express your feelings or thoughts with them is a lot better. Further, i told him that in the end what matters most is the attitude born out of the experience; that he is more blessed precisely because the experience has taught him to become more patient and grateful for little things. I encouraged him with such words as "Stay precious because God loves you..and so do we." It was already time when i finished writing the note. The class was all the more restless. I bade goodbye and handed the note to Danny. I did not have any second thoughts even if the other students saw it. I really felt the need to reach out to that boy.
I have loved his comics. He makes many. I have embraced those by borrowing them during lunch breaks and returning all before his last period. He is a born artist. He doesn't need to say it, it shows.
In the middle of my travel back home, i asked myself.. must i really leave? I told myself, 'that boy.. I will miss him for sure." Parang sapat na ang isang tao para mag-stay ako.. " I'm glad it is Danny.
I put my trust in the Lord. However things change, I will never forget that precious little Danny Boy.^_^