“A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.”
SORSOGON— An elementary teacher from Dancalan, Donsol travels a total of 40 km (back and forth trip) a day to teach at an understaffed and under-resourced school, out of passion and hope for her students.
Maricris Cayabyab Llaguno, 23, wakes up at 5:00 AM to make her daily commute on her motorcycle to San Jose Elementary School, whether it be rain or shine.
Maricris is a multigrade teacher, handling grade 1 and 2 at the same time. She says many teachers at San Jose often struggle with handling multiple grade levels due to a ‘lack of manpower.’
Maricris graduated from Bicol University, Batch of 2014. She began teaching at the age of 20 and is coming up on her third year at San Jose ES. However, as a young educator, Maricris faced many personal challenges and struggles being a teacher.
“[Hindi naging maginhawa para sa akin], lalo na nandito ka sa malayong lugar, yung sakripisyo mo sa oras, sa personal life mo. Noong unang taon po, naisipan ko po na ayaw ko na magturo kasi na-consume na ang life ko doon, na parang ang aga ko naman doon ta-tanda.’”
[It wasn’t easy for me], especially when you’re at such a faraway place, to sacrifice my own time and personal life. During my first year, I thought that I should quit from teaching because my own life was being consumed at school, almost as if I might grow old too soon.
She said, however, that as she continued to endeavor in teaching, she realized that there are more and more students that she can help educate and inspire.
She’s proud that her students managed to come up from a level of illiteracy to a point where each and every student is capable of reading and writing in English and Filipino.
“[Ang] guro po ay ang instrumento sa pagbabago. Wala pong pinipiling edad ang pagiging guro kasi nasa [sariling] karanasan po yan. Nasa puso po yan kung paano po kayo makapagbabago ng buhay nang isang bata.”
Teachers are the instrument for change. There isn’t an age that picks who can and who can’t become a teacher because teaching comes from your [own] experiences. It’s up to the heart on how you can change the life of one student.
Watch her story of inspiration and hope below.