by Jim Paul M. Belgado

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I woke up this morning wearing a teacher’s uniform. I turned my eyes to my left and there were the Avengers squad; on my right, the Justice League. I looked over my shoulder and voila! I’m with the X-Men. It was a sight to behold— heroes from various multiverses, clad in suits and capes! Wolverine whispers to my ears, “Let’s do this, pal!” as he brings my attention to the gate of a public high school. The next thing I know, I was already snapped out of that daydream. But if there was something left unchanged, it’s my everyday share of heroic feats as a teacher.

I recall as a child, there was one moment when an innocent prayer left my lips. The God-Who-Hears answered it 20 years after, and I turned out to be someone whom the nation considers as part of the modern-day heroes. On regular days, I am that government employee inside the classroom who facilitates the class, sometimes, equipped with a laptop and an LCD projector, most of the time, with just a chalk and a blackboard as my reliable weapons— no, I far from being a soldier prepping for battle, though it also feels like it.

And yes, once in a while, I get to inspire my learners. They’d be walking straight to my direction, head bowed down, handing me a “thank you” letter.

Growing up, I lost that “way” and found myself responding to different vocations. That’s the label they put on things the world says you were born for: a calling. After spending 7 years in college, it finally dawned on me. Life was not asking me to “answer” that call. It was telling me to let go and simply allow it to guide me to my destiny. And the rest was history (I hope I could say before you, eye-to-eye, but I could not. Ha, ha!).

Every hero has his/her own ups and downs. A teacher is not exempted from the daily grinds of piling paperwork and reports with deadlines to beat. Working around the clock just to deliver our tasks is in fact an understatement. WE were never spared from negative criticisms that dampen our spirits. Failure after failure drag us down. But the joys of teaching propel us to keep on doing more for our learners. God may have given us a Herculian task to form the youth, but who said it’s going to be a one-man-does-everything stuff? Nobody changes the world alone. We, teachers, live for a dream bigger than ourselves. And if in case amnesia got our brains fully covered, our God is a Big God. He will always see us through our struggles, and we will be victorious in the end.

Yes, bet on it, HEROES can do it! (We have one another.)

To everyone who does the impossible day in and day out, may God’s Joy fill every corner of your heart.

Happy teachers’ day!