I have meant to write a post about teachers who have influenced and inspired me for the longest time. As there are quite a number of them, I’m going to write this as a series. This is the first of four parts.
The first teacher who made a lasting impression on me is Mrs. Adela Pacheco. She was my teacher when I was in Grade 1. She had been my Kuya’s teacher two years before, and my younger brother’s teacher five years after. In short, she had been teaching first graders forever. Mrs. Pacheco was the one who taught me how to read, and looking back, I think she taught me really well. That time I read faster than the other kids, and she would try to slow me down, telling me that I read like I was “nagtatadtad ng sibuyas.” I did not care much about writing though, but I don’t remember her forcing me to write. She would just let me read and draw and color, which were what I did for most of my time in Grade 1.
I did not care much for mathematics until I had Miss Lucita Salazar as math teacher when I was in Grade 3. I did not learn multiplication the previous year (I got by with repeated addition), but somehow I got caught. She made learning math easy, and I started paying more attention. I would later on have a love-hate thing going for math, but third-grade math was pure love due to Miss Salazar.
This love for math deepened when I had Mrs. Luz Porca as my math teacher and coach in Grade 6. I remember training for an interschool math quiz bee. Ma’am Porca would read aloud a math problem, and I would solve it within a time limit. I won in the district level and qualified for the division level in which I lost. Ma’am Porca had never made me feel that there was any pressure to win. Just learning with her made me feel like a math quiz bee champion.
If my love for math began in Grade 3 and fluorished in Grade 6, my handwriting would not have improved much if I did not have Miss Juanita Martillano as my homeroom teacher in Grade 4. Her cursive is so beautiful I would practice writing so that my cursive could look like hers. Of course, mine pales in comparison. The practice still worked for me though because my handwriting improved.
I also like my Grade 6 homeroom adviser and Sibika teacher, Miss Eulalia Abacan. Ma’am Abacan would make us draw maps and read articles from the Philippine constitution. She speaks so softly, and I don’t remember her getting angry.
PS: Only Ma’am Martillano (now Mrs. Defuntorum) is actively teaching among my favorite teachers in grade school. I have not seen Ma’am Pacheco for a long time. Ma’am Porca and Ma’am Abacan attended our 20th year grade school reunion. I attended Ma’am Abacan’s 80th birthday. I sometimes see Ma’am Salazar in church.