Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Time to Grieve - A Tribute to a Great Teacher

Photo credit here

To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal ...
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance ...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Since yesterday, it has been a time to weep for me.. a time to grieve because I just found out that a close friend of mine passed away. I can call him friend now but before I used to call him Sir. Yes, Sir Noli was a great friend, a great teacher, and a great adviser. He is one of my favorite teachers. Oh I remember him, not only because of the actual lessons that he taught. I remember him because he was one of the rare teachers who was REAL. He took the time to listen to us, his students. And really talk to us. And you knew that he wasn't just doing it for show but that because he truly cared. His words of encouragement really cheered us up when there were times we wanted to give up on a certain project or activity that we had to do. I'm not saying he was the perfect teacher. Oh there were times he would shout at us and lecture us, or worse become disappointed us. It hurt and it mattered because he cared. I guess what really made Sir Noli a great teacher was simply because he BELIEVED in me -- in all of us. 

Photo credit here
I am overwhelmed by my memories in high school. After all, he was my teacher for 5 years. Knowing that he is gone for good still tears me up. This morning, I tried to explain my grief to my students (they weren't able to go through the privilege of having him as their teacher) and I couldn't stop shedding my tears. I cry because I don't remember if I told him that one of the main reasons why I'm a high school teacher today was because of him. His genuine heart made an impact on me during my high school years which challenged me later in my career to remain as a high school teacher and "give back" to the students what I got from him. He was a "Good Teacher".  One of those rare teachers that you will never forget. He embodied all the characteristics as described on the photo above - He RESPECTS students, helps students, and makes students happy (though not necessarily in that order). 

Photo credit here
So I dedicate this small spot here on my blog. A place where at times, I can quietly shed a tear. Thank you Sir Noli for the wonderful memories. I can smile despite this Time of Grief because I know you are in Heaven right now and having a blast and encouraging us on. Truly you have been an inspiration. I can only hope and pray that I will be able to give my best in teaching and that I will have the same impact on my students as you had on me when I was in high school. Thank you for being a good a GREAT Teacher! You will be surely missed. 

Me with Sir Noli - photo taken last June

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