by Kristine A.
“You really have to discern, and it really has to be in your heart because you’ll give your whole life, your whole self in teaching. It’s not the most well-paid job; it’s different when you work in the corporate world, so you really have to like it because it’s also a mission. It calls for a very strong commitment.”
Maria Angela E. Domingo, “Teacher Maan” or “Mrs. Domingo” to her students, and “Maan” to her family and friends, has been teaching for more than 20 years now. She is now a mother of 2 little girls; she works at Xavier School Nuvali as the Assistant of the English Department head wherein she helps the Department Head check whether the English Program in Xavier School Nuvali is well-placed and spiraled to the curriculum. She checks all the assessments that the teachers prepare. There is also some work that Mr. Perez, the English Department head, needs assistance with like observing the teachers inside the classroom so that they can help the teachers improve their teaching crafts.
She shared that when she was little, her make–believe play would always be teacher-teacheran. Since her siblings are much older than her, she wasn’t really able to play with them as much, so she would just play on her own as she plays the role of a teacher. When she was in grade school, as a way of reviewing for her quarterly exams, she would make her own test papers, construct her own questions, check the papers, and would even reward herself with stamps and stickers afterwards—everything in the context of a play.
When she was in high school, her first career choice was to become a flight attendant, but around that time, there was EDSA revolution; she thought that being a flight attendant wouldn’t be a very good choice at that time due to the instability of our country, so her second choice, education was chosen. When she was still in college, her older sister was already teaching preschool, and as she would narrate, every time her sister arrives home, she would have a lot of stories, a lot of anecdotes, and Mrs. Domingo really enjoyed listening to her older sister’s stories; these stories from her older sister made her all the more inspired to pursue teaching. From her original course, Speech Pathology in the University of the Philippines, she transferred to the Diliman Campus and took up Early Grades Education.
Teaching the Kinder students was her first job in Xavier School Nuvali; teaching Kinder students was self-contained meaning that she wasn’t only teaching one subject, she was teaching English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. As Xavier School Nuvali progressed, there were already different teachers per subject, so she had the chance to concentrate on the English subject.
Mrs. Domingo now works as the assistant to the English Department Head and has done so since 2015. She helps Mr. Perez, the English Department Head, see to it that the English program in Xavier School Nuvali is well-placed in all levels from Kinder up until Grade 11. As part of their job, they look at the curriculum; they look at the topics in English, quizzes and assessments, and check whether all these are spiraled to the curriculum. There are also things where Mr. Perez needs assistance with like checking the lesson plans and observing the teachers in the classroom. One of their goals as department heads is to help the teachers improve in their teaching craft.
For Mrs. Domingo, the best part about working as a teacher is just simply being with the students; no matter how hard it is to handle the students, she’s still given the chance to hear their stories, getting to chat with the students, and seeing the students’ improvements and development throughout the year. Seeing the students improve and become better is something that she sees as fulfilling. This school year, Mrs. Domingo was given the chance to mentor the Grade 10 students and although they have only met once, she said she looks forward to their next meeting wherein they will have the chance to get to know each other and have the opportunity to help in the formation of her mentorees. She believes that having the mentoring program is very good because she gets to deal with the students in a smaller group which means that they will also be able to have more quality time and activities with them; she looks forward to their future activities and is very excited to meet her mentorees once again.
When I asked her how important education was for her she answered: “Oh it is very important. I think it is one of the basic things, it is actually a right of every child, it’s a need of every child that should be fulfilled no matter the economic status…” She believes that there are things taught in school that aren’t necessarily taught at home; as teachers, they don’t only focus on the intellectual development of their students but they also look at their personalities and values. She sees education as a very important factor in our lives because while studying, we also get to be exposed to things that can help us later in life.
Besides being a teacher, Mrs. Domingo also loves singing and reading, although lately, she isn’t able to find time for reading anymore since she’s also a mom of two young girls who also demand a lot of attention as well. Unlike when she was still single, the things that she likes to do now revolve around her children and husband; she likes going out alot with her family on weekends and spending time with her husband.
It is a given fact that any working mom struggles with having less time with her children, so she sees to it that when there are no classes or on weekends, they really get to spend as much time together as a family. She believes that what’s nice about being a teacher as a mom is that she knows the standards of the school, and what they need in order to succeed in school. Whenever her daughters need help in certain lessons they don’t understand, she has the patience in explaining what is wrong. However, “ang kalaban mo lang talaga is tiredness…” she said.
“I really can’t explain it because nakakatuwa talaga silang dalawa…” she answers when I asked her what the best part of being a mom to her children is; She says that although they’re sisters, they are two different people with very different personalities. They are, no doubt, equally the source of joy for Mrs. Domingo and her husband.
As I ended the interview, i asked her what her advice was for students who would want to pursue a career in teaching as well; she stated that someone who wants to pursue a career in teaching must discern on why you want to become a teacher. Second, teaching should also be in your heart since you will be giving your whole self to it as part of your mission or role as a formator. A teacher must also have good values and good beliefs since a teacher acts as a model to her students, and she must be able to teach the right things to her students.