Friday, January 18, 2008
Little Tom (Story of My Student)
Remembering the time that I spent teaching in an exclusive Catholic school for boys filled my heart with nostalgia. Everyday I spent with my pupils had something special that made me smile whenever I think about it.
I had my share with frustrations too but most of the days were spent laughing and learning with my young gentlemen. Moments I had with them are comparable to thousand unique stories.
Contrary to common belief, teachers are not the only ones who impart knowledge to their pupils. Most of the times, these children left a mark to the lives of their educators that makes them stronger, knowledgeable and wiser as they get older in their profession.
Tom was one of those pupils who had an impact in my life. He was my pupil last year and he has something with him that made me beam with joy whenever he crossed my mind.
Tom is a son of a doctor and grew up in a well-off family. He's witty and has a sense of humor. He could make me burst out laughing out in a blue with innocent ideas he would utter.
At the end of my morning classes, I would usually end up sitting so tired in front of the classroom while watching them clean. Long before his classmates were gone to eat their lunch, he would remain in the room checking the chairs if they're properly aligned and if the floor was shiny already.
It was funny watching him scrutinizing every part of the classroom. I would often ask him to go home already but he would tell me, "Wait Teacher..." or other times, "Later Teacher...".
He never got tired doing that routine every single day. I would just shake my head in disbelief that Tom grew up with a helper yet he was doing chores that other pupils would normally complain.
Another admirable quality of Tom was sharing whatever he had. He's one of the most generous boys in the class and sacrificed his allowance many times to give more for the Mission Fund Drive which was a big help for priests and missionaries being sent in far-flung places.
Tom was also a very sweet boy. Whenever I would be in a bad mood because of some classroom violations, he would look at me with that alluring eyes enough to melt my heart. It was a silent appeal to forgive them and of course I would end up with that smile again on my face.
More than these qualities that made that boy special was the concern he showed me many times when I got sick. He would ask me endlessly what happened to me and why I wasn't around for several days.
Furthermore, whenever his classmates would do some naughty things and I was reprimanding them he would just shake his head looking disappointingly to the "culprit".
Tom had endless questions about many things. Perhaps it could be attributed to the fact that he's fond of reading (Hardy Boys and Harry Potter fanatic) so he had always that thirst to find out something new. He's fluent too in English and could talk to me without batting an eyelash.
It's a regret though I couldn't make it when he invited me to be his godmother in their confirmation.
Oh, did I mention about his special skill? He can read words backward! Yeah, he could do it so fast I guess he deserved to be included in the Guinness Book of World Records, right Tom? Who knows this story might be the starting point of you being famous? The Little Backward Reader...
Keep that good heart and innocent smile Tom!
(Tom, thanks for lazy afternoon chatting wherein you amused me many times with latest stories about your classmates. It somehow helped me eased that feeling of terrible loneliness for the first few months I wasn't teaching. I did promise to make you a story, right? So, here it is. Tell your classmates not to be jealous. They'll be the next. Good luck to high school life!)
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