“Teachers are duly licensed professionals who possess dignity and reputation with high moral values as well as technical and professional competence in the practice of their noble profession, they strictly adhere to, observe, and practice this set of ethical and moral principles, standards and values.”
-Preamble of the Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers
This preamble aptly describes what a teacher is as a professional. It says, “teachers are duly licensed professionals” thus, passing the Licensure Examination for Teachers is a requirement for those who want to practice teaching as a profession. Being a teacher is indeed a noble profession. The education of young minds are entrusted to the hands of the teachers. It is the responsibility of teachers to use their technical and professional knowledge, skills and competence to mold the youth into becoming good citizens. Teachers influence the future of the community, society and of the country.
Just last night, my daughter asked me why I need to study again. She said I was already a good English teacher. I told her that I want to pass the licensure exam so that I can be a real teacher and a school teacher. I realized that for me, having the license makes the difference of being a professional teacher. Yes, I have been teaching English online for many years now, but for me, I still feel that I am not a real teacher yet. Being duly licensed as a teacher matters. Now, why do I want to be a teacher? Because I want to teach young minds. Teaching and seeing children learn makes me happy and fulfills me. I want to teach not only academic lessons but also other important virtues like honesty and kindness.
From the group discussions I learned that many people think that teachers are professionals but are not treated as such. I understand where they are coming from. It is a belief that teachers are underpaid and not compensated enough despite the workload that they have. We can often see it in the news that teachers especially in the public sector are rallying for higher salary. Some of the Filipino teachers prefer to teach in foreign countries where they feel they will be compensated well enough for their profession. In line with this argument, some commented that being a professional does not depend on the salary or the compensation. I agree with this. Regardless of how much you are earning, as long as you have the license and you are practicing your profession, then you are a professional. Thinking about it, not only teachers are underpaid. I believe some professionals like doctors and lawyers who choose to work for the government and serve the public sector are also underpaid. They go to remote areas and provide their services there despite the financial challenges in order to help the indigenous people. I think all of us who discussed about our beliefs and feelings about the situation of professional teachers in the Philippines have our own good points and opinions.
On the other hand though, we all agree that being a teacher is a noble profession. A teacher deserves more than the right compensation but the utmost respect and support of the students, parents, fellow teachers and the authorities. As the African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child.”