Teachers are some of the most admirable people on earth. They sacrifice a lot and exert so much effort to give quality education to their students. They should be given recognition not just on Teachers’ Day but every day! And so The Conektome Team continues to feature teachers who deserve all our praises and admiration.
Here’s one professor who has been making a difference in the lives of his students from the years he taught in high school to the years he teaches in college. He not only shares his knowledge and intelligence, but also his wisdom and compassion. He is Sir Alfons Jayson Pelgone, one of the best Physics professors of the Philippine Normal University in Manila. We are truly delighted to share this brief interview with him.
Ladies and gentlemen, we present Sir Alfons as we celebrate World Teachers’ Day.
1. How long have you been teaching?
I started after graduation, so I’d say around 13 years.
2. Are there any other fields or profession which you want to pursue, or has it always been teaching for you?
I’ve always wanted to be a medical doctor and a lawyer, but I guess, I’m a teacher in my core.
I have embraced the idea of being a teacher early on, although my parents wanted me to pursue other careers. But then, when I was given a chance to be a DOST undergraduate scholar, I realized this was a step to being a teacher although I didn’t know what would that mean for me in the future.
3. Do you have a teaching philosophy?
Yes. I think that teaching is in every part a vocation and then I think the whole of it is the teacher’s psychology, philosophy and pedagogy. Teaching is to build up people, to help them realize their life’s goals and mission. and to help them realize that they need to stand up for something and advocate the promotion of what is right. I guess, teachers have this sort of moral responsibility to each person they teach.
4. Is there a particular person or are there persons who had an impact on you and on your teaching profession? Why and how?
My parents are both teachers, I’ve seen in them their passion to teach and I realized that teachers do play a significant role in the lives of people and in nation building. My parents opened my eyes to the idea that we need to invest in our students so they will help build our nation.
5. What’s the teaching method that you can consider to be most effective and should also be implemented by would-be teachers?
I don’t think there is an absolute best method in teaching, but I think teachers need to be reflective and should advocate for each student to be reflective as well. When teachers and students become more reflective, they realize needs as well as how to solve problems. Would-be teachers should develop the love for learning which they need to share to their students. When students develop the love for learning, they become independent learners. When we develop students like these, we have already achieved our goal of teaching them.
6. How do you envision the educational system in the Philippines? What are the developments or improvements you’d like to see?
I want the Philippine educational system to reach its full potential. I think we need to address the core problems of the system so that we free it from the issues we encounter now. I have this simple vision for the educational system in our country where students (school children) are looking forward to going to school as well as looking forward to going home or to the world where they see every bit of lesson taught to them. A classroom that has no walls, a classroom where the lesson is the real world.
We need to advocate the basics, books, buildings and laboratories. Enhance the mind set of each student to love to learn with the use of digital tools. Invest in the students’ future through education.
7. Do you have any advice to young people who would like to become teachers someday?
There is no perfect formula to becoming a good or even a great teacher. it is always a different adventure. I advise future teachers to trust their gut, to stand for something and to believe in the power and purpose of being an educator and the rest follows.
8. You were a DOST scholar and one of the most remarkable graduates of the Philippine Normal University. We’re proud of you! Do you have any advice to our current undergraduate scholars, and to the aspiring applicant-students who will be soon be taking the DOST exam?
I believe in the power of believing in each person’s strength of character. Everything in life is a test of your strength of character. So at the end of the day, you reflect on your efforts towards excellence. Being excellent I think is a birthright as well as a responsibility.
For those who would like to take the exam, excellence starts from there. Passing and becoming a scholar starts from a personal choice and actualizes to a habit of excellence.
Scholarship culminates in what you do and how you use your excellence to serve others and inspire them.
9. On a lighter note, may we know how an intelligent, good looking, and responsible person like you avoid pressure and stress? Would you give the would-be teachers some tips on how to balance work and personal life?
Hahaha, I don’t consider myself intelligent and good looking. I think I just do what I need to do. To avoid stress and burnout, I guess one needs to find the breather they need. Each person has a varied choice of breathers. For me it is enjoying quiet moments of prayer or just enjoying a good book in the beach front, or cooking and enjoying my favorite comfort food with coffee.
Each life is distinct, balance can only be discerned from within.
Again, just focus on your breathers. Life would always offer us options; it is always our choices that matter and determine our state of well being.