The day my students taught me a lesson on opportunity
During one recess period in class, I noticed how majority of my class were gravitating around two of my students near the front – Superstar Bridgette and Stewardess Margarette. I left my chair and went closer to investigate and I found that the two girls were selling Pik-Nik chips to their classmates.
The following conversation ensued (expanded version of the story I posted in FB):
Me: Oh magkano benta niyo?
Stewardess Margarette: Piso po for 6 pieces (Php 1.00 for 6 chips)
Me: Ayos ah! Magandang negosyo yan. Magkano na ang benta niyo?
Superstar Bridgette: 89 Pesos po (with a lot of pride in her voice).
Me: WOW! Sige tuloy niyo yan magiging milyonaryo kayo balang araw!
Me: Ano nga pala gagawin niyo sa pera?
Both of them: iipunin po.
Me: Para saan?
Both of them: Pambayad ng kuryente
Me: Kuryente ng alin?
Both of them: ng classroom pag bumili na tayo ng aircon (then I remembered explaining to the class why we can’t buy an aircon unit because the electric bill is expensive)
Me: *Stunned silence* Can I take a picture of your chips?
Stewardess Margarette: Hala sir, bakit po?
Me: Para maipakita ko sa mga kaibigan ko at ibang teachers kung gaano kayo kagaling. 🙂
*end of conversation*
Reflecting on that simple and brief encounter, I can’t help but feel amazed at my students. They are absolutely wonderful and brilliant and I am blessed to have been given the chance to mold their minds and hearts every single weekday.
These kids see opportunity in the smallest things – in things that people like me have grown to neglect. In those two Pik-Nik cans, I saw snacks which I can consume within a few minutes; my students saw an opportunity to earn a few extra Pesos. In the money that was earned, I would have seen an opportunity to spend or buy something else while they saw an opportunity to save up for something important. In the fact that we cannot have an aircon because the “electric bills were too expensive”, I saw an excuse not to have an aircon while they saw an opportunity to save up to pay for the electric bills if only to have an aircon unit.
That day I probably learned more from my students than they did from me.
Still, there’s one opportunity that I’ve seen where I know I can really make a big difference – the opportunity to teach these kids and to help them become successful in the best way that I can. I know that I have the opportunity to deepen what they know, expand their knowledge not only of subjects but of the world and teach them values that will help them along the way and guide them beyond the year that we’ll be spending in the same classroom. I commit to making the most of it.