Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Faculty [HD] Posted by Hendrix Sanchez: A Review

The video is produced by Metric Films and Big Top Media Productions. Faculty [HD] is set one sunny day in one of the more expensive colleges in Metro Manila. Two Filipino teachers namely Teacher Ria and Teacher Joan are talking about the latter's last paycheck. The movie implies that they graduated from the University of the Philippines. Witness how Teacher Joan's last day at the faculty is going to be as controversial as her one year stay in the college.

You might think this is only for teachers who graduated from or at least graduates of the University of the Philippines. However, I think the message of the video applies to any teacher who is torn on what is really is his role as a teacher?

You can watch the video from YouTube using the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZWhoUNrMAk

or in Facebook:

For those who want to see it in Facebook, I guess you can try to add Hendrix Sanchez to see the video and share it with your friends. He also posted the video in YouTube.

Watching the Faculty [HD] video made me think really? What kind of a teacher am I? Really? Am I like what the video said "a teacher attuned to the expectation of the current education system" which will most probably keep my job for the next school year or a teacher... "a teacher whose job is to teach, expose the kids to the realities of life which may not always be a realistic viewpoint at this time in our society" and will probably be the cause of my forced resignation or worst being fired.

Or is there a middle ground? But what is middle ground in this case? How can you keep your job of pleasing your supervisors and principals and at the same time think and teach outside the box? Teaching beyond the limits of the four corners of your classroom?

Teacher Ria in the video is saying that the goal of Teacher Joan is directed on the wrong crowd of people which is teaching rich college students. That it is too late to be teaching these college kids to be socially aware and responsible to the current events of our society. On the other hand, Teacher Joan argues that these kids are the perfect people to influence because of their economic status and family background. Because when these kids graduate they might be able to effect change. Change that our society, our country so desperately needs.

However, I cannot also dismiss what Teacher Ria says "What we are talking about here is attitude". Attitude that has been already programmed to these kids. We cannot even measure how deeply ingrained the "coño and coña" attitude of these kids have. So what's the point?

However, there is a looming thought in my mind? Isn't doing nothing and just letting these kids pass their subject so that they can get a decent job or help in the family business a crime as well? We are not giving these kids enough exercise to think! Think people think!

Jappy Lim's status in facebook may give a glimpse of what I am trying to stress:

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." —Eleanor Roosevelt

However, Teacher Ria is not also a passive teacher. This was evident as she defends herself from Teacher Joan's accussations of not caring about these college kids. So I can't really say she is not doing anything. In fact, I think she is trying to participate in her own little way.

Which reminds me about President Noynoy's first State of the Nation's address where he differentiated between "pakikialam" (meddling; to meddle) and "pakikilahok" (participating; to participate). I wish there is a direct translation for these beautiful Filipino words that will truly capture the essence of these Filipino traits. My point is that I think Teacher Ria does her part to participate. However, it's too subtle and too safe that it will take a very discerning individual (and you wish your students will have that skill) to even realize that in her own way she is really concerned on what's happening around her.

Still, I think we also need teachers like Teacher Joan who are not afraid to rock the boat and speak a louder voice in the field. Somebody who is a risk-taker and proactively participates in the causes she believes in (which however, may not be really a cause her students believe as well).

However, in our society and culture, why are we so tough with the Teacher Joan's of the world. We know we need them but we also hate them. Do we really want all teachers to be just like Teacher Ria. Are we afraid of "bibo" teachers? The ones we call "mga palaban"?

Are we only comfortable with stereotype teachers? Somebody who is nice, sweet and cannot hurt a fly.

However, do I want my son and future children to meet somebody like Teacher Joan? Just the idea of my son joining rallies sends chills to my bones. Amazingly, while writing this piece, the neighbor's radio plays the song "Where Are You Now? by Jimmy Harnen" Hahahaha. Talking about coincidences.

Anyway, as for me, as a Special Education Teacher, as a parent of a bright and super-energetic 9-year old boy, I would like my son to meet several mentors in his life. A combination of Teacher Joans and Teacher Rias of the world. It's not one or the other. I think both sides should be equally represented so that when that time comes that my son has to face a decision whether he wants to join a rally or not; hopefully (with hands clasped and head bowed dear God! hopefully), the voices of my son's teachers including his parents will ring in that split-second he may have when he has to make that crucial decision.

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