October 5 is Students’ Day

I have been teaching for almost three years now but I never knew there’s such a thing as Teacher‘s Day until I logged in my facebook tonight and saw some of my former students‘ greetings posted on my wall. Immediately, I typed in google’s search box the words, Teacher’s Day, to familiarize myself with it.

A brobdingnagian thanks to my students who informed me about such special day intended for the appreciation of teachers; World Teachers’ Day. Said special day is celebrated across the world on October 5 annually ever since the importance of teachers was already recognized by UNESCO. It includes celebrations to honor the teachers for their special contribution in a particular field area or the community in general.

In relation to this special day, I decided to share what some of my students for this ongoing semester answered in my equally special essay questions a week ago. These questions are intended to elicit honest answers from my students as one way of improving my delivery of classroom instruction. I am aware that I still have a lot to learn as far as the latter is concerned, so I think “the special questions” below will help me keep the positive traits that are liked by the students and to improve upon the shortcomings.

1. What is the most important lesson you learned from me?

2. What do you hate most about me?

The best way to extract honest answers is to not let the students write their names but their responses on their respective papers.

The answers I collect from the first question let me know if I can also deliver something other than the structured lesson plans like attributes which are worthy of emulation (e.g., patience, punctuality, understanding, etc.) by the students and for me to enhance the same.

On the other hand, the responses I gather from the second question help me improve upon my shortcomings. I am well aware that I am not perfect so I make it a point to always attach this question to the first comprising that special activity in the content of all my syllabi.

I admire the honesty of the students that is reflected on each of their answers especially in the second question. At this point, let me give only my favorite among the plethora of responses I collected from the first question. After that, five responses from the second question will do for this purpose, I think, since that’s more important to me than the former.

(For Question No. 1)

“Mr. Fugaban, I would like to tell what kind of teacher you are. You are very serious (which I really don’t like) yet a very inspiring teacher. At first, you are not the type of instructor that I really love to have but when I got to know you deeper, I saw good things in you. That’s why I only liked you in the middle of the semester. You don’t know how to crack jokes to make the class lively and that’s really something you lack. The thing is, our class is energized by jokes from time to time during the discussion. I know that because we’ve been together since day one.

However, despite the fact that you lack humor, you are undoubtedly very understanding and very professional. You always understand us especially when we are noisy at times. You are the ONLY instructor who can handle and control our section. You also don’t show anger, sadness, whatsoever. That’s the most important lesson I learned from you since I am very hot-tempered. I easily get annoyed by noisiness or disappointments in life. And since I want to become a teacher in Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) field someday, I realized that I should also possess those traits to be a competitive teacher like you. I should know how to manage my emotions so that it will not affect my performance.”

(For Question No. 2)

Student 1

“Let’s get straight to the point and I have already said this: What I hate about you is you lack humor and most of the time, you only tend to focus on what should be done for each meeting.”

Student 2

“Even though you are approachable, your smile is expensive.”

Student 3

“You don’t provide visual aid.”

Student 4

“You talk fast.”

Student 5

“Your make-up classes since I am a working student and I have duties to attend to on the days you conducted the make-up classes.”

I have, of course, my reasons but what matters is that those answers are just true in general and all I wanna do now is to improve for my students. So to the majority of the class who gave the same meat of “hate response” contained in Number 2, I promise I will work out for that.

Happy Teacher’s Day to all the teachers in the world and to the teachers’ best teachers: THE STUDENTS!

The Sharpening Room, The Pencils, and The Sharpener


A very wise old teacher once said: “I consider a day’s teaching wasted if we do not all have one hearty laugh” (Gilbert Highet).


Dear God, please pour upon me a bucket of humor. I know I can do something with the rest of what the students don’t like about me, but humor is just something that’s not in my DNA. So please, pour upon me a bucket of humor.

20 Comments Add yours

  1. Kudos for being brave enough to post your weaknesses here at WordPress.
    They say the real essence of strength is knowing your weakness(es), acknowledging it, and as you’ve said “working out” for that.
    Happy Honorable Teachers’ Day Sony!


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Joni, salamat ng marami sa greeting at sa paglagay ng Honorable doon … Like what I replied to rastelly, it’s for my growth. I need to know what I lack to make up for it. I want to grow more in this field and acknowledging my weaknesses is the first step towards that growth.


  2. rastelly says:

    I admire the courage it takes to
    post the negative opionions of
    others. Dad said that “Fun” teachers
    often try so hard to be popular they
    forget about the lesson plan – I guess
    it’s better to be effective.

    I personally never encountered any
    really fun teachers as a young adult.
    Those that teach small children are
    expected to be more entertaining

    My father was an English
    teacher at a local highschool. He
    is now an administrater of a home
    for the elderly. I had lots of trouble
    in school and it was thanks to his
    relentless work and encouragement
    that I was able to graduate. It seems
    like every where we go there is
    someone who remembers him.


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Then your father must have done a great job at being a teacher. He is a rarity nowadays so be proud of him.

      I’m still a newbie in the academe so admitting my shortcomings is a humbling and enriching experience for me.


  3. john tugano says:

    Oh I should have called you Sir,ehehe.
    I’m in a great surprise when I stumbled with this post
    I didn’t know that you’re a teacher apart from being a climber and a blogger..
    As you have said on your post I think you really need to acquire that humor,It may not be easy but in time with constant effort then you’ll see yourself improving..Actually, your students still love you and like you though you’re this serious type of teacher.So why change it? ehehe..Every teacher has a different approach to teach his students and I think you’ve been an effective one with your style..
    By the way I can see that you are really serious of improving your teaching style for your students.Its just great to think of that question that you have mention above at least you know honestly where and what area you are going to improve on.
    Happy teachers day to you my friend..


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Honestly, I do crack some jokes and those make them laugh. The problem is they don’t buy my jokes all the time. Surprisingly, those that they don’t find funny creates some sort of “dead air” and it feels awkward when that happen, so I cut back my “joke” production to avoid that. The only problem I is, I think, there are born jokers and I certainly am not. But, I’m not giving up I tell you.


      1. john tugano says:

        you’ll be good at it I promise..hehehe


      2. Sony Fugaban says:

        Thanks for the push! That means a lot to me.


  4. ceceliafutch says:

    It takes an extraordinary person to candidly share their shortcomings as well as their strengths. That quality in a teacher is probably one of the best lessons you will teach your students. If lack of humor is their biggest criticism, you have an excellent future ahead and are well on your way to being a model for the rest of us! Bravo.


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      That’s very comforting, Cecelia! Don’t worry, I am doing what I can to make sure that my teacher’s license is rightfully mine. That is, to make sure I deserve my spot in the academe. I will work hard to grow in the field of teaching.


  5. aRVee says:

    So, I read through your post Sony and on the contrary you are different here on the blogosphere.. I can see a humor in you in here as evidenced by the comments you made to our fellow bloggers…

    I believe though that it might be true that your smile is expensive as we don’t behave the same way as we do to other people/bloggers, etc, so yeah, work on that, even if I know and you know you do it for some reasons.

    Anyways, I salute you and the rest of the teachers as it is never easy handling grown ups, so Kudos and Happy Teacher’s day my friend…


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      I am actually smiling a lot lately in class … 🙂 And they noticed that.

      Yeah, I also believe I can bring some humor through writing but there’s a big difference in delivering it during a discussion. Class discussion to be exact.

      Thanks for the greeting! I am honored for meeting a blogger in your being. THE SAME GOES OUT TO ALL MY FRIENDS HERE IN THE BLOGOSPHERE.


      1. aRVee says:

        Thanks Sony, it’s an honor to meeting you too and the rest of the bloggers on the blogosphere… 🙂


  6. Joyce de vivre says:

    I can say you’re such a brave teacher! 🙂 I love your blog and thanks for including my writing in the Related Articles field 🙂 Stay in love with nature! God bless!


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      You are so welcome, Joyce. Thank you more for the compliment!

      God bless you too.


  7. nelson RN says:

    Belated Happy Teachers’ Day! Teachers are close to my heart because I come from a family of teachers, and I myself had a brief teaching stint. And everytime I visit the Philippines, I visit my favorite teachers. I owe a great deal of who I am today to my teachers. Mabuhay kayo!


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      In that case, belated Happy Teacher’s Day too! I am happy that there are still people like you who knows how to appreciate their humble beginnings … I salute you for that.

      Mabuhay Tayon Mga Guro!


  8. The fact that you can laugh at yourself, (by admitting your weakness), tells me that you have “humor” in you. You just have to dig deep or perhaps you just have to turn it on. Try banging your elbow to hit your “funny bone” to turn it on, he, he, he. But seriously….I mean, not seriously, your positive outlook is better than humor. Mabuhay and mga guro!


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Seriously, and I mean SERIOUSLY, I have been working my ass off to turn the humor on. Fortunately, I think I have succeeded based on what my wife said a week ago. I have recorded my first two meetings to each of the four classes I handle this sem and according to her, I did improve with it (i.e., on that mission to incorporate my “kind of humor” to the subject). Moreover, one of my students, after class, yesterday even told me that my jokes are way funnier than they had expected. Having said that, I also agree that positive outlook is better than humor so I’m trying really hard to be way better at it than the latter.

      Thanks a lot for the pieces of advice! I really had fun banging my elbow 🙂


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