Born To Teach

Born To Be A Teacher
By: Ernesto Pamolarco Jr.
I just want to share my life’s story in order to inspire others. Anyway, it is World Teachers’ Day. So, here I am! Born into a poor family from Jubay, Calubian, Leyte, I never thought that I will become a teacher one day. My father was killed by our neighbor when I was nine years old and my mother remarried with my stepfather who maltreated me when I was a child. At the age of 13, I ran away from home and started to create my own destiny. But I never have any hatred to those who hurt me and I have had no regrets in life. I believe that God has designed everything for me; the people that I have met, the undesirable circumstances and painful experiences I went through in life. All of them have contributed for me to become who I am now. Of all the seven siblings in the family, I consider myself very lucky to be the only one who has acquired college education. We all had to work to support our parents. Our only dream at that time was very simple-just to have food to eat. I was already 17 years old when I enrolled in first year high school. I was lucky that I passed the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) and I was promoted to college level the following year. As a working student (side car driver during the day time and sing along operator in the evening, a baker, a house boy and other menial and decent job ) I finished my Bachelor of Science in Education degree, major in English at Naval State University (formerly known as NIT) in 1989 in Biliran province.

After I finished college, I went to Manila to look for a job, but it was hard to look for teaching employment in the capital city. So I accepted the janitorial job offered by the school in Malabon. I befriended the teachers in that school and inquired about how to take the Philippine Board Examination for Teachers (PBET). After passing PBET, the door of oppor-tunities was opened tome. In 1990, I worked as an English Teacher at Quiapo Parochial School, in Manila. In 1992, I was transferred to Bagong Barrio National High School in Caloocan City. I founded the School Organ and trained my staff writers in Journalism and essay writing contests. I was lucky that I became a recipient scholar at the University of Asia and the Pacific in Pasig City, in 1996.

In 1998, I was promoted to Master Teacher position and I was assigned to teach at Caloocan High School, the second biggest high school in Asia in terms of student population. In 1999, I was a recipient scholar to represent the Philippines, in RELC-SEAMEO Singapore. In 2001, I finished myMaster of Arts in Educational Administration degree at the Philippine Normal University (PNU). Life was nit easy in Manila. So, I worked as a part time professor at Philippine Normal University, at the University of Caloocan City (UCC) and University of the East (UE-Caloocan). Because of my dedication in teaching, I was chosen as the Most Outstanding Teacher in Caloocan City in 2002 by the Rotary Club International and in 2003, I was a Second Round Qualifier in the Search for Outstanding Teacher in the Philippines, sponsored by Metrobank. In that same year, I was sent as a JICA Scholar at the Okinawa International Centre, Okinawa Japan. After my scholarship training, I was promoted as Education Supervisor for Information Technology, Guidance Research & Evaluation at the Division of Caloocan City.

On May 17, 2005, I was granted a tourist visa to attend a conference at Michigan State University. After the training, I explored some opportunities in New York. To maintain my legal status, I applied for student visa. With hard work and determination, I finished my Master of Science in Education, with Specialization in Early Childhood and Special Education degree at Touro College in 2010. I was also lucky that I found an employer who sponsored me to get (H1B) working visa. I took and passed all the exams for teacher certifications. Since 2010, I have been working as Special Education Teacher (Independent SETSS Provider) at the Department of Education in New York. I am currently the Membership Secretary of the Association of Fil-am Teachers of America (AFTA). I am also the Chairman of the Youth Success Global Foundation, Inc. (YSGF), a non-profit organization which aims to help students with special needs and those who are at risk for academic failure, from pre-kindergarten through high school. I am also an active member of the US Pinoys for Good Governance and the Knights of Rizal (New York Chapter). I am doing all of these community involvements in order to give back the many blessings I receive in life. Though I did not choose to be one, I thank God for giving me chance to be a teacher. If I were to live all over again, I would live as I have lived, a TEACHER! Happy Teacher’s Day!