Teachers – a Sandy Hook perspective

Will Lukang, CLDC, CSM, PMP


Teachers are known to be the people that help shape the future of our country, because they are the ones that teach the leaders of tomorrow.   Through their guidance, support and nurturing, the next generation’s minds are shaped and educated about the things that make them a better people in the society.  Of course parents play an important part in the upbringing of the children, but for seven hours a day during the school year, the teachers help the children learn the things that they need to get to the next grade.

Through the years, I often heard people say that it is great to be a teacher because they only work till 3 p.m. and they have summer off.   Comments as such in my mind are made because people are envious of the people who enter such a profession.    Sometimes people think that just because school closes at 3 p.m. the teachers get to leave at 3 p.m.   More often than not they have to stay behind to clean up and they are often up early to prepare the agenda for the day.

From my experience, there is a teacher in my life that helped turn my life around.  Her name is Araceli Ilao.  She was my 3rd year high school teacher.   I used to lack confidence and believed that I wasn’t smart or capable of accomplishing anything.  I felt that way because the people around me kept telling me that I wasn’t as smart as my siblings and didn’t amount to anything.   She told me that I’m the only one who knows my capabilities.   If I trust and believe in myself, I can accomplish a lot of things.

Each day under her guidance, I gained confidence and before I knew it I placed third in my section. I couldn’t even imagine getting a great score much less to aspire to be an honor student.   But for some reason I started to believe in myself and studied hard and aimed high.   As the year progressed, I was impressed with what I’d done, because the excellent score helped me work harder for the next one.   By the end of the year, I placed third in my section.   As I look back to that year, it was the best year of my young life.   I wrote names of people I wanted to prove wrong and each year I would work toward proving them wrong.   I turned a negative into a positive.  Negative in which people don’t believe me and positive by channeling the negative energy to working hard and focusing on my goal of proving them wrong.   Mrs. Ilao helped me become the person that I am.  Teachers like her make a profound impact on people’s lives long after she is done teaching them.

In light of the Sandy Hook Elementary incident, I’ve more respect for teachers and the profession.  The sacrifice they put in on a daily basis to teach, nurture and mold the children who will be leaders of tomorrow.   The fact that they have put their lives on the line to save the lives of their students, such  heroism is above beyond what we ask for.   Take for example, Victoria Soto who hid all her students and told the gunman that they were on the playground.   She sacrificed herself for the love of her students.  Such act of courage is beyond compare.    As I end this post, my family continues to pray for all families who lost love ones and for the family of the gunman for the pain and suffering that they are going through.  May this incident help change the way we manage how people secure guns.   May the act of courage of the teachers served as a reminder that we need to hold all teachers in high regard and pray for their safety on a daily basis.


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