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Celebrating Teacher's Day in the Philippines
By Giana S., YES Abroad 2018-19, Philippines
Mabuhay from the Philippines!
Here in the Philippines, teachers tend to have a close, playful relationship with their students, partly because teachers are usually pretty young. Earlier this month, my school celebrated teacher's day. While the teachers spent the first half of the day playing games around the school that the Student Council set up, the students and I worked tirelessly to decorate our classroom. In the picture above, you can see how we even put balloons up to spell out our teacher’s name. We also had an entire city backdrop in the classroom and Christmas lights and balloons and confetti and streamers to decorate everything. Around lunchtime, the teacher came into the decorated classroom and we set off confetti canons for her entrance! We gave her flowers, a crown, a sash, and showered her with appreciation in the Filipino way. She sat in a chair while each student presented her with a gift and gave a short speech on how the teacher had impacted them/their life. Afterwards, we had a small feast with foods that we all brought in, as well as a round of karaoke and lots of hugs.
By the end of the day, the teacher was crying and so were the students. The teacher really opened up and shared just how the students had impacted her. It was a very emotional, special moment that we all shared, and I am ever so grateful that I had the opportunity to participate!
It was really cool to see just how big of an impact the teachers have on their students, which is really so different from the U.S., where teachers usually maintain a professional and distant relationship with their students. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I am learning so, so much! I am even more excited for what is to come.