Friday, November 29, 2013

Is there "LIFE" after teaching? Part I of a Trilogy



My first encounter

I was introduced to teaching when I attended a caregiver training course at Multiskills Development Academy in Makati City, Philippines in the year 1992. I was then working as a company nurse at Laguna Laundry Processing Inc. in Sucat Muntinlupa City, Philippines and since I was always on the lookout for another job opportunity, there was never a day that I didn't buy a Manila Bulletin newspaper especially on a Sunday where almost half of it were just advertisements. I saw one about an agency (mentioned above) sending people to Canada to work as a caregiver. Because I wanted to go abroad and thought that will be a good vehicle for me to realize my dream of going to Canada, I went there and inquired. 

The requirements included attending and finishing a 6 month caregiver training course and at the end of it, a certification will be awarded during the graduation.There were a lot of inquirers from different places not only in Manila but from the neighboring provinces as well.  Most of us were from allied medical  fields, nurses, dentist, physical therapist , medical representatives, nutritionist, there were even few doctors and the rest were accountants, secretaries, employees and newly graduates. 

Everybody wanted to go abroad and because caregivers were in demand during that time, all of us were so eager to get an authentic caregiver certification and even if most of us were registered nurses, having the title alone was not enough to grant us access to go to Canada unless we were certified to have attended a 6 month training required then by the Canadian government. 

The training consisted of studying the culture and traditions of Canada, basics of nursing, behavioral science, nutrition and cooking. We had also training conducted by trainers from Red Cross about First Aid, Basic Life Support and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. Although it was kind of basics to us especially attendees from the allied medical fields, we relearned it again and I thought we became even more knowledgeable and skilled.

I was one of those attendees who was kind of very active and became friends with the management especially the Vice President of the company. She was one of our professors too in one of the subjects in social norms. And in one occasion she asked if anybody is willing to teach the nursing subject. She asked me if I am willing to do that. I was still employed then as a company nurse and I tried to fit in this training after work at 5pm to 10pm including travel time.  I said I will think about it and the next day I was sure I can do the job.

It was amazing, I thought I finally found my calling. I did it with ease and it was like I was already doing it for a long time. Modesty aside, I was not an amateur when it comes to facing an audience. I was exposed to that when I had my “small stint” in my singing career. :)  I did also a lot of hosting in company events and programs such as Christmas party and the likes. Eventually they offered me the job to be the secretary to the VP. I considered the salary I will get because teaching was paid per hour and combining it with the position as secretary will be way better than what I was getting from my present job. So I handed in my resignation at the other company where I worked for more than 4 years as a company nurse. And I never regretted that day.

Teaching connotes different meanings, please see this link (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Teach)
One of them is “ to impart knowledge and skills to..” And I was just doing that, sharing my knowledge and skills in the area of my expertise. I was able to convey to the seminar attendees the importance of what I teach and how they can use it to their advantage. I was able to impart to them experiences related to the topics we were learning and most importantly I have given them a piece of myself because for me this profession also involves feelings and emotions to engage the students or audience and get their attention to participate so that it will make an impact in the hearts and minds of both the giver and the receiver. I consider it a collaboration of different minds in a setting where everyone benefits from one another.

My first encounter with this profession didn’t last that long. I had the privilege of doing it for more than a year and it was a great experience and a success. The evaluations I received from my colleagues, my boss and the professional students were proofs that I did my best in that category. It was something that reminded me that I was born to do that in one way or another in the future. And it did. :) (more on that in the remaining 2 series)

Is there life after my first encounter in teaching? ABSOLUTELY. I didn’t end up going to Canada (but instead Taipei, Taiwan which will be told in my future blogs)  even if I graduated from the course and was given a certification but it brought me the realization and the fact that I am destined to be doing that in the next years to come.