What teachers want you to know

Queena Lee-Chua wrote an interesting column on what teachers expect you to know before you start school. No, they’re not you’re typical, “Study hard, don’t cram” type of answers. After more than a year of school, I now understand how Queena feels. I also want to teach someday. Who does not want to pass on the knowledge you’ve acquired throughout the years?

I don’t want to sound too glum. It is a daunting task to challenge today’s students exposed to a lot of information. Instead of books or the library, they turn to the Internet for information. Not that that’s not a good way of starting a research. The best way actually to start a research is to ask your teacher where to look. It’s not a taboo to consult your teacher when you have burning questions. They love you asking questions because that tells them you’re really serious about learning and you’re not afraid to ask.

Remember the saying, “Ask and it shall be given to you?” Sometimes it works, you know. 😉


When I ask my students: “How can you make the most of school?” they dutifully recite stock answers: Study hard. Come to school prepared. Do not cram. Avoid cheating. Better behave in class, or else.

I agree with everything, except the last one. I would rather have a class of lively students who challenge everyone with insights, rather than a group of silent automatons who regurgitate everything I say.

That said, my students have missed important points. Study hard, yes, but study wisely, too. Come to school prepared, not just with materials, but also with SMART goals. Do not cram, so make sure to master the basics beforehand. Avoid cheating, certainly, but outside of exams, never be afraid to ask for help.

Published by

Erwin Oliva

Putting a dent on the universe one day at a time