by Nerikka Escario
They say that Experience is the best teacher. Well, I guess I have to say that teachers can also learn from experience. Do you want to know how?
It was my prelim examination on my third year college, when my vision started to deteriorate, and the ophthalmologist advised me to take a rest for a month. Because of that, I was not able to take my exams and I asked the help of my classmates to request my professors to give me a special examination on my behalf. I really thought that everything would be alright, but I was wrong.
It was the day of our intramurals, and I expected all of my professors have already considered giving me a special exam… except for one. Mrs. Ramos, a professor on one of my major subjects, Assessment I, refused to accommodate the consideration I requested for.
I went to her and personally asked her in a polite manner, “Ma’am, would you reconsider giving me a special exam?”
Then she answered like a wicked witch who was casting a spell on me, “Hindi Ikaw ang masusunod, ako ang teacher at estudyante ka lang!”
I was so shocked of her reaction, and I did not have a chance to defend myself. I was humiliated in front of my classmates and the only thing I did was to cry.
But because of what happened, I did not stop asking her to give me exam. I was determined to take exam, and I never got tired of pursuing her, until she would finally say yes to me.
After 4 months of convincing and chasing her, she finally gave me a special exam. That time, she approached me with kindness, and even asked apologies for what she told me and how she treated me then. She explained to me that it was her first time to handle student with disability like me, and she had no idea on how to assist me.
Through that encounter, my teacher gave me the worst yet best experience that I will never forget. In contrast, my teacher also learned a lesson from me, the awareness and the willingness to provide considerations possible to those who’s in need of it.
Remember that learning is not just for students, but for teachers as well. It should be a continuous and a two-way process to practice inclusion and also to build an harmonious classroom relationship.