Those who take on the role of an educator know that their responsibilities go beyond giving quality education in the four walls of a classrom — students also look up to them as role models, mentors, and protectors. It may be tough, but there are dedicated teachers who are willing to step up to the plate and take on the challenge, just like Nick Alconis, a public school teacher from Peñarrubia, Abra.
Nick’s dream was to become a teacher. But for someone who was born with polio disease, the journey was not easy. (Learn more about the disease here.) The illness affected his right arm and growing up, he would often hear mean comments and be bullied by his peers. “Masakit isipin, pero na-realize ko baka merong mas magandang dahilan ang Diyos para sa’kin,” he shares in an interview with Summit Videos.
But he did not let his disability stop him from pursuing his dreams. It instead became fuel for him to reach his goal: Nick studied hard to graduate with a degree in Education. He also volunteered as a local government unit teacher, a kinder teacher, and an ALS (Alternative Learning System) teacher to accumulate enough experience and apply under the Department of Education. And after years of hard work, Nick became an adviser for grade 5 and 6 students at Sta. Rosa Elementary School in Peñarrubia.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and they were asked to shift to modular learning, Nick started thinking of ways to motivate his students to continue with their classes. He and his fellow teachers then came up with the idea of creating learning corners at home for their students.
PHOTO Courtesy of Nick Alconis
“Ang gusto ko po ay mabigyan sila ng wastong lugar para makapag-aral ng mabuti,” he tells Summit Videos. “Kaya naisip naming na magkaroon sila ng learning corner sa loob ng kanilang bahay. Para maramdaman nila na… kahit wala sila sa paaralan, maramdaman nila na nasa loob pa rin sila ng classroom at hindi mawawala ang kanilang pananabik sa pag-aaral.”
Watch Teacher Nick’s heartwarming video below and find out how you can help the #HeroTeacher campaign and support his initiative.
Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) teams up with Smart Parenting to shine a spotlight on teachers who go the extra mile. For every #HeroTeacher featured in Smart Parenting #eskwela2020 video series, GBF pledges P15,000 donation in kind.
This story originally appeared on SmartParenting.com.ph. Minor edits have been made by Gokongwei Brothers Foundation.