Even before the pandemic happened, we’ve already heard of remarkable teachers — the unsung heroes of this generation — who go beyond their duties to ensure students continue learning despite the different struggles they face. Now that we’re in the new normal, our educators face even harder challenges.
Some of those challenges include going to remote areas without any mobile network signal and trying to convince parents to still send their children to school. Luckily, you have dedicated teachers like Michelle Ursabia, who willingly travel more than 37 kilometers and trek mountains, just to reach her students.
Teacher Michelle Ursabia (far right in right photo) travels 37 kilometers to reach her students. PHOTO Courtesy of Michelle Ursabia
Michelle heads Viva Antipolo Elementary School in San Francisco, Quezon. Recently, she went viral on social media after she shared the difficult journey that she and her co-teachers make daily to reach their students. She started going from house to house, even hiking up mountains, in a bid to educate parents about distance learning, and how children can still continue with their classes even without being physically present in school.
“Sobrang hirap sa amin na puntahan sila, [pero] ayaw po kasi naming may maiwan sa kanila,” the teacher shares in an interview with Summit Videos. “Kaya po kahit July na [noon], paspasan pa rin po kami na magpunta sa mga bahay-bahay para ma-enroll po namin sila.”
She adds, “Kasi parang nagui-guilty po kami kapag hindi namin sila napuntahan kasi baka sabihin nila, ‘Bakit kami, hindi kami pinuntahan ni ma’am, siguro hindi na nila kami mahal.”
Michelle admits that she treats her students like her own children. Many of them come from broken families, which is why she acts like their mother, sister, and family member. Despite the hardship that she faces as a teacher — overworked with little pay — she still does her best to give them quality education.
PHOTO Courtesy of Michelle Ursabia
By sharing her story, Michelle hopes to encourage students to continue learning despite the difficulties and to make them appreciate their teachers even more.
“Gusto ko pong marealize ng mga estudyante na ‘yung pagmamahal naming sa kanila, hindi mapapantayan. Hindi kami magtatagal sa propesyong ito kung dahil lang sa pera,” Michelle says. “’Yung hirap at pagod, ‘yung oras na inilaan naming sa kanila hindi nababayaran.”
Watch Teacher Michelle’s heartwarming video below and find out how you can help the #HeroTeacher campaign and support her 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.