When I Left That School (3)

(3rd of 5 parts)

“Do you think you can find a better school?”

That was my mother. She added, “Leaving that school was like letting go of a very stable job to face the uncertainties of finding a new one.”

When she told me those things, it became apparent that my wife asked her to convince me not to resign. In that moment I recalled what I had once read – “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” I never doubted my chances of finding another job should I really decide to leave.

I had to explain the situation to my mother and at the end made this request – “Just pray for me mother dear.”

I revisited my career path. I looked at the different directions I set seemingly so long before.

It’s clear that the opportunity for the realization of my dream to have my own school had not come knocking yet. So I thought of building a door where opportunity could knock. I thought it was time for me to consider working as an English teacher overseas so I could earn more and save money for my dream.

Thus, I set my mind on pursuing a teaching career abroad. I was told that it would be easier for me to be employed as an English teacher overseas if I was certified in “Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).” I searched the Internet for institutions that offered TESOL training and started looking for job openings for ESL teachers abroad.

My search for ESL jobs abroad validated what my friends had been telling me all along – that most schools abroad, particularly in Japan and South Korea, hired only native English speakers as teachers. But I knew that there were also Filipinos teaching English in the aforementioned countries. If they got hired, I thought I would also have a chance to get hired.

I got the information I needed for the TESOL training I was planning, and a bonus – I saw the advertisement that had been posted by a city college searching for a College Dean. I had the necessary educational qualifications and experience for the position, so I took the plunge. The college was run by a city government which meant that should I get hired I would become a part of the public school system. Not a bad idea considering the fact that private school teachers were starting to flock to government schools because salaries and benefits in public schools were beginning to get better. Public schools offer teachers better opportunities and a more secured future. My plan A was now to find ESL positions abroad with plan B being to find administrative positions in other colleges or universities. It seemed plan B was shaping up.

I happened to be on the dance floor when an opportunity was looking for a dance partner. I offered my hand.

While pursuing my application to that city college, I enrolled for a 120-hour TESOL training program.

“You are resigning from your present job then you will be spending money for that training?”

My wife again! I just nodded in response. I knew what she was trying to drive at. She wanted us to save money. After all, if I was really quitting my job just how sure was I that I could immediately find my next source of income? My wife knew however, that even if she disagreed with my plans I would still push through with them.

I enrolled for the TESOL-certification program. I also applied on-line for ESL jobs in South Korea, Indonesia and the Middle East. Then I was invited by the city college and two prospective employers from the Middle East for an interview, all of those in the same week. All these opportunities presented themselves while I was still finalizing my decision to cut ties with the school headed by the religious order.

Bright lights lit up the directions I had paved for my prospective career paths. It was very clear. If I decided to leave, I could either work as a teacher overseas (plan A) or be the College Dean in the city college (plan B). But what if I failed in all three interviews? Should I opt to forego of my plans to resign?

NEXT: “Is your decision final?”


Teacher-Writer-Lifelong Learner M, A, and D are the initials of my two first names (Massuline and Antonio) and my mother's family name (Dupaya). Ligaya (a Filipino word which means happiness in English) is my family name. MAD is actually one of my nicknames aside from Tony and Ching. My full name is Massuline Antonio Dupaya Ligaya. Many times I was asked the question "Why do you write?" I don't write for material rewards nor adulation. When I write poems, stories, and essays, when I do research, the process of creating them gives me immense joy and seeing them completed brings me great satisfaction. I don't write for cash incentives, "likes," and "praises." I would be thankful should I get those but the happiness and sense of fulfillment I get while doing them and completing my works are my real rewards. Is teaching difficult? No! When I teach, I don't work but I play. My educational philosophy - "The classroom is my playground, the students are my playmates, and the subject is our toy." I am a lifelong learner too. My daily goal is to be better than I was yesterday. It's difficult, but it's worth the try. It's not for what I get from doing it but for what I become. Proud to be me! Proud to be a FILIPINO! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Posted on March 15, 2021, in Career Crossroads, Decision Making, Making Firm Decisions and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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