on teaching

I used to teach. Back in around 2003 and 2004, I taught a couple of classes of Art Appreciation, Philippine Literature in English, and World Literature at the college level in my alma mater. I only taught Art Appreciation because it was a subject under the Literature department La Salle dissolved the Humanities department when they lost a significant amount of Humanities majors. Most of the new hires ended up teaching Art Appreciation and I knew art, but at the time didn’t feel comfortable teaching it. But there was a textbook I could follow and I did extra reading to prepare myself.


Photo taken by Mikkli Jorge at No Box Transitions, when I gave a poetry workshop

I loved teaching. I’d like to think I was good at it. Despite not taking attendance and giving all my quizzes as essays that they could take home and submit to my pigeon box at the department meant that I could get rid of any one from the class who didn’t want to be there. They could still pass if they read the work and wrote their essays. I wanted to discuss the work in class and the last thing I needed were people sitting around uninterested. I didn’t want to waste anybody’s time.

Despite these rules, I always had perfect attendance with a lot of sit ins and some students even asked permission if they couldn’t attend the next class. It felt really nice to know that people wanted to take my class. I wasn’t even teaching a major subject.

I believe the entirety of an artist’s work is to share. I find it so intrinsic to the practice of art. And that’s why I love teaching because it’s almost like a more potent form of it. And when I teach, I end up hearing so many new points-of-views that my own experiences are enriched. I ended up learning too. I got better at what I do because I end up revisiting what I know and having to articulate it. I find teaching such an important practice as an artist.

And I am going to be doing it again this year. I’ve applied to three schools who have all asked for me to be a part of their faculty and one of them has pushed through. I’m going to be teaching this year and I’ll be teaching film this time round.

And just recently, I’ve also been tapped by a company to give writing improvement courses to their digital marketing content writers. They asked me to create a twice-a-month 2-hour session training module for them and that will be starting this month as well.

It’s the kind of job that I like to do because if I schedule it well, I don’t have to work everyday. Just once a week and still get a regular monthly paycheck that gives me a sense of stability. It is also still geared towards art and film and writing. It is fulfilling. And it allows me to still have enough time to have a life and to write for publications and my films.

It’s the perfect “day job” for me.

And it’s happening.

I’m so fucking excited for this.


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