“A good teacher explains. A great teacher inspires.”
I have been studying in Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila School for 11 years now, and to name all the teachers who had a great impact in my life would be impossible for there are just too many. From my first preschool year to high school years, I fortunately, met teachers who really helped me and molded me into who I am right now. So to all my teachers today and in my previous grades, thank you. However, if I am to write about only one of them, it will be about the teacher who was my greatest succor and mentor in writing, Mrs. Marie Grace T. Ochoa.
Mrs. Ochoa has been a long time 3rd year adviser, but as I entered Junior High School as a Grade 7 student, she welcomed me warmly as if I were already one of her students. I joined the LRMS School Publication, and although I was the only grade 7 student at that time, she never made me feel left out and even recognized me immediately. I was only beginning to love writing, but she already gave me an opportunity to improve myself; she even gave me a position in the publication as a news editor. From what I know, the first time she knew me was when I gave a speech during my graduation in 2013, and it was enough for her to decide to help me walk towards the path of improvement. Mrs. Ochoa is the type of teacher who, once she sees you have even just the slightest hint of a flair, will introduce a lot of opportunities to you and turn you into a better version of yourself.
For four years now, she’s become not only my School Publication moderator, but of other organizations as well. As I turned Grade 9, I became a part of the class of St. Bernadette where coincidentally, she was (and is still) the adviser. That’s when she had a greater impact on me. I knew then that Mrs. Ochoa was not only a teacher who opened doors of opportunities, but also the kind of adviser who was very supportive, versatile, and encouraging. As a class, we won and lost competitions, but she never showed us any hint of dismay; only words of encouragement and congratulations. As an individual, Mrs. Ochoa would always notice if one was experiencing a problem and would try to help him/her the best way she could. In the beginning, Mrs. Ochoa was known to be a terror for her strictness, but behind that mask was a caring, mother-like teacher.
This year, even though she does not teach in Grade 10, we still get to spend time with her now that she is the Supreme Student Government moderator and Speech Choir coach for this year, which are organizations that I, and other Grade 10 students, am a part of. A year has passed, but her kind psyche has not changed one bit. Mrs. Ochoa is still the teacher who always acknowledges your efforts and supports your ideas; a true exemplar of a great teacher.
Other than being an adviser and a moderator, Mrs. Ochoa is an exceptional English teacher. She teaches in a way that everyone will truly understand the lesson and if someone does not, she does not give up on that person. She makes sure that we learn, and that’s one thing some teachers of today and the past forget to do.
There is a saying that goes like this: “[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are,” and although I’ll still remember what she taught us, what Mrs. Ochoa is to me is something I’ll surely never forget. She’s the kind of teacher who is smart and capable, the kind that both explains and inspires, and the kind that can create a leader of tomorrow.
By: Ivy Sofia P. Esperanza, 10 St. Augustine