On Teachers Day 2022, I remember my teacher when I was a saling-pusà
Saling-pusà, a combination of the two words sali (to join) andpusà(cat), literally means
“cat joining in”.The term is used to refer to someone joining in an activity, despite not really being a full-fledged member of the group. It’s often used for young kids who are allowed to join older kids’ games. It’s also used for preschool kids who are accommodated in schools but are not enrolled.
I was a saling pusà in my brother’s grade one class. I didn’t attend all classes , just sat in in some of them.
It was easy for me to be accommodated because during that time, home rooms arrangement was used by our government to address the lack of classrooms. Our neighbor, our relatives, rented out their ground floor to be used as classroom. It was just across our home. I would usually just watch from our window the ongoing class when I was much younger , sometimes going near and standing outside the classroom. Until I joined as saling-pusà.
It also helped that my mother was a teacher and she knew the grade one teacher of my brother. My mother was teaching a higher class so I couldn’t sit in her class, though I remember days when she brought me along to her class.
My teacher was a stereo typical teacher, the homey, motherly, patient kind. She wore her hair in a neat bun. She wore the school uniform for teachers, gray straight skirt with a white blouse. She carried a small black bag and wore black shoes, with low heels, almost flat. She must have been around 50 years old at that time.
I remember she wrote very nice , uniform letters , very much like the sample alphabets on top of the blackboard.
I didn’t take part in the recitations nor took the quizzes. But I was supposed to behave and not disturb the class. This is probably the reason why I remember her patience. She would just tap me if I was facing a classmate seated behind me. I also don’t remember instances when she shouted at her pupils. She wasn’t intimidating yet she was able to handle her pupils well.
I did join in the writing exercises.
She was methodical and clear in teaching us the alphabet, abakada in Pilipino.
Like all primary grades teachers she was well rounded because she taught all subjects, from reading, writing,’rithmetic to music and arts.
Teachers do make a lasting impact on their pupils/students .
Thak you dear teacher for my fruitful and memorable first experience of formal school.