Up Close and Personal: Mr. Jose Gatino M. Nacario

1. How long have you been teaching? What is your greatest achievement as a teacher?
Ans. I’ve been teaching for almost 15 years now. 13 years as a grade school teacher and 2 years as college instructor. With quite a number of years in the teaching profession, I already had numerous achievements, personally and professionally. Professionally, I was able to finish my master’s degree, 6 units in another masters program and 9 doctoral units. Personally, I’ve been invited to be resource persons in the field of dance and MAPEH teaching. The latest was an invitation to be a Resource Speaker in MAPEH Area by Vibal Publishing House at Tacloban City, Northern Leyte. Aside from that, at present, I am an active officer of the Phil. Folk Dance Society, Cebu Chapter. As a Grade School teacher, I was able to produce 3 Outstanding Boy Scouts of Cebu City, 1 champion in the field of Visual art, a Volleyball champion in the Palarong Pambansa and the brainchild of the Josenian Graders Cultural Troupe, which brings numerous honors and recognition to the Grade School Department, of course with the support of the Principal, Mrs. Pura S. Wagas. Now that I am in the College of Education, directing the Mr. And Ms. COE 2007 and choreographing the College Palabas presentation, which landed 2nd place, are my achievements so far.

2. What are the joys in teaching?
Ans. A lot. The respect I get from students, co-teachers, heads and parents. Also, seeing my students appreciating my effort and concern, it makes my day burden-free despite the many preparations and demands. The tremendous gratitude I receive as students look back and consider me a very influential person makes me happy, too. Lastly, it is my joy as well when direct heads acknowledge my effort towards the good of the department and the college.

3. Are there times that you feel like giving up your profession?
Ans. Human as we are, there were really times that I felt teaching was already a routine. It was on my 12th year as a Grade School teacher. Assignments, tasks and preparations were no longer an inspiration; instead, things were becoming a boring routine. It was then that I hurriedly took extra time to finish my master’s degree because I wanted to transfer to a more challenging work place. I am just glad that my energy and my desire to share my craft are revived, now that I am in the College of Education.
4. What were the problems that you encounter?
Ans. Problems are always there in order to make us realize and learn from unhappy experiences. In teaching I encountered a lot of them. Notable is how I manage personal demands from work pressures. Another is maintaining my enthusiasm and energy level in front of my class all the time. Students also are a problem especially those who don’t give their parents what is due them. Another thing is, how to manage
my composure in times when my actions are misinterpreted and how to settle issues without being accused of partiality. Unfortunately I encountered all of them and more to come, but with my number of years in the teaching profession, I’m ready for whatever challenges that will put me to test.

5. What motivates you to continue teaching?
Ans. I am married to my profession; it’s a manifestation that I’m happy with my status right now. Aside from my Preschool and MAPEH major students, Dr. Ang, Dr. Bayani, Dr. Verano, and Mrs. Tapere are my inspirations. Our oneness motivates me to be very creative in all my tasks in the College of Education.

6. What do you think are the factors why the quality of education is declining?
Ans. The system is well planned; the programs are well prepared in order to develop individuals holistically. The decline is not due to the system and the programs but how the system is governed, run and actualized. Therefore, it is the PEOPLE that contribute to the decline. Selfishness, personal interests, crab mentality, poor dedication, and lack of concern among educators, which are observed by students, and other members of the society. Thus, making teaching as a profession less attractive to high school students. Resulting to more below average high school performers enrolling in education. Making the course the last recourse.

7. What advice can you give to the future educators?
Ans. You are very privileged to have pursued college education. Therefore, don’t waste the privilege you have in your hand. Study well. Moreover, always remember, too much of something is bad, therefore put everything in place. Let us not be part of the PEOPLE that contribute to the declining situation of our education. Strive hard; always carry with you the spirit of professionalism. Always be reminded of the saying printed in the key chain prepared by teacher Mardy as souvenir during the alumni homecoming of USJR Educators that reads, “I am a Josenian Educator, I hold the key to a better future.”

8. What is the greatest reward in teaching?
Ans. The sense of fulfillment and the many unexpected gifts, like the gift of friendship and connections, the gift of opportunities, and the gift of recognitions and appreciations. The monetary aspects will just follow without you knowing it. That makes teaching very rewarding.

9. Can you cite your most unforgettable experience as a teacher?
Ans. Wow, let me think of one that is worth sharing. Ah! It was during my 23rd birthday when my Grade 6 advisory class surprised me of a birthday blow out. Of course with the idea in mind that there were a couple of parents who were behind the planning. I entered the room with a lechon in the front table and other foods to share. What surprised me more was when I saw my blown-out picture in the birthday cake they prepared from Goldilocks. All the teachers were invited and were entertained by a series of presentations and candid messages from the pupils. I owe this to Mrs. Oral, a parent who is behind everything. The story doesn’t end there. Two weeks later when I went to Gaisano Fiesta Mall to shop for Christmas Eve celebration, I stood for a while in front of Goldilocks stall when I noticed all the crew staring at me with a question in mind. Finally they dared to ask, “Sir ikaw si Sir Nacario sa USJR?” “Yeah!” (“Are you Mr. Nacario of USJR?”)I replied. “Da siya lagi gyud. Maayo ug boutan diay ka sir no?” (See, he is indeed. They say your kind and goodhearted.”)They asked. “Ngano naka sulti man ka ana?”(“Whydid you say so?”) I humbly asked in return. The crew responded. “Ingun man tong mga mama ug mga studyante diri nga nagpabuhat sa cake para sa imu birthday.” (That is what the parents and pupils said when they ordered a cake for your birthday.”) After listening, I took a deep breath because I thought they would continue by saying. “Dili man diay ka gwapo sa personal sir, sa picture ra man diay.” (“We thought you’re handsome in person, but its totally not.”) Hahaha…isn’t it worth sharing?

10. What is that very unique asset in you, which your student still does not know?
Ans. I think I have already shown my all. I’m a person controlled by the right side of the brain that is I’m inclined into visual and performing arts. But I guess I haven’t revealed yet that I’m also a stage actor. In fact, I played the role of Don Quixote in a Musicale play, Man of La Mancha, directed by Daisy Baad under Pundok Entablado productions of the Cebu Arts Council. Although it was already 8 years ago, but still it was an experience worth reminiscing. Want to know why? Sheryn Regis was part of the cast but was only a supporting actress with 1 song to sing, while I took the lead role with 7 songs to sing in the entire 2-hour musicale play. Ask if I will still do another stage acting in the future? I think I would prefer to direct a big production rather than be a plain actor. It is more challenging.