CLASS RECORD: Marvin’s mother seeks intervention PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 July 2014 11:47

BY Christine Y. Guinacaran


I was finishing my breakfast when my cell phone rang. It was the mother of one of my students.  “ Ma’am, Marvin is having tantrums here in the house, and he no longer likes to go to school.”

I did not know what to say, because early in the morning, teachers don’t think about other people’s kids yet.  Most of us are busy nagging our procrastinating children who would surely make us late for school.

I was looking at my boy who was just staring at the floor instead of putting on his shoes, and I was also annoyed with my daughter for misplacing her project at this crucial time of the day.

“I am trying to force him to go to school, but my husband tells me to just leave him alone”, continued the panicking voice over the phone.

I signaled threateningly at my son to put on his shoes already, lest...Time was running, and there were many other things to do.

“ I’ll go see him after the first period.” I promised, as I glared at my daughter who was blaming everybody for the missing project.

And when at last I was calmly driving to school, with the lost project already found just under my daughter’s bag, and the shoes finally on my son’s feet, I thought about Marvin.

The other day, he had epilepsy attack in class.  Accordingly, some classmates were teasing him “Babuy-babuy” and for that reason, he no longer liked to attend class.

“The bullies better watch out”, I thought to myself, thinking what punishments to give them.  And promptly after my first class, I hied the three identified bullies to the guidance office.

On the way there, one boy related that Marvin always taunted him about his scar on the forehead, saying that it looked like a river to a nearby barangay. Another also complained that Marvin said that his shoes looked as though it was just lent to him by his grandfather, and to another boy, that his head looked like a coconut.

And I realized they were just bantering with one another and no one was intentionally bullying another.  So I told them to go back to the room and that next time leave the epilepsy issue alone because it was unkind to Marvin.

So with a guidance counsellor, I visited Marvin and there he was, comfortably lying on the couch watching cartoons without a care in the world. The guidance counsellor admonished him not to waste time in his studies because we were already following the K-12 system.  It was no longer four years in high school, but six.

The parents told him to promise us that he would never be absent again unless he was very sick. He did, and we went back to school without a doubt that Marvin would be present the following day.  But it did not happen.  He did not go the following day, for whatever reason, I was too exasperated with him to find out.

After that, he was already ashamed to go to school that he requested his mother to ask me if he could still attend.  “ If he wants to”, I replied.   I did not like to sound too eager.  He should already practice deciding wisely especially with his studies.

Now Marvin, by his own volition, is back to school, with the classmates he considered bullies already his friends.