Catching up with Teacher Cha Cruz

Barry Viloria on Jul 30, 2015 03:13 AM
Catching up with Teacher Cha Cruz
"The best part of teaching is when you see that the kids really appreciate you and what you do for them." (Photo taken from Cha Cruz's Instagram: @chaarcruz)

We spot Philippine Super Liga Beach Volleyball poster girl Cha Cruz a little after her first match at the event opener at Sands by the Bay. She and Micmic Laborte of Cignal HD Spikers A had just succumbed to the tandem of Danika Gendrauli and Norie Diaz, 21-15, 21-13. And so she later finds her way to the fences—taking selfies with and talking cheerfully to her fans.

For the former DLSU Lady Spikers captain, there seems no reason for more disappointment. Not that she has lost her flame in the sport past her stellar collegiate career (four championships easily glittered her name in the UAAP). It’s just that she has too much on her plate now, and, for life to be much easier, she has to keep it cool despite the heavy load.

“Back in the UAAP, madali lang ang buhay. Pwede ka makipag-usap sa mga prof pag may favor ka as an athlete. Unlike in the real world, kailangan you work for your self. Hindi sila basta-basta mag-a-adjust for you. You also have to adjust for them,” she says of her “new” life.

When not playing semipro, Cha, 27, teaches. Yes, she’s now at the International School of Manila teaching English and Math among second graders. From watching over the net and looking over a team of girls, she has now expanded—keeping an eye on children and imparting knowledge in what could be their formative years. Now, it’s what excites Cha, who obviously loves kids and now practices bits of her psychology degree while on the job.

But dealing with eight to nine year-olds can be grueling, and there would be a lot of times that her students aren't as cooperative. She recalls this one particular student who wouldn’t listen to her, “then sobrang naiyak na ako kasi ayaw nyang sumunod. I just prayed. Sabi ko, ‘Lord, ikaw na bahala dito.’ So, after naman nun, umiyak sya. She came up to me and she said sorry for giving me a hard time.”

Like a true lady champ, she perseveres with firmness and understanding.

“Usually, nagmamatigas yung mga bata. When you have your rules, you really need to be strict about it. Ang mga bata kasi mga simpleng bagay hindi mo pwedeng pagbigyan. Otherwise, matututo sila. So, nagpapagalit din ako ng bata. For example, na kailangan nila magtipid ng paper and all that so they can understand the value of saving what they have.”

But, no regrets, she says. The fulfillment as a teacher is palpable.

“The best part of teaching is when you see that the kids really appreciate you and what you do for them,” she declares. “Those simple moments na na-appreciate nila and learn the simple things in life, that's really an achievement for me.”

Although, teaching children with special needs seems to be her true calling. Cha is presently finishing her Masters in special education, and hopes to practice it in the long run.

“Gusto kong itodo. After my Masters, I wanna go abroad, gain experience, and then go back here and put up a center for SpEd.

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Follow this writer on Twitter: @barrycyrus

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