Google Is Not Everything…

The Importance of Teachers

Jazmyne Faith Viloria | Maui High School, Class of 2023

On paper, a teacher is “a person who teaches, especially in a school.” This definition fails to reveal the thought behind every lesson, adoration for each student and strength in every discussion teachers implement. With a quarter of the students’ day dedicated to teachers, without a doubt, teachers hold a strong influential part in shaping students’ mindsets, habits and overall character.

Jordyn Paa
Aliyah Casayuran
John Rick Bumanglag

Instilling a growth mindset within students takes priority in Jordyn Paa’s lesson plans, Maui High School’s ACOM capstone teacher. “It’s important now more than ever to prioritize a growth mindset because all of our students have been pushed back two years due to COVID. It’s evident with what we’re teaching and how we’re teaching it.” Along with Jordyn, many teachers follow the same lesson plan in hopes of students applying it to experiences and predicaments outside of school. Aliyah Casayuran, a 12th grader, has grown to appreciate, “Teachers consistently remind me always to keep a positive mindset even if I’m stressed, frustrated, or overwhelmed.” She explains her teachers “remind me that hard work always pays off in the future. Behind every achievement, there’s always obstacles that we, as students, encounter.” John Rick Bumanglag, an 11th grader, expresses his teacher’s guidance as “Beyond just academics. Teachers have always found ways to guide me through peaks and valleys, celebrating triumphs and helping me through vulnerability.”

Sharmaine Butay

With the teacher’s optimistic encouragement, some students were drawn astray from their usual. “I was introduced to many teachers who challenged me out of my comfort zone. I had to be loud, try new things, and work with more people than I was used to,” reflected Jhanessty Vaye Bautista, an 11th grader. Other than encouraging students to take on new challenges, teachers redefine past experiences. In other words, students have a new approach to daunting tasks, “Whether it’s homework, senior project or that I need some advice from a mature perspective, I can count on the teachers I’ve built a relationship with to help me,” shared Sharmaine Butay, a 12th grader, who said outlooks ingrained by teachers will always have precedent within students’ minds. “Even though I may not be in their class anymore, their words and advice will stick with me.”

“I can relate to them and what they’re going through, so I always check in on them because I genuinely care about how they’re doing. When you establish that relationship with your students, the trust begins to be reciprocated. It makes class a much more enjoyable place to be,” Paa reveals. Teachers have become a pillar of strength and guidance for students, offering their free time, advice and care which leads most students to develop a “family connection” with their teachers. Sharmaine appreciates “being able to come and talk to my teachers when I need help. A lot of my teachers are very welcoming and provide a good support system when I need one.” Along with Sharmaine, Jhanesty formed a cultural connection through her high school teachers, “Weirdly enough, growing up, I wasn’t surrounded by many teachers that had the same culture as me. I grew forgetful and out of touch with my culture. However, as I entered my Junior year, some friends and I restarted our Filipino Club, wanting to learn and share our culture with ourselves and others.” Jhanesty has grown to be grateful and appreciative of the extra effort her teachers offered “through teaching us about the languages, suggesting different topics that needed to be touched on, and so much more. Overall, they’ve inspired me to be more accepting of the culture I was absent in, give some love back to it and truly embrace it.”

Connecting a real-world situation to a classroom discussion, giving pieces of insight and wisdom and guiding students to connect with their cultural backgrounds are only a few instances of their impact on students. The dictionary may have failed to define the overall influence of teachers. The outcome of students’ mindsets, work effort, and future doings, however, is evident in the importance of teachers.

Google® Is Not Everything is a monthly column authored by high school students. The title of the column emphasizes education is more than just googling a topic. Google® is a registered trademark. This month’s guest columnist is Jazmyne Faith Viloria, a Senior at Maui High School. She is a member of SaberScribes (Maui High’s journalism club), Historian of the Video Club and Team Captain of Blue Thunder, Maui High’s Robotics club. Jazmyne is in the ACOM Pathway at Maui High, focusing on videography and photography. In her free time, she sews and refashions old clothes, journals, edits photos/videos and loves to analyze lyrics in songs. She is the daughter of Ruth Sagisi and Rudy Viloria.