(Photo from Benjardlyn Paala)

Seeing her mother’s connection to children in a classroom sparked a dream in Benjardlyn Paala to also aspire to the same bond. That dream led her to rank ninth in the recent licensure examination for teachers (LET).

She had already set her goal to achieve a spot in the top 10 of the examination, but was clouded by doubts after the exam proper due to the difficulty of the questions.

“Biggest inspiration ko ay ang mother ko dahil elementary teacher din siya, growing up ay na-witness ko yong profession niya. And her interaction with her students. I was inspired by her relationship with her students. Yong way ng pag-connect niya sa mga bata, gusto ko rin maranasan iyon,” she said.

Having supportive parents and a circle of friends with the same goal for the LET made it easier for her to focus and prepare herself for the examination.

(Photo from Benjardlyn Paala)

Even though she graduated with Latin honors, she believed that being a topnotcher would help her land a good job in the future. And this achievement is not just for herself alone but is also dedicated to her parents, who worked hard for her education as the youngest of the four.

“Feeling ko nasa disadvantage ako though may latin honor ako pero kulang pa rin para magkaroon ako ng magandang trabaho,” she said, explaining why she aspired to be a topnotcher.

After passing the LET, she plans to apply to the Laboratory Elementary School of Palawan State University and pursue a master’s degree. At 23, her review center also offered her a position as a lecturer for local examinees.

(Photo from Benjardlyn Paala)

As a new breed of educator, she believes that government support must be strengthened, particularly in public schools. Having complete facilities for student learning could help produce quality students in the future, she said.

In the future, she wants to be the kind of teacher who has a good relationship with her students and serves as a role model for them to look up to.

The achievement she celebrates today wasn’t accomplished overnight and was the combined result of all her efforts and sacrifices. The most important thing she wants other aspiring teachers to learn is to understand their reasons for choosing the teaching path.

Questioning your decisions once you enter the program is inevitable, but your reasons and inspiration will help you complete the degree, she added.

(Photo from Benjardlyn Paala)

“Bago mo i-enter ang program, dapat meron kang sound reason kung bakit iyan ang ipu-pursue mo na course. Kasi all throughout your college days, yan ang babalik-balikan mo talaga, dahilan kung bakit mo kinuha kasi hindi magiging madali,” she said.

Paala is part of the 92.05 percent passing rate of PSU in the March 2023 LET for first-time takers in the elementary level. The university recorded a 76.58 percent passing rate, which is higher than the national passing rate of 40.76 percent.

Meanwhile, PSU recorded an 80.66 percent passing rate for first-time takers in the secondary level. The university’s overall passing rate is 47.70 percent, which surpasses the national passing rate of 46.94 percent.