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Sir, Coach, Tatay

Tatay Dindo 1

Lester Tabada talks about how a talented and passionate teacher taught his students and trained his athletes, and why he deserves to be called the best teacher in the world.

Tatay Dindo 1

Many kids claim that their father is the Best Dad in the World. However in my father’s case I am not really sure if I can give him that title. He spends more time with other kids than us, his children. My father is a very talented man and this is his story.

Tatay Dindo, is a public elementary school teacher in our hometown. He teaches arts, physical education, agriculture and various shop classes. It’s always an exciting class when Sir Dindo is around because he has a good sense of humor and he doesn’t hold back on sharing his wisdoms. Sir Tatay loves to get our hands dirty in the garden rather than let us learn through books. And during art classes he is a maestro who draws and paints not to impress but to inspire us to be creative and be happy with what we are doing.

After classes, instead of going home to drink coffee he stays to train twelve boys on how to play baseball. He was my very first coach in sports and probably the best I’ve had. According to Coach Tatay it is an exciting game that balances strength, skill and mental toughness. No wonder for more than two decades, he still trains his players in a high level that demands us to be strong, smart and fair. We used to wake up early in the morning to jog and do exercises, the same goes in the afternoon after school and on weekends. Nowadays, whenever my former teammates and I get together, we sometimes thought how fortunate we were to have Coach Tatay who trained us hard not to win games but to enjoy playing with heart and sportsmanship.

Much has been said about Tatay as a great teacher, artist and coach but not everybody know about his humble beginnings. He was raised from a poor family of eleven children and at six he lost his mother. He spent most of his childhood and teenage years working odd jobs to support his studies. Tatay could have easily become a tambay who smokes, gambles and drinks the rest of his life. But he did not. He knew better. He always tells us siblings that when he saw our mother for the very first time (she was already a teacher), he figured out that his future kids deserve a good life and his future pupils deserve a good teacher who can teach them about sacrifice, hard work and the values in reaching their dreams.

Many kids claim that their father is the Best Dad in the World. But for me, I don’t have to claim that recognition, he already is. He is always there for us in time of needs and taught us valuable lessons in life. He gave us a beautiful home, education and a better life. But what makes me so proud of him is his devotion to help the little children fulfil their dreams, even if that means spending a little extra time with his students. For that, Tatay Dindo deserves The Best Teacher in the World award.

This is an official entry to The Learning Site’s Christmas Carnival