Zeina Renacia interviewed Professor Miguel Lizada and handed him the Best SOH Professor award and the Most Wanted Professor award for Teachers’ Appreciation Week 2015.
Zeina Renacia (ZR): How do you feel about winning these awards?
Miguel Lizada (ML): Of course, it feels affirming and assuring, especially since I’ve been awarded and nominated these past few years. I don’t see this as a definitive way of describing me as a teacher, but it’s an affirmation that there is something I am doing right as far as the teaching is concerned. But definitely, there are more great teachers. There are far better teachers here, and to a certain extent I share this with colleagues and more importantly, with mentors whom I modeled my teaching style after.
ZR: Do you want to say anything to your students whom voted for you?
ML: First of all, thank you for this gesture of affirmation and assurance. As I’ve said, it’s more of an assurance rather than an end-all-be-all of who I am as a teache. Not just in my case, but in all cases. Great teachers, good teachers or competent teachers only become competent because of good students, and this is not just true for me, this is true for everyone. A teacher is only as great as his weakest student, and I would like to think that it’s impossible to be a good teacher without exceptional students. It’s also an affirmation–teaching is a two-way thing. It’s a relationship. This award is just as much an award for them too. It’s really more about them, more than about me.
ZR: How does it feel to win two awards, specifically for being the “Best SOH Professor” and the “Most Wanted Professor”?
ML: Iyong “Most Wanted,” it’s cool because I think: “Naka-three-peat na ako.” It’s probably because my teaching style that my students appreciate, but “Best SOH Professor,” ewan ko lang. Ang dami sa SOH, and the Humanities is our signature–is Ateneo’s signature area. There’s no Ateneo, no Jesuit education without the liberal arts-oriented curriculum of the university. Most of our best teachers are from SOH, and a lot of them are people that I look up to. I don’t see this as an indication that I have surpassed them, but it’s really more on me doing things right because of most of my models. Most of my pegs are SOH teachers. I’d like to think that it will take me years and years to achieve what they have done, but I’d like to think that this award is a small gesture. I’d like to join or I’d like to be one of them [much, much later in life]. But right now, [I’d like to think that I haven’t joined them] yet, but thank you for this small gesture of assurance.