Roy Tolentino: Seeing Students Grow

Roy Tolentino: Seeing Students Grow

Pau Era and Judy Sy interviewed Philosophy Professor Roy Tolentino for Teachers’ Appreciation Week.

Judy Sy (JS): Bakit niyo pong napili maging propesor?

Roy Tolentino (RT): Naisipan kong maging guro dahil nga naranasan ko ang kapangyarihan ng isang guro. I was taught well. I was blessed to be taught by many great teachers that inspired me to pursue a life and career like they did.

Pau Era (PE): Ano po ang pinaka-memorable na experience niyo sa loob ng classroom?

RT: It depends. Every year is different, and every section is different. I think, with every class, they have their own memory, and I also have my own memory. One important memory I have would be when I had to process with my students the death of someone in the university, and I learned a lot from my students then, talking about the passing of this person,  talking about their gift, talking about what happened. I think that time meant more to us that it could have been if we just talked about normal lessons.

JS: Who inspired you to become a teacher?

RT: As I said, I’ve been blessed to have many great teachers in Ateneo Grade School and Ateneo High School, but I think the two equal two would be the most influential for me would be Dr. Onofre Pagsanjan from Ateneo High School and Fr. Roque Ferriols in college.

PE: What do you do when you’re not teaching?

RT: What do I do when I’m not teaching? When I’m not in the classroom, I’m here in the department doing other work. For leisure, I like to read and watch TV shows with my wife. We also enjoy housework. [Others] might find that strange, but we actually enjoy doing housework and doing groceries.

JS: What do you love most about teaching?

RT: What I love most about teaching is witnessing the transformation that occurs with my students, especially for PH101 to PH102. It’s really a year-long process. I get to see them grow so that by the time we get to the end of the school year, they’ve learned to think. They’ve discovered their own capacity for thought and reflection; and they surprise me with what they are able to do and how they are able to reflect on their life and experience. That for me is a great blessing for being a teacher.

PE: What is the one thing you want all your students to learn?

RT: I want my students to learn a sense of wonder at the world and at life, at the human experience. I also want them to learn a sense of humility because as rich as this experience is, as wonderful as this experience is, you really cannot appreciate it enough.

JS: Kung hindi kayo propesor ngayon, ano pong gagawin ninyo na trabaho or ‘yung gusto niyo?

RT: Kung hindi ako guro, iyong gagawin ko… Naisip ko na dati, gusto kong maging may-ari ng bookstore/café. Gawin ko ‘yung dalawang bagay na paborito ko, mga libro tsaka kape.

PE: Naisip niyo bang magtayo ng ganoon sa sideline?

RT: Ah well, tingnan natin kung may pondo.

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