Jasmine Yiu interviewed Mr. John Lagdameo, a professor from the Marketing and Law Department for Teachers’ Appreciation Week 2016.
Jasmine Yiu (JY): What inspired you to become a professor of the Ateneo?
John Lagdameo (JL): I come from a family of teachers: my lolo was the dean of Ateneo Law School; my mom was the dean of Assumption College; [and] my dad had always been teaching, but not formally in a university. I guess it’s in our blood. I think the question shouldn’t be, “What inspired you?” Rather, [it] should be: “What continues to inspire you?” [To that,] I would just say [that] it’s you guys. When I see that there’s progress, joy and happiness in the subjects that I teach [and] students appreciate the learning, those—the small things—are what continues to inspire us teachers.
JY: What do you like most about teaching?
JL: Teaching is two-way. The subject matter can be static, but whenever you teach something, even if it’s just the same subject matter, it’s still learning. And I guess what I like about teaching is [the] learning [aspect to it]. I can teach the same subject matter, but everyone’s reactions are different. That’s what makes it interesting. I like talking to people—that’s one. Second are the little things like hearing, “Sir, thank you for the class.” That’s the happy part. Of course, I also become happy when [students] get good scores in the exams—that’s a given. The other nice thing is when [students] challenge me whenever there’s an intellectual debate on certain issues [because] that shows that you are thinking.
JY: Through what and how you teach, what do you wish your students to become knowing what you’ve imparted to them?
JL: I want them to stand on their own two feet one day.
JY: If there is one advice you can give your students, what would it be?
JL: Treat others with love and respect, whether you like them or you don’t. Other people emphasize their dignity.
JY: What is the most important thing you have learned from your students?
JL: Humility. Teachers always come in and, maybe because of the age gap, think like, “Guys, listen to me because I’m the one who knows everything.” But as I said, that’s not always the case. Most of my learning comes from teaching [and] from the students. Actually, it’s the students who make the teacher; it’s not the teacher who makes the students. I am [who] I am maybe because of my background and culture, but [more importantly,] I am [who] I am because of the students being there.
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