Once a teacher, always a teacher! That seems to the motto in life of Harold Dauates, a former teacher who still continues to teach at home despite being disabled. His body is bent over due to dystonia, yet he smiles as he happily teaches his nephews and nieces, helping them with their lessons for distance learning.
Sir Harold used to be a Math teacher at Malandag National High School in Malungon, Sarangani province in southern Philippines.
His students describe him as a cheerful teacher who is always smiling and who loved to make his class laugh. Surely, he made Math easy and fun for his students! It is clear that Sir Harold loves being a teacher and is dedicated in helping his students learn as best as he could.
After suffering from a mild stroke in 2012, Sir Harold began to experience symptoms of dystonia. The doctors believe that his condition is connected with the mild stroke he experienced.
The muscles in his body began to twitch and move, eventually pulling his body into an awkward posture. He has a hard time walking as his legs became lame. Even sitting properly can be a struggle for the former teacher.
As his condition worsened, his speech was also affected and he could no longer walk. By 2014, he was forced to retire because he could no longer go to school and teach his beloved students. This must have been a huge blow for the dedicated teacher.
For many years, he had to stay at home and dream of becoming better so he could teach again. However, dystonia currently has no cure. Medicines and physical therapy can help minimize its effects.
Sir Harold probably felt sad that he could no longer teach. Recently, his wish came true a bit as he is now able to teach at home, thanks to the distance learning system implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd).
Though Sir Harold is not back as public school teacher, he continues to teach at home to help his sister’s children with their lessons. Also a public school teacher, Cathy Cataluna has to go out most of the day to work on her lessons and attend to her students. But Sir Harold is happy to be the one to teach her kids – and they actually understand him.
“Kahit may speech problem na siya, nagkakaintindihan sila ng mga anak ko dahil lagi naman silang nag-uusap,” Ma’am Cathy shared.
“Magaling si Kuya Harold sa kahit anong subject. Sa katunayan, pati sa research ko, tinutulungan niya ako. Hindi naman kasi apektado ang kanyang pag-iisip.”
Kudos to Sir Harold for still being a teacher despite his disability…