Five Things Every Teacher Struggles With

I’m just about about to wrap up my second year of teaching. I’m happy to say that it is still what I want to do for the rest of my life. However, just because I love it doesn’t mean it comes easy.

Like many other professions, teaching has its own set of challenges — many of which people don’t realize or truly appreciate. I certainly did not learn of these things until I got into it. Here are some of the biggest challenges that come with the job:

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The Privilege of Chasing Your Dreams

“Go and chase your dreams” is a popular piece of advice heard in many toasts, workshops, and speeches. It is also reckless and disconnected with the reality of life. 

We all aspire to be or do something extraordinary. We all want to make our own money, win a championship, or perform and live out an art. There is no shortage of dreams. There is however a lack of empathy when you fault someone for being unable to do what they are most passionate about.

Chasing your dreams is a privilege — one that many people don’t have or will ever be able to afford.

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The Mobile Apps I Use For Optimal Productivity

You are the average of the five apps you spend the most time with. Yes, it’s the wrong quote but it still makes a lot of sense!

There are millions of apps available at your disposal. Having the right ones can help you live a more productive life. Here are my favorite ones:

FOR WORK

Asana – My team just recently moved to this new project management app (RIP Wunderlist). It was a little confusing at the start but I’m learning to love it. I can see what everyone on my team is working on and how far off we are from finishing a given project.

Telegram – This is my favorite messaging platform, bar none. Download my team’s sticker pack here to immediately improve your life.

Slack – Slack rounds up the apps we use at work. It’s intuitive and very powerful. The best function for me is being able to seamlessly create channels for specific functions or projects. We’re getting the paid version soon.

FOR MONEY

Wally – When I want to feel bad about my spending habits, Wally is my guy. This is my go-to personal finance application. The functionality suits the way I like tracking numbers. I also especially like how easy it is to use and how simple the categories and breakdowns are.

PayMaya – The future of finance is online and PayMaya is leading the charge here in the Philippines. PayMaya allows you to make many financial transactions online — from shopping to paying bills. Load up your card, save up time, and watch your productivity skyrocket (while your wallet cries in Spanish)

FOR PERSONAL GOALS

Productive – This is one of my all-time favorite apps. Productive has helped me track and build good habits the last two years. It allows you to track up to 5 things on its free subscription. For example, you can track how many times in the week you read a book or went to the gym. Tracking these things can help you turn them into permanent routines.

Google Docs – Who would’ve thought Google Docs would still be saving my butt after college. I use Google Docs for all sorts of typing and note-taking. The most prominent document being my Life Tracker. I slightly sorta have a tracker of my life neatly organized and laid out on a spreadsheet. Finances, personal goals, timelines, and calendars. Yes, I have one of these things. You don’t? 

Penzu – I never thought I’d ever get into journaling yet here I am with three years worth of entries on my favorite private journal. I talk about anything and everything — from major conquests to my silly woopsies.

FOR MY DAD BOD

MyFitnessPal – I’ve dropped a significant amount of weight this year primarily through counting my calories and my macronutrients. MyFitnessPal helps me keep tabs on what I’m eating. I don’t have to think twice about that ice cream sandwich.

Nike+RunClub – I’m a frustrated athlete. I really wish I had the physical gifts to dominate a sport. However, the most I was given was a huge bum for watching sports instead. Good thing there’s this amazing app by Nike that allows me to track how great I am at doing 7-minute runs!

FOR MY PEACE OF MIND

Medium – I’ve fallen in love with writing because of this app. There are so many great articles here on every subject you can think of. When I need to understand a topic better or find rebuttals to preexisting beliefs, I turn to Medium.

Podcasts – Everyone close to me knows how much I love my podcasts. I’m happy I discovered it because my life has never been the same since. There’s no excuse now for learning something new because podcasts allow you to learn something on the go.

 

 

Why You Must Dream For Others

I wanted to share a piece of my discussion in class last Friday. I had just given them a lecture on technology and innovation. We talked about how some startup companies are changing the world as we know it.

This was the short reflection at the end of the class. This is non-verbatim since I tend to freestyle my reflections. This is how it would play out if I wrote it down!

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To The Ones Rushing Life

At 25 years old, I run my own marketing agency, teach in a university, and frequently host workshops for students and professionals. A lot of people tell me I’m doing this adulting thing really well. A lot of people compliment me on how I’ve pretty much figured out my life.

A lot of people are wrong.

I will be the first to tell you that I am not doing this adulting thing really well. I have not figured out my life. It’s flattering to know that I give off that impression but the truth is I’m clueless and very confused. I’ve never worked for an agency before. I’m just a few years removed from the classes I am now teaching to others. I’m feeling my way around almost all the time.

Many of my decisions are really driven by my gut than based from actual experience. What do you expect? I’ve never done any of this before. And that’s okay. It’s okay to not be okay.

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Life Is A Game Of Confidence

During my years in theater, we would put up plays that required a short performance between major segments. Our resident saxophonist had just graduated, leaving behind a huge hole to fill in our act. I was always enamored by the instrument so I decided to pick it up and learn it myself. I had about three months to practice my short piece.

It wasn’t as easy as I thought.

A few weeks before my debut performance and I was still unprepared for my part. The pressure of filling such a vital role in our play was getting to me. I went to our managing director’s office to ask if we could do something else instead.

What he told me that day changed my life.

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The Power of Apology

Last week, I spoke to my team about the importance of communicating with one another. We had a couple of delays that could have been avoided entirely had we managed expectations better. It was a productive session where everyone got to speak up. After everyone was done sharing, I did what many people struggle to do.

I apologized.

I recognized my role in the problem and offered to do better. It was quite a humbling experience. I’ve apologized many times for many things but it’s always still a challenge. Why? Because sorry goes beyond just words.

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