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I’m A High School Teacher, And I Make P20,000 A Month

‘Every day, we learn from our students, too.’
PHOTO: istockphoto

Admittedly, teaching is one of the most underappreciated professions here in the Philippines. We owe a lot to our teachers. After all, they spend their days equipping us with knowledge that we use both inside and outside of school. 

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to educate young minds? One Pinay is here to tell us about her experiences as a private school teacher in the Philippines. 

Alaiza Santiago*


Occupation: Private high school teacher

Monthly income range: P20,000

How long have you been working?

One year and two months.

Have you always wanted to become a teacher?

Yes, it has always been my dream job. I believe that it's one of those professions that can make an impact on other people's lives. I want to influence people to be better.

What's a typical day like for you?

I wake up at around 6:00 a.m. to go to work then I teach art appreciation classes until 3:00 p.m. Afterwards, I attend my meetings. The best part of this job is t
eaching the kids. Honestly, it’s the most fulfilling thing ever. Also, it's fun to pique their curiosity.

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What are the challenges?

Maintaining the students’ energy because they have short attention spans.
Mahirap din kapag content-heavy yung subject. Time is also an issue because I commute to work every day and malayo rin yung bahay ko. My work doesn’t end in school because kailangan ko pa mag-check ‘pag dating ko sa bahay. 

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What's something you want your kids to learn from you?

I would like to teach them that figures don’t matter
manners and passion do. How good you are when it comes to memorization or answering questions isn't as important as your values. 

What's one myth about your profession that you want to debunk?

People tend to think that teachers know everything. Every day, we learn from our students, too.

Name one thing you'd like to change about your job or in your industry.

Work is hectic so I guess,
the number of working days. It would be better for school days to be adjusted to Tuesdays to Fridays so teachers have more prep time and the students can also have a brain break.

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Can you give us a breakdown of your monthly expenses?

Every month, I spend
P3,000 on transportation, P5,000 on food, and P3,000 on miscellaneous expensessuch as mobile load and premium subscriptions. I also make it a point to set aside at least P6,000 for my savings and I contribute P3,000 to my family. 

Do you worry about money?

Yes, a lot. I have many plans and those goals will never come into fruition if I don't have money. 
There's also too much pressure around me and as much as I want to spend on myself, there are times when it's not possible because of the lack of funds.

Do you think you're a good saver? 

Honestly, I'm not a good saver because I tend to overspend. But I suggest setting a budget and actually making sure you stick to it.

What are your financial goals?

My goal is to save up for traveling and for further studies. I also want to have money for my long-term goals. 

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Do you think you’re being compensated fairly? Why or why not?

No, because there's more to being a teacher than just teaching the kids—we also have meetings, class adviser works, and more. That's a lot to take in, and we're not paid enough to help do these things effectively. We need more than what we are paid for. 

*Name has been changed