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Updated on April 3, 2018
Ronadel Razon profile image

The author is a Registered Nurse, Teacher II in English and has worked as an Operations Manager in a BPO company for 7 years.

My First Teacher: Uncle Omerlito G. Magcalas

All throughout history, children are taught at home by their parents or relatives. Boys are taught by their fathers to hunt, farm and protect the family. Girls are taught to do chores, help the men, and be a good mom and wife. Change is constant that is why roles are changed and so are the purposes for every gender. Nowadays, it became a much broader genre of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The History of Education

In ancient times, educating the children comes directly from one person to another. The basic people involve are the parents or assigned person for educating the new generation. Time has changed and societies became complex. The standard way of educating children is no longer effective. To be able to function in that kind of society, ancient civilization changed their process too. They needed ways to accumulate, record, preserve cultural heritage. The invention of writing emerged by about 3100 BC.

Instead of just homes, a formal place devoted for learning was built, the school. A group of adults especially designated to teach was also incorporated, known as teachers. The first teachers in that era are the scribes of the court and the priest of the temples.

Method of Learning: MEMORIZATION


The Jews were the most insistent that all children--regardless of class--be educated.

"We take most pains of all with the instruction of the children and esteem the observance of the laws and the piety corresponding with them the most important affair of our whole life."

The Jews established elementary schools for boys aged 6-13 learned Mathematics, Reading and Writing. Their primary goal is the study of the first 5 books of the Old Testament.

When a Bright child reaches 13, he then continues as disciples of a rabbi, the "master" or teacher.

Ancient Greece


In Sparta at the age 17, boys are mandatory and obliged to leave home and join the supervision of a hierchy of officers. Prior to that from age 7-18, they would undergo increasingly severe course of training. Examples of that would be walking barefoot, sleeping on hard bed and working on physical activities like running, jumping, javelin, swimming, and hunting. They will undergo strict discipline and harsh physical punishment. They are being conditioned to take as much pain as they could. They were taught to take pride on how much pain they can endure.

At 18 years old, the boys will be military cadets and will be taught of the art of war.

At 20, they will be under a reserved force of men who will serve once and if needed by their country.

Reading, Writing, Literature and the arts were considered unsuitable for the soldier citizen. Therefore, they can grow up and become adults without even learning how to read and write.


Unlike the other Greek city-states, girls in Sparta were provided training similar to boys. They too learned to run, jump and wrestle.


Although deeply influenced by Greek education, Roman education process is quite different. For Romans, a good citizen meant an effective speaker. They disregarded the study of Science, Philosophy, Music, Gymnastic basing their education mostly on literature and oratory. They over emphasized the technicalities of grammar but paid low attention to content. Their main purpose is producing good orators.

So it is a matter of how you talk but not what is the content of what you said, is what the Romans focused on.

Uneducated Amateurs Who are Geniuses Changed the World

1. Michael Faraday

He revolutionized our understanding of electricity.

He has no formal education and worked in a London book shop. His family is poor and had no means to do to a proper school.

Faraday invented the electric motor, the electric generator, the Bunsen burner, electrolysis and electroplating. Faraday took the initiative to be an assistant to a scientist though he had no medical or scientific background. He studied and read books too.

2. William Herschel

He discovered several moons and the planet URANUS.

William is a composer who played the oboe and cello and has no education about astronomy.

He dreamed about the outer space but he was already taking prominent jobs as a musician at the age of 20.

William did not have any means of looking into the stars and sky closely. He obviously has no telescope or any aid to help him explore his dream. He made his own telescope by using mirrors and lenses. No ordinary person can pull what he did but certainly that is already an indicator that he is a genius. Other scientists made fun of him but he stood his ground and continued.

3. Mary Anning

She is a rural English woman who has no advanced or formal education. She liked collecting seashells. She has a habit of collecting fossils. Her dad influenced her in that hobby.

She discovered several new species of dinosaur, and helped convince the world that dinosaurs were a thing.

See, even history has recorded that education has evolved and adjusted from one generation to another. But one thing is clear, education should start at home. Parents should not make excuses that they are busy. All throughout a child’s life, the parents should also be engaged in how their kids are doing.

My sisters and I were lucky to have a great uncle like Tito Omer. My late uncle took the initiative to give us the basic lessons on reading, writing and mathematics. He would flash cards and gauge our understanding through competitions. That kind of process is effective for me. My sisters, Richelle and Rose did not..

We have different ways of learning and coping. There are no millennial students at that time but it is evident that my sister and I have different areas we are good at and areas that we need to improve on.

We learned the lessons the conventional way, no computers or tablets yet at that time. He taught us the same way he has learned from his teachers. Unlike now that educators are teaching their students according to their skills and knowledge. I can attest that students nowadays are much more privileged. They have so many options because we will use unconventional ways of learning even using computers and projectors. The RIGHT given to students now is being used in taking advantage of the teachers. We know it. Believe me, the teachers know it but we just continue to teach and care to our students. It is not just a profession. Teaching is a PASSION. It hurts us to see the students who has not seen our effort and has not appreciated the extra mile effort we do every day in class. Rampant laziness and disrespect all over the school is like wild fire all over the Philippines.

It is a sad reality but true.

I can say that I learn faster than my siblings. It is not because I am a genius which is definitely not the case, but because my defense mechanism in front of stress and struggle is to prove that I can solve the problem and give the right answer. My memory too is good because I can read a story and vividly see the story inside my head. I am imaginative.

At 6 years old, I had my first formal education in kindergarten. Thanks to my Uncle Omar, I had my first taste of medal as number one in class. Being able to learn at home has prepared me to pass my journey in formal education. If Uncle Omar did not devote his time to my sisters and I when we were young, I wonder what could have happened to us. I believe that it takes a good teacher, environment and timing to properly educate children.

My Uncle Omar is not a college graduate or someone with Master’s degree or Doctorate but he is able to demonstrate that it takes a whole lot more to properly educate a child. Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. That is what I am so proud of my Uncle Omar. He had the initiative to teach us even though he is not a teacher by profession. Therefore, if the parent would start educating their children, the kids will have an easier time learning in school. Yes, not all parents have the time and patience to do it but again that would be an excuse. If you want to, you will find a way.

© 2018 Ronadel Razon


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